8 Feb 2012

Sarkozy speech fuels Tahiti war of words

2:26 pm on 8 February 2012

There is a continued war of words in French Polynesia over last weekend's televised address by the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, on a broad range of topics.

The opposition To Tatou Aia Party is defending the announcements of measures to improve the economy and questions what other French parties have said in the face of the crisis in Tahiti.

Mr Sarkozy announced the release of contracts to create jobs and vowed to loosen the compensation criteria for nuclear weapons test victims.

The ruling pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party says the message of what it calls the new Sarkozy is being contradicted by reality.

It says young people already get short-term jobs to cut grass along the roadside, to accompany school children and in the Marquesas to work with tourists that don't exist.

The party says although better than nothing, it adds up to no permanent job.

It says the territory is also being told that the damage caused by 30 years of nuclear weapons testing are no concern for the French state while there is a promise to fix what has happened in the past.