4 Jul 2012

Tahiti plea to Paris for economic help

7:01 pm on 4 July 2012

The French Polynesian members of the French legislature have written a joint letter to Paris asking for help with what they describe as the catastrophic financial situation of the territory's communes.

The letter to the new overseas territories minister was sent by the Tahoeraa Huiraatira politicians elected to the National Assembly last month and co-signed by Gaston Flosse, who is a member of the French Senate.

They say to deal with the unprecedented problems, French Polynesians should get the same treatment in terms of housing, health, education and work as the republic's Corsican, Breton or Basque citizens.

They have also called for a softening of the law governing compensation for victims of the French nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

Last week, the minister, Victorin Lurel, told French Polynesia's president, Oscar Temaru, that Paris was about to release just over 62 million US dollars to his government.