Corsican nationalists aim for greater autonomy in meeting with French prime minister

Corsican nationalists aim for greater autonomy in meeting with French prime minister

French PM Edouard Philippe will meet Corsica’s nationalist today to discuss potential reforms to the Mediterranean island’s relationship with the

Corsica-libera

Photo: AFP/ Pascal Pochard-Casabianca

French PM Edouard Philippe will meet Corsica’s nationalist today to discuss potential reforms to the Mediterranean island’s relationship with the mainland.

Following victory in December’s territorial elections, the nationalists have a clear mandate to push for greater autonomy. Despite having been ruled by Paris for over 250 years, inhabitants of the territory retain a distinct cultural identity, which is closer to Italy than their counterparts on the mainland. While 40 years of separatist violence­, which ended in 2014, strained relations with Paris, most Corsicans want to remain French but increase the constitutional scope of their semi-autonomy.

To this end the nationalists want the power to determine who can buy property in Corsica, Corsican to be made an official language of the island territory, as well as amnesty for “political” prisoners.

Unlike his Spanish counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron is open to limited discussions on increased regional autonomy because the still economically-dependent territory is not seeking full independence.

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