FRENCH PRESIDENT CHIRAC CONVENES CONGRESS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT VOTE

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 NEWS FROM THE FRENCH PACIFIC October 27, 1999 PINA Nius Online

IN JANUARY

PARIS, France (October 27, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French President Jacques Chirac announced on Wednesday that the French Congress will convene on January 24, 2000, to examine, among other bills, a constitutional amendment concerning France’s overseas territories.

The Congress, a joint convening of both the French National Assembly and the Senate, is to give a final seal of approval to a constitutional amendment that would turn French Polynesia into an "overseas country." Approval will result in the transfer of some powers of governance from the French state to the territory, including citizenship, foreign affairs and labor matters.

The amendment also concerns New Caledonia and would clarify that only those voters who were registered in New Caledonia in 1988 could cast their votes for forthcoming provincial, Congress and referendum polls in the French territory.

The "freeze" of the electoral roll, which was strongly defended by the pro-independence FLNKS party, triggered strong negative reactions from anti-independence groups in New Caledonia.

Approval of the constitutional amendment was voted unanimously by the French National Assembly last June, and by the Senate on October 13.

 

FRENCH POLYNESIAN OIL COMPANY INTRODUCES "TRAVELING GAS STATION"

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (October 27, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---French Polynesia's Shell company has introduced a new concept for French Polynesia’s most remote islands: a traveling gas station, Radio 1 reports.

The station, a 5-ton, 13,000-litre container with separate compartments to store different kinds of fuel, can be loaded on a cargo ship.

Shell director Jean-Louis Cellérier presented the new container to local Environment Minister Lucie Lucas, stressing that it would reduce environmental hazards.

"It's very interesting from a safety point of view, because there are fewer transfers required. For the same capacity, we would have needed many, many barrels. Now that’s no longer the case," Cellérier said.

"Each year, some 60,000 of these barrels are required and, unfortunately, about a third of them get pierced, and they leak. It's not good for the environment and it increases fire hazards."

The container concept was introduced in metropolitan France four years ago.

 

QUEENSLAND TOUR OPERATORS ON PROMOTIONAL TOUR OF NEW CALEDONIA

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (October 27, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---Tour operators from Queensland organized a seminar this week to inform their New Caledonian counterparts about the Australian tourist destination, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

Some 80 New Caledonian tour operators and tourism professionals attended the meeting, which was presented by the Gold Coast Tourism Office representatives under the direction of marketing manager Terry Tzanetopoulos.

The meeting’s goal was to present new developments on the Queensland visitor scene to the New Caledonian market.

Queensland -- and particularly its Gold Coast -- remains one of New Caledonia's favorite destinations, with many visitors having invested in a holiday residence there.

The seminar ended with a drawing of the participants' business cards for winners to enjoy holidays in the Gold Coast's newest resorts.

For the occasion, the Gold Coast delegation had brought full-sized puppet animals -- "Kenny Koala" and his friends Belinda Brown, Coo-ee and Gumnut Fairy -- who are regularly featured in the "Dreamworld" attraction center.

They gave a special performance in downtown Noumea for several hundred children.

 

PACIFIC COMMUNITY HEAD WILL HOST MELBOURNE CUP VIEWERS

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (October 27, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---Pacific Community Director-General, Australian Bob Dunn, will play host to New Caledonians and foreign residents in the territory who want to watch a telecast of the annual Melbourne Cup race, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The yearly event, which is a national tradition in Australia, will be hosted on November 2 by Dunn, who is also Secretary-general of the Boomerang Club in Noumea.

The club is organizing a live satellite viewing of the race, followed by a dinner and the traditional ladies' hat competition.

This bulletin was produced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Editor: Patrick Antoine Decloitre E-mail: padec@iname.com 

For more information, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA Administrator, at pina@is.com.fj 

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Damodar Centre, 1st Floor 46 Gordon Street Suva, Republic of the Fiji Islands Tel: (679) 303 623 Fax : (679) 303 943 Postal Address: PINA, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji Islands

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