30 Nov 2004

Paris talks collapse fuels occupations in French Polynesia

4:14 pm on 30 November 2004

French Polynesia's political leaders are bound for Tahiti after the sudden collapse of talks in Paris aimed at ending the political crisis in Papeete.

The French minister in charge of overseas territories says the talks have only been suspended but activists in Tahiti say the negotiations with Oscar Temaru and Gaston Flosse have yielded nothing.

Mr Flosse walked out of the talks upset at the continued occupation of the presidential palace.

Activists demanding a dissolution of the territorial assembly have resumed blockades of key buildings.

A former MP of the ousted Temaru-led coalition, Sabrina Birk, says there is a strong sense of disappointment among people in Papeete.

"They feel very deceived. This was sort of the last chance, the last negotiations and the population is very, I'd say, unhappy. Some are very angry because, you know, they are losing trust and hope because they followed how the negotiations were going."

Sabrina Birk