FRENCH CANDIDATE PROMISES TO RESOLVE NUCLEAR TEST ISSUE

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Socialist Hollande stands by efforts to return atolls

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 12, 2012) – The Socialist candidate for the French presidency, Francois Hollande, has promised French Polynesians that he would go to the bottom of the issue of the aftermath of the nuclear weapons tests.

In a video message to launch the formal campaign, he says what has been done in the past five years is not worthy, and not up to the expectations in terms of the impact the tests had.

Mr. Hollande has promised greater transparency, and also endorses the initiative by French Polynesia’s member of the French Senate, Richard Tuheiava, for Paris to return the two test atolls.

Moruroa and Fangataufa were ceded to France at no cost in 1964 to allow its military to begin atmospheric and then underground nuclear tests.

Although France recognized two years ago that its tests were not clean, the compensation law drawn up since has been widely criticized as inadequate.

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