I am not sure what it is about the 3 large islands off of the west coast of Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, but each one has its own fierce reputation. And Corsica’s might be the most fierce.
France is playing with fire by rejecting Corsican demands for autonomy, the island’s chief told Reuters, urging President Emmanuel Macron to be open to dialogue when he visits next week.
Before laying down arms in 2014, groups backing Corsican independence had carried out more than 10,000 attacks over four decades, blowing up police stations and holiday homes.
These clandestine groups were linked to at least 40 deaths, either in attacks on government officials or as a result of infighting among rival factions.
“In the 1980s and 1990s, when the nationalist movement only represented a minority and was violent, governments of the left and right held talks with men in balaclavas … but today, when we represent a majority and say there is no other path than democracy, the government does not want to budge on anything,” said regional council chief Gilles Simeoni.
“It’s unacceptable,” he said in an interview in Ajaccio, with the Corsican and European Union flags behind his desk, but not the French tricolour.