French bodies defend war veterans in former colonies
Paris, France, 11/05 - Three French associations have lodged petitions before the French Council of State to press forthe harmonisation of pensions paid to war veterans at home and their counterparts in former colonies, PANA learnt here Thursday.
The association of Moroccan Workers Association in France (ATMF), the Collective of Industrial Accident Victims, Disabled and Retired Persons for Equal Rights (CATRED), and the Group for Information and Support to Immigrants (GISTI) filed the suit.
The associations objected to the new regulatory statutes, the 2002 rectified budget, a decree and a ministerial order dated 3 November instituting the new criteria for the payment of pensionsto war veterans who fought for France during the two World Wars.
According the new procedure, those entitled to pensions or their chosen claimants living in France during the settlement of their dues would receive pensions equal to what is paid to Frenchwar veterans.
For war veterans overseas, French authorities applied the so-called purchasing power parity criteria, which is calculatedon the basis of the current cost of living in the former French colonies.
The plaintiffs called for the nullification of the provisions, which they described as unfair and unequal.
In 2001, the French Council of State had condemned the Frenchgovernment`s decision to crystallise the pensions of war veterans from former French colonies and termed it as discriminatory and contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights.
While a French war veteran receives an annual retirement pension of 410 Euro, his counterpart from Central African Republic is paid about 170 Euro, a Malian 80 Euro, an Algerian 57 Euro and a Cambodian 16 Euro.
On the other hand, French war veterans are entitled to a disability pension of about 690 Euro a month, while their Senegalese comrades in arms get about 230 Euro. Disabled Cameroonian war veterans get 104 Euro, while for Moroccans andTunisians receive 61 Euro.