6 Apr 2006

The French overseas territories minister dismisses independence calls

11:22 am on 6 April 2006

The French overseas territories minister, Francois Baroin, has again dismissed calls for a process leading to a possible vote on French Polynesia's independence.

This comes after Mr Baroin was given a proposed Tahiti Nui Accord by the French Polynesian President, Oscar Temaru, who wants a structured process similar to one in place for New Caledonia.

The French high commission has in recent weeks repeatedly rebuked Mr Temaru for expressing his pro-independence stance abroad.

Mr Baroin says these questions have been debated enough.

"The latest statute dates back to 2004. It has to be given time and be tried. It's the best statute - it's an autonomy statute, there is a flag, a hymn, there are competences, a first article that gives all the space to manoeuvre while at the same time being next to the state, next to France."