21 Dec 2007

French high commission enters Marquesas status debate

2:16 pm on 21 December 2007

The French high commissioner in Papeete, Anne Boquet, has reacted to the comments made by the French Polynesian president about suggestions to set up stronger links between the Marquesas islands and Paris.

Ms Boquet says the junior French overseas territories minister, Christian Estrosi, only wished to have an open consideration of decentralising power.

A Marquesian mayor advanced the idea of creating a separate colonial unity which prompted President Temaru to denounce the plan as a fraud and an act of state terrorism by saying the concept was fomented by France.

Ms Boquet says there is no question of changing the statute of the Marquesas.

She says France remains committed to the principle of autonomy for French Polynesia by strengthening the competence of the local councils.