4 Dec 2009

New French Polynesian president outlines financial woes

3:27 pm on 4 December 2009

French Polynesia's new president Gaston Tong Sang has told the territorial assembly of the financial woes faced by his team on assuming power.

The sitting today is the first since last week's change of government which came amid disagreements over how to finalise the budget.

The president spoke of a shortfall in the treasury of more than 71 million US dollars.

"On the eve of the date of the motion, the country registered a negative situation in the treasury of 5 753 764 797 francs."

Mr Tong Sang says his government will honour the payments it has to make.

The sitting went ahead despite misgivings by the government which wanted to delay it by nearly two weeks.

Tahitipresse says this means that a government MP sided with the opposition to give it the slimmest majority needed for the assembly to open.

This comes amid claims that the Tong Sang administration is likely to face a no confidence motion soon.