24 Jul 2013

Tahiti leaders fail to meet Hollande in Paris

4:31 am on 24 July 2013

French Polynesian government leaders have been received by a top official of the French presidency in Paris to outline their plans to revive the economy.

The ministers, led by the president, Gaston Flosse, have been in France for a week seeking additional financial support for their reform programme, but failed to get more than assurances of continued assistance.

Mr Flosse failed to meet the President, Francois Hollande, but had a meeting with the French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, who reportedly acknowledged the reforms adopted in Tahiti.

Mr Flosse is reported to have told the Presidency that he will speak out in favour of French Polynesia remaining part of the French republic when he is at the Pacific Islands Forum in September.

Last week, he met the overseas territories minister, Victorin Lurel, with whom he also raised French Polynesia's wish for an independence referendum to be held as soon as possible.

The UN reinscribed the territory on its decolonisation list in May.