9 Nov 2009

Sarkozy wants new approach between Paris and French Polynesia

2:35 pm on 9 November 2009

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has called for a change in the relationship between France and French Polynesia while holding an interministerial meeting in Paris on overseas territories.

Focusing on relations with the French Caribbean, Mr Sarkozy highlighted the problems in the face of the global economic crisis and after the prolonged unrest in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

He says a new approach with French Polynesia is needed after years of believing that its autonomy had to be built without France or even against the French state.

137 measures were announced but Mr Sarkozy dropped plans to declare the French nuclear weapon test site of Moruroa a place of so-called territorial pride.

Mr Sarkozy also used the speech to announce that Marie-Luce Penchard, who had been in charge of the overseas territories portfolio, has been elevated to ministerial level.