27 May 2008

French Polynesian deputy urges continued French military presence

3:12 pm on 27 May 2008

A French Polynesian member of the French assembly says Paris has heard his message that cutting French troops in Tahiti would have a terrible impact on the territory's economy.

Bruno Sandras, who is a member of the French Polynesia's opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party, has been lobbying the French government against plans to reduce troop numbers.

He has told French radio that France has become the third most important nuclear power in part because of the atomic weapons tests carried out in French Polynesia.

"I'm not using this as pretext as a way to apply pressure on the state. I'm simply saying that a brutal decision like the closure of the military base could have a terrible consequence for the French Polynesian economy as a whole."

The translated words of Bruno Sandras