April 3, 2005

Polynesian Impasse Continues

This report confirms a continued crisis due to a wildcat strike by former Polynesian President Gaston Flosse's goon squad:
"A blockade of a Papeete road bridge by striking workers prevented New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff from making a scheduled visit to Tahiti's port.

The wild cat action in the capital of Tahiti prompted speculation its timing was aimed to embarrass the new Government of French Polynesia in front of an overseas dignitary.

The Polynesian Intervention Group (GIP) parked trucks across the Motuga Bridge, the only access to the capital's main port, on Thursday night (NZT).

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GIP, with a workforce of about 1230, is responsible to the French Polynesian Government for areas like security, park maintenance, cleaning and some maritime duties.

The industrial action over a leadership dispute followed a day-and-a-half long strike last week.

GIP was not happy about appointments made by new French Polynesian President Oscar Temaru.

The labour force, established a decade ago by former President Gaston Flosse, is locally regarded as Mr Flosse's private police force.

Philip Schyle, a politician who supports neither parties of Mr Flosse or his rival Mr Temaru, told the Herald he thought it was no coincidence the second strike coincided with the arrival of Mr Flosse back in the country from Paris.

The French government, the colonial ruler of Polynesia, was nowhere to be found. Gaston Flosse, the defeated former President, is a buddy of French President Jacques Chirac.

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