9 Jun 2010

As Tahiti general strike looms, minimum health care assured

1:26 pm on 9 June 2010

The French Polynesian health ministry has assured the public that a basic service will be provided despite a general strike called for the day after tomorrow.

The strike has been called by a collective made up of 11 groups, which wants to alert the political class and the French government to the seriousness of the political, economic and moral crisis.

The hospital workers union says the misery is deepening and some hope has to be given, as everybody fears that if nothing is done, Papeete will be destroyed as it was in the riots of the 1980s and 1990s.

In a statement, it says a way has to be found to channel the social violence created by the dismissal of thousands of wage earners.

It says instead of waiting for fresh elections that are still far off, efforts have to be made to absorb the shock of job losses in a place where there is no unemployment benefit.