5 Jan 2010

French official says demonstration against nuclear law noted

2:33 pm on 5 January 2010

The French high commissioner in French Polynesia, Adolphe Colrat, says he has taken note of last month's demonstration against the new law offering compensation to some of the victims of France's nuclear weapons tests.

The demonstrators say the law is inadequate.

Speaking as a guest of RFO television in Tahiti, Mr Colrat said the law touches on a sensitive issue, as the nuclear test centre was the territory's heart for 30 years.

Mr Colrat says while he has taken aboard the demonstrators' message, much work is left to explain the law.

"The tests may have caused some disquiet, there may have been a certain number of victims. But let's remember today that the law for the first time recognises this. It's a recognition that is considerable and that shouldn't be forgotten. There is a certain number of things to be clarified, most notably in the decree of its application."

Adolphe Colrat says he doesn't know when the French defence minister, Herve Morin, will make the visit which he cancelled last month just three days before he was due in Tahiti.

Mr Morin was to be the first French defence minister in 20 years to visit the nuclear weapons test site in Moruroa.