17 May 2006

French Polynesian council snubs French visit to Mururoa

4:33 pm on 17 May 2006

The French Polynesian government council on the consequences of nuclear testing has refused to accompany the French defense ministry's representative for nuclear safety on his trip to the former nuclear test sites.

The ministry representative, Marcel Jurien de la Graviere, is in the territory this week to discuss the consequences of French nuclear testing with local officials.

A government MP, who is also a member of the council, Tea Hirshon, says they didn't want to go on what she calls a tourist exploration to Mururoa atoll, which is still under French army control.

"He only invited us to Mururoa and not to the other islands. And we did not appreciate to be treated in such a way. Because we said that as members of the government we were follow him all the way through, and that to go and visit Mururoa for only 4 hours is of no interest to us."

Ms Hirshon says they want their own experts to go to the island.