French President Visits Tahiti, To Revisit Nuke Compensation

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Hollande acknowledges contribution, health impacts of testing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 23, 2016) – The French president Francois Hollande has publicly acknowledged French Polynesia's contribution to France being a nuclear power.

In an address in Tahiti, Mr Hollande acknowledged that the weapons tests had an environmental impact with consequences for people's health.

He promised to revisit the way compensation claims are being treated because in the past few years, just about all applications have been thrown out.

Between 1966 and 1996, the French military tested 193 nuclear weapons in Moruroa and Fangataufa - two atolls excised from French Polynesia for the tests.

Until 2009 France insisted that its tests were clean and had caused no adverse effects.

During his visit to French Polynesia, the French president will also visit Raiatea.

[PIR editor’s note: On Feb. 22, 2016 RNZI reported that ‘The French president Francois Hollande has addressed the territorial assembly of Wallis and Futuna in what is only the second visit by a French president to the territory. ... Mr Hollande, who arrived via a stop-over in Tahiti, is also briefly visiting the small island of Futuna, which had never seen a French head of state. ... (Hollande is) Keeping a promise to visit all overseas territories during his term.’]

Mr Hollande will continue his trip tonight with one-day stops in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay.

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