This AFP photo shows demonstrators against a French nuclear bomb test on Mururoa island in French Polynesia, in september 1995.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
President of French Polynesia admits lies about nuclear testing
President Fritch of French Polynesia has acknowledged in the parliament in Tahiti that the population has been lied to for 30 years about the dangers of the nuclear tests that were held there. Between 1960 and 1996, France held 193 tests with atomic bombs in the overseas territory in the South Pacific.
The images of the mushroom cloud that rose above the Mururoa atoll were increasingly leading to international protests. In 2010, the French government released hundreds of millions of euros to compensate the residents of French Polynesia. The money was also destined for Algeria, where nuclear tests were also held.
“I can not be surprised that I have been called a liar for thirty years, we lied to the people that the nuclear tests were clean. We lied”, was the statement by President Edouard Fritch. Unknown is what brought Fritch to this confession.
On request, the United States news agency AP received no response from the French government to the statements by Fritch.
President Hollande visited French Polynesia two years ago. He acknowledged on that occasion that the nuclear tests had a harmful effect on human health and the environment. But he also praised the contribution that French Polynesia made to the fact that France became an international nuclear power.
Three years earlier, French newspapers reported on the basis of official documents released that the nuclear tests were much more harmful than the authorities had admitted.