France undertakes to assume the consequences of the 193 nuclear tests in Polynesia

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At the end of two days of round table discussions dedicated to the consequences of the 193 nuclear tests in French Polynesia, the ministers of Health, the Armed Forces and the Overseas Territories increased their commitments on Friday in Paris, notably evoking compensation. Other announcements are expected during Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Papeete on July 25.

French nuclear tests in French Polynesia are taken seriously by the government. After the Head of State on Thursday, the Ministers of Health, the Armed Forces and the Overseas Territories committed themselves, Friday evening July 2 in Paris, to the truth and to justice on the consequences of the 193 nuclear tests.

“French Polynesia has greatly contributed to the construction of our deterrent force and it is necessary to assume all the consequences, human, societal, health, environmental and economic”, declared Geneviève Darrieussecq, Minister for Memory and Veterans Affairs , after two days of a round table.

In an annex of Matignon, the Polynesian delegation Reko Tika (word of truth) devoted the morning to health issues, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.

“According to data from the Social Security Fund (local social security), Polynesian women, between 40 and 50 years old, have the highest rate of thyroid cancer in the world,” Patrick Galenon told AFP, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of SPC. The thyroid being a very sensitive organ, ionizing rays have, according to Mr. Galenon, an important effect in utero and in the first years after birth.

He estimates that the CPS has spent 670 million euros for radiation-induced diseases since 1985, and wishes the reimbursement of these expenses by France. “It is a request which seems legitimate to us for the victims having been the object of compensation by the CIVEN (Compensation Committee for the victims of nuclear tests)”, replied Olivier Véran. The sums supported would, however, be minimal if they concerned only victims already compensated.

Medical support offered

Mr. Véran is committed to funding research on these cancers, but also to facilitate compensation for victims by simplifying administrative procedures.

The Minister of Health also offered medical support through internship positions in medicine.

On the other hand, he did not commit to the creation of a Cancer Institute in Tahiti. But, according to Patricia Grand, the honorary president of the League against cancer in Polynesia, the project is on track. The ministers suggested that the most important announcements would await President Emmanuel Macron’s visit, scheduled for Papeete on July 25.

On environmental issues, the Minister of Overseas Territories, Sébastien Lecornu, wished “definitively to turn the page on these polluted lands” with regard to the peripheral atolls of the Pacific Experiments Center, such as that of Hao, in the archipelago of Tuamotu.

With AFP

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