FRENCH POLYNESIA TOPS FRANCE PER CAPITA SPENDING

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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 14) – On the eve of the July 14 Bastille Day French national holiday, the high commissioner's office announced that the French state spent 595,000 French Pacific francs (US$6,197) per inhabitant in French Polynesia last year.

Total French state spending last year of 148.6 billion French Pacific francs (US$1.5 billion), made French Polynesia, in effect, the best financially endowed community within the French Republic, according to a communiqué from French High Commissioner Anne Boquet's Papeete office.

The communiqué provided a detailed account of where the French state transfers to its overseas territory were made:

52.5 billion French Pacific francs (US$547 million) were spent on education, higher education, research and culture. That represented 35.3 percent of all French state spending last year.

• 31.2 billion French Pacific francs (US$325 million) were spent on justice, police, military and air traffic, or about 21 percent of total spending.

• 23.2 billion French Pacific francs (US$241.7 million) were allocated for overall spending on economic development, economic investment funds for economic and social development with the objective of "strengthening French Polynesia's economic autonomy".

• 8.5 billion French Pacific francs (US$88.5 million) for French Polynesia's 48 communes, covering the operation of municipal governments and inter-communal equalization funds.

• 5.4 billion French Pacific francs (US$56.25 million) for "social cohesion and public health".

• 27.81 billion French Pacific francs (US$289.69 million) for non-military and military pensions and the operation of the high commissioner's office, the customs office and the public treasury office.

And the high commissioner's communiqué noted that 26.5 billion French Pacific francs (US$276 million) in investments in French Polynesia were the subject of tax exemption requests under the Girardin Law, named after former French Overseas Minister Brigitte Girardin.

July 17, 2006

Tahitipresse: http://www.tahitipresse.pf/index.cfm?lang=2

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