1 Aug 2012

Fiji drops Queen's Birthday holiday

1:51 pm on 1 August 2012

The Fiji interim government has removed the Queen's Birthday from the public holidays list - 25 years after the country became a republic.

Previously, Ratu Sukuna Day, National Youth Day and Prince Charles Birthday were removed from list.

With Queen's Birthday also removed, 2013 will have just nine public holidays.

The interim Minister for Labour Industrial Relations and Employment, Jone Usamate, says there are two reasons behind the decision to remove Queen's Birthday.

"One reason obviously to try to increase productivity. Having less public holidays will help our businesses do much better. The other thing is that while we still value our membership of the Commenwealth and our past ties with Great Britain, Fiji now is a republic and it has its own head of state. Those are the two main reasons, as a boost to our own local economy and also to recognise the fact that we no longer have the Queen as the head of state, because we have our President as the head of state."

Jone Usamate says public holidays cost about 11 million US dollars per day.