25 Jul 2008

Jego leaves Tahiti, restating French commitment to French Polynesia

1:43 pm on 25 July 2008

The junior French overseas territories minister, Yves Jego, has ended his visit to French Polynesia restating the commitment by Paris to remain engaged in the territory.

In response to repeated claims that France is withdrawing from its current commitments, Mr Jego said this was just a political smokescreen of those who have nothing left to say and nothing to propose.

But Mr Jego has confirmed that within three years military bases will close but he says this will open up opportunities for businesses to use some of the facilities in Tahiti.

He says the pension system will be reformed as it is unfair that some French retirees can get up to 64,000 US dollar top-ups on their annual pension if they move to Tahiti.

Mr Jego has also said he will seek a change of the French law to make it easier for visitors to get married in French Polynesia as part of efforts to boost tourism.