19 Apr 2011

Penchard meets Fillon over New Caledonia crisis

12:03 pm on 19 April 2011

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has met the prime minister, Francois Fillon, for an hour on return from three days of crisis talks in New Caledonia.

Mrs Penchard has also confirmed that the 1999 basic law applying to New Caledonia will be amended before the start of the European summer to end serial ministerial resignations.

New Caledonia has seen four collegial governments collapse in the past two months.

The change is aimed at the Caledonia Together Party which used the current resignation clause three times in its bid to have fresh general elections.

Mrs Penchard however has ruled out early elections.

The political crisis stems from a dispute over which flag the territory should use to express its identity as it is being decolonised.