• Share
  • Read Later
French President Jacques Chirac is prepared to go through with controversial nuclear tests in the South Pacific at any moment despite waves of protest around the world today, TIME's Bruce Crumley reports. This afternoon, French navy commandos stormed two Greenpeace ships and arrested two divers near the South Pacific atoll targeted for tests. In Paris, more than 300 people were arrested as thousands demonstrated. In Switzerland, protesters occupied two diplomatic offices, and on Saturday, about 100 legislators from Japan, Europe, Australia and New Zealand plan to join up to 15,000 activists in French Polynesia. But Crumley says the protests are unlikely to budge Chirac, who claims the tests are needed to develop a computer simulation that will make further tests unnecessary. "Chirac will go through with the tests no matter how much pressure he gets," Crumley says. "He's in too deep. He'll have a tough time diplomatically for awhile, and some of the economic sanctions could hurt, but his [Conservative] party has such a crushing majority in both houses of Parliament that he will clearly survive politically."