France Boosts Pensions for Colonial Vets After Chirac Sees Movie

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France has ended a decades-old system of inequality by bringing lagging pensions of war veterans from former colonies into line with those of their French counterparts whose retirement payment is two-thirds higher.

Africans who fought in French wars welcomed the move, while lamenting that it was too late. The government's decision was not retroactive, as some had demanded.

President Jacques Chirac called it ''an act of justice and recognition for all those who came from the former French Empire to fight under our flag.''

The announcement Wednesday was made the same day as the French release of an award-winning film about North African Muslims who volunteered to fight to free France from the Nazis in World War II. The film, ''Indigenes,'' ends with an appeal about the pensions and shines a light on a little-known chapter of French history....

[Chirac says the movie influenced his decision.]

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