2 Feb 2006

Parties to New Caledonia autonomy treaty to meet in Paris

7:50 am on 2 February 2006

Members of New Caledonia's pro and anti-independence parties will meet French officials in Paris later today to take stock of the implementation of the Noumea Accord.

However, Marie-Noelle Themereau, the president of New Caledonia's government, will be absent.

Mrs Themereau, who belongs to the Future Together party, declined the invitation to attend in protest against what she called the lack of cooperation of some members of her government.

She accused her government co-members from the Rassemblement party and the FLNKS of not pulling their weight.

Mrs Themereau's criticism has once again highlighted the problem of how New Caledonia's coalition government can achieve its goals.

At the top of the agenda for the meeting, will be the question of whether to freeze the New Caledonian electorate.

Another topic will be whether to adopt the Euro.