28 Nov 2014

Tahiti assembly debates US$930m nuclear claim

1:44 pm on 28 November 2014

The French Polynesia assembly is debating a resolution which is to ask France for 930 million US dollars in compensation for environmental damage caused by its nuclear weapons tests.

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia

The offices of the Tahoeraa Huiraatira party in French Polynesia Photo: RNZI / Walter Zweifel

The resolution by the ruling anti-independence Tahoeraa Huiraatira party was drafted without the knowledge or approval of the President, Edouard Fritch, who is also a senior Tahoeraa member.

The proposed resolution also demands an additional 132 million US dollars for the continued occupation of Fangataufa and Mururoa atolls, which France excised for its tests, but has not returned yet.

The assembly president, Marcel Tuihani, says the request is not blackmail, dismissing suggestions the demanded sum is excessive.

The pro-indepedence opposition leader, Oscar Temaru, says what France has done is a crime against humanity adding that it has to be shown that the people of French Polynesia are human and not animals or guinea pigs.

However, Mr Temaru says the resolution should be presented to the United Nations and state that the nuclear fall-out affected the entire territory.