17 Oct 2006

Impasse in French Polynesian conflict

4:01 pm on 17 October 2006

Road blocks are still in place in French Polynesia as the government has so far refused to meet a demand by a striking union that it designate a negotiator to discuss the high costs of living.

Radio reports say this follows a push by the French high commission to get the territorial government to meet the unionists who set up road blocks last week as part of their campaign and who threaten to cut all access to the capital, Papeete, again.

The union leader, Ronald Terorotua, says the government's refusal to negotiate about the high cost of living could lead to bloodshed.

The government has said it will not negotiate unless the road blocks, which are also upheld by members of the dissolved GIP intervention force, are lifted.

The road blocks are illegal and President Oscar Temaru has asked the French high commission to assume its responsibilities and restore the freedom of movement.

The high commissioner says she prefers dialogue and won't use the security forces in Tahiti against French Polynesians.