France to compensate Algeria for nuclear blasts

France says it will compensate victims of its nuclear tests carried out in Africa and Polynesia between 1960 and 1996.
Xinhua says French Defense Minister Herve Morin Tuesday submitted a plan under which the French government would compensate the victims of a total of 210 nuclear tests carried out by France in Algeria between 1960 and 1966, then in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1996.
An initial sum of €10 million has been set aside for military staff as well as local civilians who fell ill from radiation exposure, said Morin.
Morin admitted there was a link between the tests and the diseases afflicting the people at the sites. Hundred soldiers and civilians exposed to radiation have suffered from health consequences including cancer.
The French government would set up a fair and strict compensation mechanism, with an independent commission composed of doctors and judges to handle all the applications, said Morin.
“It’s time for France to be true to its conscious,” Morin told Le Figaro newspaper.

In February, 12 veterans suffering from deadly diseases took their claims for compensation to a Paris court, asking the government to recognise the link with the tests. The case is still under trial.