28 Feb 2003

French opposition to Tahitian language seen as embarrassment to French Polyesian government

11:30 am on 28 February 2003

The French Polynesian party, Te Hono, says the French position on indigenous languages is an embarrassment for the territorial president, Gaston Flosse.

France has gone to court in Papeete in a bid to quash proposed laws to make Tahitian an official court language, with a ruling expected in April.

Last year, the French Polynesian parliament, including Mr Flosse's party, approved the change but France says it is unconstitutional.

The secretary-general of Te Hono, Tina Cross, says the French position goes against what the Polynesians want.

"President Chirac did not sign IN: PRESIDENT CHIRAC"



Tina Cross says if the court rules in favour of France her party is prepared to take its cause to the UN.