2 Mar 2012

Tahiti's property sale backtrack snags French loan

2:32 pm on 2 March 2012

The French high commissioner in French Polynesia says a deal between Paris and Papeete for the release of a big Development Bank loan is on hold.

This comes after the vice-president Antony Geros apparently reneged on an earlier undertaking for the territory to sell its flagship property in Paris.

The transaction was a condition by France for it to release a 60 million US dollar loan, which is instrumental for the government in Tahiti to meet its obligations.

But the high commissioner, Richard Didier, has told the Nouvelles de Tahiti that an advance from France has been withheld because of the change of heart by Mr Geros.

Mr Geros had told local television that the sale of the property in Saint Germain was a symbol of France wanting to see French Polynesia to cower and

go down on its knees.

Talks between France and French Polynesia on public sector restructuring are to resume before the weekend, but the President Oscar Temaru will be away.