7 Apr 2011

Tahiti palace rental move mocked by opposition

6:56 pm on 7 April 2011

The French Polynesian opposition has accused the president, Oscar Temaru, of treating the public as fools by proposing to rent out the presidential palace.

The palace complex, which was opened in 2000 by a former president, Gaston Flosse, cost almost 60 million US dollars to build.

Mr Temaru's new government held its first meeting in a room in the assembly complex as part of an austerity drive.

But the opposition's Edouard Fritch has told a Tahiti blog that Mr Temaru ignores all the symbols of autonomy and puts on a show purely for effect that will cost dearly.

He says the palace accommodates many services for which new premises would need to be found.