30 Jan 2004

French Polynesia gets new autonomy statute

11:39 am on 30 January 2004

The French parliament has approved a new autonomy statute for French Polynesia, giving the territory new powers.

The two chambers of the French legislature approved a text which was finalised by a joint committee.

Under the new statute, French Polynesia will be given more powers to decide labour and land tenure issues, as well as powers over civil aviation, and in representing itself overseas.

France will retain control over money supply and defence.

An opposition MP in the territorial assembly, Loic Brigato, is critical of the new statute, saying it gives the government led by Gaston Flosse too much power.

"This will create a sort of high council. This high council will have the power to propose laws. Laws normally come from the territorial assembly."