21 Dec 2006

New Caledonia politician attacks pro-independents for lack of compromise

7:43 pm on 21 December 2006

The leader of New Caledonia's anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP Party says its true adversaries are those who seek the territory's independence.

Pierre Frogier told the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper that since the signing of the Noumea Accord in 1998, the separatists have not given up anything.

His comments come as France is in the process of changing the constitution to restrict voting rights to New Caledonia's long-term residents in keeping with the Noumea Accord.

Mr Frogier has been fighting the change and now says he feels disengaged from the accord.

The acccord on greater autonomy provides for a vote on independence before 2018.

It was signed by the French state as well as the territory's rival pro- and anti-independence camps.