27 Aug 2011

Anger in Tahiti over French teacher placement challenge

10:24 am on 27 August 2011

There has been an angry reaction by the French Polynesian government to a French decision on teacher placements, likening the move to a declaration of war.

The issue has led to a threat that the French Polynesian team at the Pacific Games in New Caledonia will refuse to fly the French flag at tonight's opening attended by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

This comes after Paris challenged the French Polynesian education minister's decision, which was endorsed by a Tahiti court, to place a number of local teachers in local schools.

France, however, wants to send some of them to French schools in line with the prerogative of Paris to allocate posts to teachers on its payroll.

The government in Papeete is incensed at the move, with the vice president saying this means war.

It follows just days after the assembly adopted a motion asking Paris to reinscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.