19 Oct 2011

Unpaid workers block key street in French Polynesia

5:18 am on 19 October 2011

Workers in French Polynesia have this morning again blocked most of a key street in Papeete in protest at not being paid for four months.

The group is owed money for work on the new hospital but funding woes and bureaucratic procedures have delayed the disbursement of 2.3 million US dollars.

Last week, the workers blocked most of the main street and cut off access to the assembly, which delayed the opening of a budget debate.

Meanwhile, the president, Oscar Temaru, has told mayors from Tahiti and Moorea that public servants employed by local councils may not be paid this month.

This comes amid an impasse between his administration and the French high commissioner over the terms of a French Development Bank loan.

Mr Temaru has again warned that unless Paris unblocks the disbursement of the 22 million US dollar loan, salaries can no longer be paid.