25 Nov 2010

French Polynesia wants nuclear compensation law amended

2:40 pm on 25 November 2010

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, has called on France to revisit the law offering compensation for some of the victims of the French nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific.

Mr Tong Sang has urged the new defence minister, Alain Juppe, to broaden the area from where complaints for radiation-related illnesses can be made.

Speaking after a meeting in Paris, Mr Tong Sang says it is incomprehensible that on even the same island one part is considered while another isn't.

He has told Tahitipresse that Polynesia has suffered psychologically from the weapons tests in its totality and not just in some parts of the territory.

Mr Tong Sang says demands by the pro-independence side to consider the tests' impact on the environment was not an issue raised with the defence minister.

He says he hopes Mr Juppe will visit Tahiti to discuss the compensation issue.

Last December, Mr Juppe's predecessor, Herve Morin, was due to visit Tahiti but deferred the trip three days before he was due and then failed to visit this year as promised.