15 May 2013

New Caledonia to strike over high cost of living

4:37 am on 15 May 2013

Most of New Caledonia's will today begin a general strike in protest at the high cost of living.

It follows claims that the government has failed to enact economic reforms as agreed since the last mass strike two years ago.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Unions are frustrated at high import levies, low taxation of capital and a lack of competition among wholesale distributors. These - as well as high costs of transport and energy - are factors blamed for a cost of living in the territory, which is far higher than in mainland France. Today's action comes two years after an unprecedented 25,000 people took to the streets in a territory-wide action to push for reforms. International travel may be affected but by a law, a minimum service has to be guaranteed, no matter how long the strike lasts."