Why this story matters:
The Corsican National struggle against the French government dates back to 1975, when a group of armed citizens began to demand more recognition and independence for the Corsican people. Attacks and assassination plots went on until 2014, when the movement officially renounced violence.
But France has shown little initiative towards reconciliation since then.
Many Corsican politicians, especially the recently elected Nationalists, hoped the visit would lead to dialogue and compromise, but most now believe that Macron's visit was an empty gesture with no real appetite for peace.
Details from the story:
- President Emmanuel Macron visited Corsica to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Préfet Erignac’s assassination, who was assasinated by gunshot on February 1998 in Ajaccio.
- His visit was seen as an opportunity to discuss many Corsican claims, such as the adoption of Corsican as an official language alongside French, and the transfer of political prisoners to local prisons (including men condemned for Préfet Erignac’s death).
- Macron rejected most demands, but agreed to amend the French constitutions so as to mention Corsica.
- He also declared that each prisoner’s case will be considered individually before a transfer to Corsica could be carried out.
- According to Nationalists, there are 11 people considered as Corsican ‘political prisoners’, a term refused by the French state, which uses ‘terrorists’.