A Corsican and a French flags side by side, Source: Depositphotos

Macron warms up to Corsican autonomy idea

Macron warms up to Corsican autonomy idea

He stated this during a visit to the island’s capital Ajaccio

French President Emmanuel Macron has now openly expressed support for the idea of granting an autonomous status to the island of Corsica. The Mediterranean island, which is currently one of the 18 administrative regions of the country, could get more devolved powers in the future if the whole process can be democratically negotiated.

President Macron made the statement today during a visit to Corsica and while addressing the regional parliament in Ajaccio. Many of the MPs there are radical nationalists whose goal is to even achieve independence from France.

"We should have the courage to establish a form of autonomy for Corsica within France," Macron, as quoted by Times of Malta, told the island's assembly, which is currently controlled by nationalists.

An idea gaining shape

The island, which is the birthplace of probably the most famous Frenchman in history – Napoleon Bonaparte – has long struggled to gain its own sovereignty, even in the form of complete independence. Other demands have included the recognition of Corsican as an official language in the region.

At times, that struggle had taken on direct militant tones due to terror attacks by the National Liberation Front of Corsica (FLNC). The organization renounced violence as a means of achieving its goals in 2014 in favour of political means.

However, in April 2022, the island was rocked by protests and riots following the jail murder of Yvan Colonna, a Corsican nationalist who was serving a sentence for killing the island’s prefect in 1998.

It was also in the wake of these riots that Macron’s government officials first uttered the possibility of autonomy as a way to calm down the situation. Now, however, it was also the first time that a French President said it and stood in support of it publicly.

In the view of Macron, however, this has to be a process decided democratically and within the framework of the Constitution while keeping Corsica part of the French Republic.



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