8 Mar 2006

French Polynesian minister upset at French security move

4:52 pm on 8 March 2006

The French Polynesian minister for small and medium enterprises, Hiro Tefaarere, has lashed out at the French government over its decision to withdraw privileged airport access to the minister of the sea, Keitapu Maamaatuaiahutapu.

Mr Tefaarere has returned his access card to the French high commissioner in protest, saying it is unacceptable for the French state to interfere with internal party politics.

Mr Maamaatuaiahutapu was targeted after he attended a gathering of the Basque separatist party, Herri Batasuna, which the European Union lists as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Tefaarere says France should not interfere with the contacts of a party that is represented in the French Polynesian assembly.

He has called on all members of President Oscar Temaru's Tavini Huiraatira Party to return their special access cards.