Nuclear legacy, climate key in Macron’s French Polynesia visit

PARIS (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron embarked on his first official trip to France’s overseas territory of French Polynesia today to discuss its strategic role, the legacy of nuclear tests and the existential risk of rising seas due to global warming.

The trip was a chance for Macron to highlight the extent of France’s global footprint through its overseas territories, which extend from the Pacific to the Caribbean to Latin America and the Indian Ocean.

Residents in the south Pacific islands were hoping for Macron to confirm compensation for radiation victims following decades of nuclear testing as France pursued its atomic sovereignty.

The tests remain a source of deep resentment in French Polynesia, where they are seen as evidence of racist colonial attitudes that disregarded the lives of islanders.

French President Emmanuel Macron. PHOTO: AFP