20 Jul 2009

Talks in Paris over ongoing transfer of power to New Caledonia

7:51 am on 20 July 2009

Discussions are being held in France to finalise a further transfer of power from Paris to New Caledonia amid concern about the future funding of education.

Under the 1998 Noumea Accord on greater autonomy, a constitutionally mandate phased shift of powers is under way, with New Caledonian leaders in Paris discussing details of the terms.

According to Noumea's daily newspaper, the territory's president, Philippe Gomes won't budge unless financial support is assured.

However, the pro-independence politician, Paul Neaoutyine, says a lack of finance should not be a pretext not to support the law change.

Meanwhile, several teacher unions in Noumea are set to go to take to streets at the end of this week to demonstrate against what they claim is a downgrading of education.

They say their submissions have been ignored and New Caledonia school leavers risk completing their education with a qualification that is not linked with what is done in Europe.