12 Jan 2006

French Polynesia finance minister explains position on budget appeals

8:20 am on 12 January 2006

The French Polynesian vice president and finance minister, Jacqui Drollet, says the territorial assembly will hold a new budget session if France annuls the US$1.5bn measure approved last month.

Three appeals against the budget act have been filed with France's highest court, the Council of State, by the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira party led by the former president Gaston Flosse.

The opponents claim the budget measures contravene the territory's fiscal law.

Mr Drollet says if the Council of State annuls their measures, they'll hold a new budget session to make up the US$30 million shortfall.

He says this could be done either by drawing down last year's reserves, cutting spending, or through new taxes.