16 Jul 2008

French Polynesian unions prepare action to coincide with French visit

2:01 pm on 16 July 2008

Unions in French Polynesia have vowed to take unspecified action during the visit of the junior French minister in charge of overseas territories, Yves Jego, who is due in Tahiti this weekend.

It'll be his first trip to French Polynesia since his appointment in March when his predecessor Christian Estrosi resigned, less than a year in office.

The unions are concerned about retrenchments and reforms instigated by Paris which provides huge transfers to the territory.

Pensioners and public servants deployed from France have been enjoying top-ups to their incomes which France says it won't maintain.

Local radio says the impending visit has succeeded in creating unprecedented unity among unions.

The recently elected and French-backed president of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, has told a local newspaper that the days of spending of public funds without any regard are over.

Speaking on local radio from Martinique, Mr Jego says he will be explaining the government's policies for the French overseas communities.