TAHITI AVIATION FUEL STRIKE LIFTED

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (August 26, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Employees of the company that provides fuel to Tahiti’s airport have called off their five-day strike.

Union officials said the strike action by SOMCAT workers has been suspended until September 4.

Aviation companies serving the territory said they now will recommence all flights.

About 800 passengers have been stranded in Tahiti since Tuesday awaiting flights with French carriers Air France and AOM.

The strikers reportedly obtained guarantees on improved security and working conditions.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

 

DOMESTIC AIRLINE BUYS TWO TWIN OTTERS

PAPE'ETE, French Polynesia (August 25, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---Inter-island airline Air Moorea has purchased two 19-seater Twin Otter 300s to further develop its link between the main island of Tahiti and neighboring Moorea, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

The company said the 370 million CFP (about US$ 3 million) investment is mainly aimed at homogenizing its fleet, currently consisting of Britten-Norman 7-seater planes.

French Polynesia's cabinet exempted the purchase from tax.

 

TAHITI-DEVOTED ISLANDS BOOK FESTIVAL OPENS IN BRITTANY

OUESSANT ISLAND, France (August 25, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---The second island book festival, which this year is dedicated to French Polynesia, was officially opened on Ouessant Island Thursday by culture minister Louise Peltzer, organizers said in a release.

Peltzer, who this year is the festival's high patron, is leading a strong Tahitian delegation on the French Brittany island, consisting of publishers and authors.

Other French islands, such a Guadeloupe (French West Indies) and Corsica also are represented.

Some 4,000 visitors took part in the first festival last year, "celebrating island, marine and sea-related literature and islanders the world over."

Over 5,000 persons (including about 80 authors and publishers) are expected to take part in this year's four-day event.

"Writers who write about the islands have a different look. They always look to the sea, even if they live on the continent. They feed on the sea. They are also more open to the rest of the world. This results in a different kind of literature," said French movie director and playwright Pierre Schoendoerffer, who chairs the jury this year.

 

FRENCH POLYNESIA HAS NOT FULLY SPENT POST-NUCLEAR FRENCH FUNDS

PAPE'ETE, French Polynesia (August 25, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia has not fully spent funds earmarked by France as part of a project aimed at assisting the territory over a ten-year period following the closure of nuclear testing facilities in the Pacific, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

Under a pact signed in August 1996, France agreed to grant a yearly 18 billion French Pacific Francs (about US$ 140 million).

But results at the end of the 1999 financial year show that the French territory has only spent 13.8 billion CFP, 3.9 of which are classified under tax exemption benefits and another 9.9 for real development investment projects.

The so-called "development pact" will allow French Polynesia to become more economically self-reliant through a buildup of infrastructure facilities.

Economists forecast that full use of the fund should peak starting next year with a major housing development project scheduled to take place.

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