28 Nov 2008

Flosse paints bleak picture of French Polynesia

4:46 pm on 28 November 2008

One of French Polynesia's members of the French Senate has described the situation in his territory as catastrophic.

Gaston Flosse has told reporters in Paris that while he backs President Nicolas Sarkozy's push for sustainable development in the French overseas territories, Tahiti needs in a first instance urgent help.

The territory has just seen a two-week public service strike in response to pension cuts which all local political leaders have condemned.

Mr Flosse says the situation is bleak.

"Today, French Polyneisa is in a catastrophic situation on a social level. Misery is establishing itself in Polynesia, inflation has never been this high, the economy is amidst a crisis, tourism has fallen by 20 percent, the black pearl business by 42 percent - in all areas there is truly a catastrophe."

Gaston Flosse