7 Oct 2002

French Polynesian President says plans for new hospital back on track

11:49 am on 7 October 2002

The French Polynesian President, Gaston Flosse, has announced that plans for a new large hospital on Tahiti are back on track after fears that work on the project would be suspended.

The French firm hired to build it said last week that it would stop all work on the 300 million US dollar hospital at Taaone at the end of October because of new disagreements with the government.

Proposed changes to the original plans prompted the firm to announce a stop to the project, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

But Mr Flosse says a new deal has now been reached and there will be no lay-offs at the site ...the territory's biggest ever project.

The announcement comes two days after the French government signed an agreement with French Polynesia to give it 150 million Us dollars a year.

The annual contribution was earlier given to the territory as compensation for the loss of revenue from the French military, which had used the territory to test its nuclear weapons.