19 Jun 2006

French Polynesian businesses relieved port blockade lifted

5:49 am on 19 June 2006

Supplies have begun flowing from French Polynesia's port after the lifting of a blockade over the weekend.

The blockade had been imposed by members of the now dissolved GIP intervention force, who claimed special port work was being given to others.

The protest action ended after talks with the French High commission; the French state has the responsibility in the territory for ensuring freedom of movement.

The territory's president, Oscar Temaru, had accused the French state of negligence in allowing the port to be shut down illegally.

Business leaders had staged a counter protest against the interruption of goods from the port and had said they would be forced to shut down and lay off staff if the blockade was not lifted.

Meanwhile, disgruntled fishermen whose action had stopped the movement of ships in the port of Papeete have been given a new administrative status to be represented in key organisations.

Last week, the fishermen dumped truckloads of rotten fish outside the presidential palace and the territorial assembly to draw attention to their economic plight.