14 Jan 2010

French defence minister ready to accept more Tahiti nuke compensation claims

6:49 pm on 14 January 2010

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, says the French defence minister, Herve Morin, is in favour of extending the list of illnesses eligible for compensation if they are shown to be the result of France's nuclear weapons tests.

Mr Tong Sang has issued a statement after talks in Paris, adding that any such expansion of the list needs broader support.

This comes after last month's adoption of the French law accepting a causal link between the weapons tests and ill-health.

The adoption was accompanied by a demonstration in Tahiti where the law was criticised as being insufficient.

Mr Tong Sang has restated that French Polynesia wants France to increase the zone where exposure to the weapons tests allows for compensation claims to be lodged.

Mr Morin, who cancelled his planned Tahiti trip last month, may now visit by April.