28 Jul 2004

French Polynesian relations with Paris back on even keel

7:35 pm on 28 July 2004

A spokesman for the French Polynesian Government says tension between the territory and the Minister responsible for it in Paris are back on an even keel.

It was reported during the recent election upheaval in French Polynesia that France's Minister for Overseas, Brigitte Girardin, was threatening to "turn off the taps" and cut French funding if there was a change of government.

Manuele Terai, an advisor for the new French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says Mr Temaru met Mrs Girardin during a recent trip to Europe.

Mr Terai says they discussed many things, including a misunderstanding that had arisen because of the Minister's close links with the former Flosse government.

"It took some adjustment, should I say, for Mr Temaru and Mrs Girardin. It took them an hour and fifteen minutes together, in private, to discuss a lot of things pertaining to Tahiti and the new Government in charge of the affairs of this country."

Mr Terai says the two also went over issues such as the new hospital project, health generally, and the airport.