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France – The government “ready to go as far as autonomy” for Corsica

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The French Minister of the Interior is going to Corsica for two days on Wednesday, after two weeks of tension following the attack on Yvan Colonna.

Corsican flags, in the streets of Bastia, March 13, 2022.

AFP

“We are ready to go as far as autonomy” for Corsica, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the regional daily “Corse-Matin” on Tuesday evening, on the eve of a two-day visit to Corsica. Corsica, the Mediterranean island after two weeks. of tension.

Rallies and violence have multiplied since the attack on March 2 against the independence activist Yvan Colonna, sentenced to life in prison for the assassination in 1998 of the Corsican prefect Claude Erignac. The independence activist is in a coma.

But the prerequisite for a discussion between the Corsican elected officials and the government around the future of Corsica is a return to calm, insisted the minister, according to an extract from an interview with the newspaper published on its website. this. “There cannot be sincere dialogue in a democracy under the pressure of agricultural bombs and the presence, or omnipresence, of the forces of order”.

“We have to discuss it”

“We are ready to go as far as autonomy. Afterwards, the question is to know what this autonomy is. We have to discuss it, ”said the Minister of the Interior in an interview which will be published in full on Wednesday in the paper version of the Corsican newspaper. This institutional question “will logically be engaged during the second term” of President Macron, if he were to be re-elected during the presidential election (April 10 and 24), he specified.

In this interview, Gérald Darmanin also recognizes a part of the State’s “responsibility” in the attack on Yvan Colonna at the central house in Arles (south): “There is a State responsibility as protector of the people who are under his responsibility, in this case prisoners”, he said, pledging to “tell the truth about what happened”.

Yvan Colonna, attacked by a fellow prisoner imprisoned for terrorism, was still Tuesday in a “very serious” state, according to his lawyer Patrice Spinosi. His advice announced Monday their decision to request a suspension of sentence for the Corsican shepherd, still between life and death.

“Riot”

Last weekend, French Prime Minister Jean Castex tried to calm the situation by announcing the lifting of the status of “particularly reported detainee” (DPS) of Pierre Alessandri and Alain Ferrandi, two other members of the “Commando Erignac” detained in France. This statute prevented them from approaching a Corsican prison.

But Sunday, a rally in Bastia in support of Yvan Colonna turned into a “riot”, described the prosecutor of this city in northern Corsica, with a final count of 67 injured, including 44 members of the forces of the order. In addition, the rioters attacked public buildings, symbols in their eyes of the “French State”. It was the largest demonstration since the Yvan Colonna attack, bringing together 7,000 people according to the authorities and 12,000 according to the organizers.

The Corsican nationalist leaders call for the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the conditions of the aggression of Yvan Colonna, and the opening of a “genuine dialogue” between the State and Corsica to find ” a “global political” solution, in the words of Gilles Simeoni, autonomous president of the executive council of Corsica and former lawyer for Yvan Colonna, who claims autonomy status.

(AFP)

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