French Polynesia is a French overseas territory. It consists of a number of smaller islands, atolls and archipelagos in the South Pacific. The most famous and populated island is Tahiti. The capital is Papete in Tahiti. The official languages are French and Tahitian. The islands cover an ocean area of 4,000,000 km2, and the land area is just over 4,000 km2 (the area is like the state of France and extends like the territory of the European Union). The population of French Polynesia is: 83% Polynesians, 12% Europeans, and 5% Asians (mostly Chinese), and the vast majority live in Tahiti. In total, about 276,000 people live.
Tahiti has been a French protectorate since 1842, and a French colony since 1880. The remaining islands became French colonies by 1881.
In February 2004, the status of French Polynesia was changed. The president of the local assembly and the government have been given more powers. The French state is responsible for foreign policy, the judiciary, internal security and monetary policy. French Polynesia is not part of the EU, but the inhabitants are French citizens, so they have the right to vote for the European Parliament. EU laws do not apply in French Polynesia. The official currency is the franc of the French Pacific colonies.
The economy of the territory is based on agriculture, fishing, tourism, exploitation of wood, cobalt and donations from the French metropolis. The most important crops are coconuts, vanilla, fruits and vegetables.
A significant export product is black Tahitian pearls.
In September 1995, France conducted an atomic test on Mururoa Atoll, provoking protests around the world. Atomic tests were suspended in January 1996.
French Polynesia consists of 128 islands and atolls, which are divided into 5 administrative units:
Tuamotu Archipelago (Archipel des Tuamotu) (78 atolls)
Australian Islands (Archipel des Australes) (7 islands)
Social Islands (Archipel de la Société) (14 islands)
Gambier Islands (Archipel des Gambier) (14 islands)
Marquis Islands (Archipel des Marquises) (15 islands)
During 30 years between 1966 and 1996, France also conducted 193 atmospheric and underground nuclear tests on Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls in French Polynesia.
Strong nuclear tests caused serious problems in the waters, there was a large amount of radiation, tremors were caused by various earthquakes both in the Pacific and around the world, the consequences were huge. Protests against testing have been held around the world for years, and the damage remains.