Friday, February 20, 2015

French Polynesia

In that area of the political world which Orwell named Oceania, and which the CIA have now claimed as their favoured designation, it consists of one hundred and eighteen coral and volcanic islands and atolls, divided in five archipelagos - Archipel des Tuamotu, Iles Gambier, Iles Marquises, Iles Tubuai and the Society Islands; geographically they are in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between South America and Australia. The capital, Papeete, is located on Tahiti, which Gauguin made famous after moving there in 1891.

And yes, another French colony a long, long way from home, although this one has a fair degree of autonomy now, if you count having the French Constitution as its constitution, July 14th as its major national holiday, a French legal system, and absolutely no response in Paris to the vote in the United Nations General Assembly in June 2013, which placed French Polynesia on its list of territories that should be decolonised and asked France to ''facilitate rapid progress… towards a self-determination process".  Not that all the inhabitants of French Polynesia want independence, including the government, which takes the attitude of French Guiana: better to allow France its control, in exchange for vast amount of subsidy and a guarantee of defense, than to go it alone and take the risk of becoming just another tourist state.

FP was annexed in the 19th century and is now the main place in the world where France builds its atom bombs. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were halted the following January.

Marks For: Cultured black pearls, fish and coconut products

Marks Against: Radioactivity above and below ground (so don’t trust the cultured black pearls, the fish or the coconut products).

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