13 Jan 2012

Wallis senator says cost of living concerns remain

2:33 pm on 13 January 2012

The French senator representing Wallis and Futuna says he regrets that no commission has been set up to address concerns about the high cost of living.

Robert Laufoaulu has told New Caledonia's daily newspaper he hopes Paris will send an expert in line with the accord drawn up after last November's unprecedented street protests on Wallis.

The senator has also called for an upgrade of the territory's statutes, citing difficulties in advancing projects amid the frequent changes of French administrator.

According to him, some of the powers should be given to the local authorities.

Mr Laufoaulu has also told the newspaper that much rehabilitation work remains to be done on Futuna after the huge damage caused by Cyclone Tomas two years ago.

He says a half a kilometre piece of the only coastal road is still to be built and the phone network is yet to be repaired.