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MATA‘UTU, Wallis and Futuna (July 3, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---The monthly minimum wage in the French territory of Wallis and Futuna will be raised to 70,061 French Pacific Francs (about US$ 520) effective July 1, 2002, the weekly newspaper Te Fenua Fo‘ou reports.

The announcement was made this week by the Wallis prefect, Alain Waquet, at the end of the island's Territorial Assembly session.

He also noted that the current minimum wage (58,178 CFP per month) had not been changed since July 1998.

The increase, Waquet said, would be implemented in successive steps to achieve a monthly 70,061 CFP per month on July 1, 2002.

January 1, 2002, it will go up to 66,725 CFP.

Waquet said the increase resulted from a series of talks he has had with business partners in the territory.

Recent strikes in New Caledonia had led to the implementation of a 100,000 CFP monthly minimum wage there by next year.

The minimum wage in Wallis and Futuna, even when it reaches its new level next year, will still remain the lowest of all French Overseas Territories, Te Fenua Fo‘ou notes.

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