25 Mar 2009

French nuclear test compensation too little, too late, says veterans group

9:16 pm on 25 March 2009

A ten-million euro compensation package for the victims of nuclear test is being described as "peanuts".

The French Defence minister Hervé Morin has outlined the main points of a proposed Bill to compensate, for the first time, victims of nuclear testing conducted by France both in Algeria and later in French Polynesia, between 1966 and 1996.

Roland Oldham, the president of the French Polynesian nuclear test veterans' group, Mururoa o Tatou, says the deal is a bad joke.

"They announce a few million like that, just like we should be very happy, we should drop on our knees and say thank you to the French Government. But that's not the case at all, because it's peanuts , it really is peanuts when you compare how the French government spends a lot of money on defence."

Mr Oldham says the French plan is not good for the victims.

He says there needs to be a health structure to help them, and the environmental impact should not be ignored.