15 Dec 2010

French Polynesia budget impasse extended into next week

9:14 am on 15 December 2010

French Polynesia's assembly finance committee has again failed to make progress on the 2011 budget and deferred its next discussions until next week.

This comes as an urgently needed supplementary budget is to be reconsidered this week after it was rejected in an assembly vote last week.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"The vice-president Edouard Fritch has warned that chaos is awaiting the territory as there is no budget and no majority. Last week, the ruling coalition was ten votes short to pass the supplementary budget although in the committee there was majority support for the measure to pay for lower bread and fuel prices. Adding to the political infighting, there is now anger among employers at plans to change import levies, with them likening it to a nuclear bomb. The President Gaston Tong Sang has said he will resign once the budget has been passed while the opposition has challenged him to quit now, saying his majority is - in its words - a mijority."