Toxic Trade News / 15 February 2006
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Chirac orders Clemenceau back to France
by Financial Express (India)
15 February 2006 (Paris) – President Jacques Chirac ordered a decommissioned aircraft carrier to return to France Wednesday, after a top administrative court suspended its transfer to India.

Chirac's decision was a victory for environmentalists who had assailed the decision to send the asbestos-carrying Clemenceau to India, where it was to be broken up.

"This is a victory for international law, a victory for Indian workers, and a victory for workers all across Asia," Greenpeace" France director Pascal Husting told The Associated Press.

"I congratulate the president on this decision."

The fate of the decommissioned Clemenceau, once a symbol of French naval prowess, has embarrassed the government before Chirac leaves Thursday on a five-day trip to Thailand and India.

Chirac decided that the ship should return to France "until a definitive solution is found for dismantling," a statement from his office said. He also ordered further tests to determine exactly how much asbestos is aboard.

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