The President of the Republic arrived Saturday afternoon in Papeete (Sunday morning in Paris), on the island of Tahiti, for a four-day trip to French Polynesia, where he planned to start his visit with a hospital and to visit four islands.
Emmanuel Macron was welcomed by two Orero, Tekava Dauphin and Tuariki Teai, artists specializing in declamatory art in Tahitian.
The teenagers welcomed him by stressing that the Polynesian people “
awaited his words
” and “
believed in hope
To the president who congratulated him and thanked him, Tuariki Teai replied "
" immersing Emmanuel Macron in a welcoming Polynesia where everyone is on familiar terms.
The president, whose first trip to this archipelago of the South Pacific, had to postpone a visit scheduled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
By meeting during his stay with the nursing teams of the hospital, he therefore wants to "
reaffirm national solidarity during the crisis
", but also "to
insist on the need for vaccination
", assures the Elysee.
To read also: From Polynesia to New Caledonia, the armies face the "tyranny of distances"
If Polynesia is a community governed by a special statute dating from 2004 and which is competent in matters of health, it is on the State that crisis management and restrictive measures are based.
The French state has provided more than 224,000 doses of vaccine to Polynesians, but according to the Health Directorate, only 83,210 people had received at least one dose of vaccine as of July 23.
For Makau Foster, local figure of Tahitian dance interviewed Friday in Papeete, "
it is good that the President comes to visit us
", in particular "
to see that Tahitians are mixed on the vaccine
The other concern of the inhabitants of this archipelago as large as Europe is the poisoned legacy of nuclear tests carried out by the French state from 1966 to 1996. The Collective of July 17 is planning at least three demonstrations during the visit of the head of the 'State, including one around the airport, Saturday afternoon.
Polynesia has nevertheless lent its island for nuclear tests for the metropolis and I think it is normal that it comes to be interested in the post-nuclear phase.
Especially since here we still have a lot of people who have health concerns
, ”says Sylvana Deane, jewelry designer based in Papeete.
Read also: A round table on nuclear tests in Polynesia
According to our data from the Social Security Fund (local social security, Editor's note), Polynesian women, between 40 and 50 years old, have the highest rate of thyroid cancer in the world
", explains Patrick Galenon, former president of the SPC Board of Directors. 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.
This is a request that seems legitimate to us for victims who have been the subject of compensation by the CIVEN (Compensation Committee for Victims of Nuclear Tests)
", replied the Minister of Health Olivier Véran at the beginning of July during the holding of a round table on the consequences of nuclear tests in Paris.
The sums supported would, however, be minimal if they only concerned victims who had already been compensated.
Fund cancer research
On the other hand, Olivier Véran has undertaken to finance research on these cancers, and also to facilitate compensation for victims by simplifying administrative procedures. The minister also offered medical support through internship positions in medicine. The commitments mentioned during this round table should be specified by the Head of State during this visit.
During these four days, Emmanuel Macron will visit the island of Hiva Oa to support the Marquesas' candidacy for UNESCO World Heritage listing, and to the Manihi atoll in the Tuamotu where he will visit a hybrid power plant (photovoltaic / diesel) which facilitated the electrification of the atoll. He will have the opportunity to discuss the strategic importance of the archipelago, and also the climatic challenges it faces.