French territories excluded from debate over crisis

5:04 pm on 17 January 2019

France has decided to exclude its overseas territories such as French Polynesia from the general debate to confront the country's social and economic crisis.

French President Emmanuel Macron  at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Emmanuel Macron Photo: 123RF

The President Emmanuel Macron raised four issues for comprehensive discussions after repeated weekend protests over falling standards of living by demonstrators wearing yellow vests who have taken to the streets across much of France.

The four topics are taxation and public expenditure, public services, ecological transition as well as democracy and citizenship.

The French High Commission in Papeete said debates of the kind organised in the mainland of France and its departments wouldn't be replicated in French Polynesia to review, for example, the autonomy status.

It said submissions from Tahiti could be made on the French internet site set up for the debate.

In his first nationwide televised response to the street protests, Mr Macron also explicitly addressed the citizens living overseas.

Both opposition parties in French Polynesia want the autonomy statute to be replaced by being awarded either full or partial independence.

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