21 Dec 2011

French Polynesia parties exchange barbs amid economic strife

1:10 pm on 21 December 2011

There has been a sharp exchange of communiques in French Polynesia between the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira and the government party of Oscar Temaru over the territory's economic woes.

The Tahoeraa of Gaston Flosse says waste and incompetence have been entrenched since Mr Temaru came to power in 2004.

It says in contrast there had been annual growth of nearly four percent in the decade to 2006.

But the Tavini says the economic boost during the French nuclear weapons test era saw Mr Flosse claim the tests' safety in exchange for France being silent about his excesses.

It says the Flosse era saw the collapse of the black pearl industry with the pearl price plummeting 95 percent.

The Tavini says the Tahoeraa would have been wise if it had let Mr Temaru rule after 2004, pointing out that Mr Flosse's return to power in 2009 ended when he was ousted by his former colleagues.

The Tavini says when Mr Temaru allowed him to regain the presidency, he lasted only 40 days.