24 Jul 2017

New Tahiti Assembly member not surprised by compo stalling

7:17 am on 24 July 2017

There has been further reaction in French Polynesia to the stalling of the compensation process for victims of France's nuclear weapons tests.

Last week six of nine members of the French committee assessing compensation claims quit, rendering the body inoperational as it was about to reconsider the hundreds of cases which had been thrown out.

The possible resignation of experts was foreshdowed earlier this year after the loosening of the compensation law, as some warned that the experts would no longer be needed because everybody in the wider testing zone was now entitled to claim compensation for their illness.

French National Assembly member, Moetai Brotherson

French National Assembly member, Moetai Brotherson Photo: AFP

A spokesman for the French Polynesian government expressed surprise at the announcement, describing it as brutal.

However, a new local member of the French National Assembly Moetai Brotherson told Radio1 in Tahiti he was not surprised at the decision.

The head of the Moruroa e tatou test veterans organisation Roland Oldham said he would seek talks with the local government.

He pointed to the repeated delays in winning compensation.

France ended its weapons testing in the Pacific in 1996 but refused to recognise any link to radiation-induced illnesses until a law was passed in 2010.