8 Jan 2019

Girardin comment causes outrage in New Caledonia

1:50 pm on 8 January 2019

There is anger among New Caledonia's anti-independence politicians about a suggestion that the territory could become independent but associated with France.

French overseas minister Annick Girardin

French overseas minister Annick Girardin Photo: supplied

This follows a comment by the French overseas minister Annick Girardin in a television interview in which she said there could be a vision of New Caledonia being one day associated with France.

The Caledonian Republicans and the MPC parties issued a joint statement, condemning her comment and demanding that she accept the New Caledonians' choice.

In last November's referendum a majority rejected independence.

However under the Noumea Accord two more votes can be called to complete the decolonisation process.

The anti-independence Caledonia Together party described her comment as unacceptable while another party said her comment was shocking.

The outcry has prompted the minister to issue a statement formally affirming that New Caledonia's future will be defined by New Caledonians who expressed themselves clearly last November.