11 Nov 2011

French minister dismissive of French Polynesian call for renewed dialogue

4:37 pm on 11 November 2011

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has given a cool response to a call for a renewed dialogue between Paris and French Polynesia.

The strained relationship was raised by Bruno Sandras in an address to the French National Assembly when he warned of the risk of a major social explosion in French Polynesia.

The French Polynesian politician said the territory was in an economic downward spiral, but Mrs Penchard replied that the stance by the ruling majority in Tahiti needed to change if business confidence was to improve.

She says this will happen as soon as there is an end to the ideological drive in Tahiti to describe the relationship between Paris and Papeete as a colonial one.

The French Polynesian government has been accusing Paris of blocking a badly needed loan while urging France to put the territory back on the UN decolonisation list.