13 Jun 2005

French minister 'attentive' to concerns about rollback of Polynesia autonomy

6:37 am on 13 June 2005

France's new minister for overseas territories, François Baroin, says he's 'naturally attentive' to concerns expressed in French Polynesia about the loss of autonomy powers.

The newsagency, AFP, quotes Mr Baroin as saying an amendment to autonomy statutes, has been submitted for the opinion of assemblies in French overseas departments, regions and communities.

The speaker of the French Polynesian assembly, Anthony Geros, has called for people to be watchful during this consultation.

Mr Geros says the proposal means a decline in powers of autonomy and a return to the colonial era.

A statement from the minister for overseas territories says the amendments will update, clarify and modernise the constitutional laws already in force.