‘We will use VIOLENCE!’ Macron faces national CRISIS as separatist movements JOIN FORCES

Sunday, February 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

AROUND 25,000 furious Corsican nationalists took to the streets yesterday ahead of Emmanuel Macron’s controversial trip to the island – with protesters branding France “a killer state”.

Sun, Feb 4, 2018

There are rising fears that France will suffer an onsalught of violence on the streets, as nationalists in Corsica become increasingly fed up with the French establishment.

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Corsica on Tuesday, amid growing fears that the trip will be overshadowed by mass disruptive protests.

25,000 people took to the streets yesterday in the capital Ajaccio in a show of strength aimed at forcing the French president to grant the Mediterranean island greater autonomy.

Protesters in the south-east of the country marched with Basque flags while others called for “the emancipation of Savoy” – the region that passed from Italian to French rule.

The Corsican separatists, who previously waged a violent campaign against the French state, laid down their weapons in 2014 and took to political campaigning.

They havea since won an absolute majority in the Corsican Assembly, which has raised expectations that Paris would declare Corsican an official language alongside French, devolve control of local budgets to the nationalist-led regional government, return jailed militants to Corsica and introduce regulations to prevent outsiders from buying holiday homes on the island.

However, Gilles Simeoni, a leader of the nationalist-separatist alliance Pè a Corsica (For Corsica), warned of a return to violence if Paris persists in ignoring nationalist aspirations.

He said: “Some people are now telling me: ‘If winning elections does not even get us to hold talks on what we gave you a mandate for, it means democracy is a dead end.

“To go from there to saying ‘bombs are more effective than votes’ is something I don’t agree with, but which at some point could be validated by a number of people.”

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