29 Apr 2009

Test veterans seek French Polynesain government support in compo drive

3:10 pm on 29 April 2009

The French Polynesian nuclear test veterans association says it wants local politicians to speak out against the new French plan to compensate victims of the nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

The bill, which had been drawn up by the defence minister, acknowledges that France's tests in the Pacific were not clean and provides for compensation if a link between the blasts and poor health can be shown.

But the veterans' group says the proposal amounts to asking French Polynesians to approve whatever France decides as the funds set aside are so small they will either compensate victims very badly or not at all.

The group has urged the local politicians to prepare a submission as the deadline to present it to the French assembly is in two days.

This week, a Tahiti court heard for the first time a compensation case brought by local test veterans.

Its ruling is due in late June.