26 Jul 2013

Tahiti's Flosse asks France for budget advance

3:10 pm on 26 July 2013

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Flosse, has asked France for an advance for the territory's government to meet its obligations this year.

No figure has been given, but French Polynesia's presidency says the matter is being examined with urgency after his Paris meeting with the new budget minister, Bernard Cazeneuve.

Mr Flosse says he wants French national solidarity to apply to French Polynesians as they are as French as the Corsicans, Bretons and Alsatians.

Mr Flosse has reportedly also asked for disused French military bases to be ceded for a symbolic euro so that the land can be used to build social housing.

He has told the news agency AFP that the previous French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, cut funding as a punishment.

Mr Flosse says he knows why but cannot say it.

He says tourism needs to be rebuilt as visitor numbers have almost halved in the past decade.