French nuclear test victims' wait for compensation 'too long'

4:49 pm on 20 July 2017

A French Polynesian member of the French National Assembly says victims of French nuclear testing have already waited too long for compensation.

Maina Sage

Maina Sage Photo: Tahoeraa Huiraatira party

Maina Sage made the comment to Tahiti-infos after the compensation process stalled this week because of the mass resignation at CIVEN, the French body tasked with assessing the compensation claims.

Six of CIVEN's nine members quit over the apparent loosening of the compensation law, reportedly saying their expertise was no longer needed as everybody in the wider testing zone was now entitled to claim compensation for their illness.

CIVEN was advised by the French prime minister Edouard Philippe earlier this month to reconsider the large number of compensation bids which had been rejected before this year's amendment of the law.

It is not known if the French government will form a new committee to deal with the claims or try to replace the medical experts at CIVEN.

Observers say it will take at least two months for any decision.

Commenting on the law change, a test veterans representative remarked that an ageing French music star suffering cancer could now claim compensation because he spent a holiday in Tahiti during the testing period.

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