21 Oct 2005

French Polynesian opposition pleads for continued French funding

1:19 pm on 21 October 2005

The French Polynesian opposition says its leader, Gaston Flosse, has used his meeting with President Jacques Chirac in Paris to ask for continued financial support for French Polynesia.

The opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has issued a statement, accusing the government of Oscar Temaru of showing little interest in its links with France.

Mr Temaru has repeatedly travelled to Paris but has had no meetings with Mr Chirac whose party is linked to the Tahoeraa.

Mr Flosse, who is the territory's member of the French Senate, has reportedly been told of the financial pressures facing the French state.

But he says he has asked that French assistance will be continued.

When France stopped its nuclear weapons testing programme in the Pacific, it set up a limited economic conversion fund for the French territory.

But Mr Flosse negotiated that the annual transfer of 150 million US dollars be made open-ended.