French navy offers alliance to Greenpeace
FRANCE: November 3, 2000
PARIS - The French navy, which for 30 years has played cat-and-mouse
around the world with Greenpeace environmentalists, offered yesterday to
work with its traditional foe at the site of a possible pollution
„Even though they made detestable accusations against us...they are
welcome to come aboard our vessels to take air and water samples at the
(disaster) site,“ Navy spokesman Captain Olivier Lajous told reporters.
Lajous was answering questions about the sinking off the French coast on
Tuesday of the Italian tanker Ievoli Sun and about tests for pollution
from its toxic cargo.
Although offering cooperation for surface operations, Lajous said it was
up to the Transport Ministry to decide on exploring the wreck of the
Greenpeace and the French navy have been foes since the 1970s when the
environmentalist group first sent rubber boats into closed areas around
France‘s nuclear test site in the south Pacific to try to prevent
A French sabotage team, presumably carried by a navy submarine, sank the
Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand in 1985 to prevent it
from carrying out a protest campaign at France‘s Mururoa test site.
A Portugese photographer aboard was killed. French authorities, who
first denied involvement, later said they thought the boat was empty at
Greenpeace has clashed several times with the French navy in Channel
ports in their efforts to disrupt transport of nuclear waste between
Britain, France and Japan.
Greenpeace has several times accused the French navy commandos who board
its ships of brutality.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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