New French Polynesia govt promises action on job creation

4:07 pm on 26 May 2018
The President of French Polynesia Edouard Fritch speaks to journalists after a meeting with French Prime Minister at the Hotel Matignon in Paris on June 22, 2017.

Edouard Fritch. Photo: AFP or licensors

The new French Polynesian government says job creation is a priority in the next five-year term to counter the soaring unemployment rate of the last decade.

The president Edouard Fritch told the opening session of the territorial assembly that a local law would be drawn up to that end but ruled out changing the autonomy statute as demanded by the pro-independence opposition.

Mr Fritch said giving preference to locals as in New Caledonia would be complicated and showed that it didn't fulfill the pro-independence side's hopes.

He says there will be a pension reform and the assembly president Gaston Tong Sang says he will now also pay into the public scheme at risk of defaulting.

Mr Tong Sang urged the assembly members to work for the common good.

In March, he was given a suspended prison sentence for abuse of public funds.

In the last term, Mr Fritch was convicted twice for abusing public funds and ordered to repay the public purse more than $US 80,000.