Reinforced by ballot boxes and in front of a new superregion, Corsican nationalists now face an unlikely challenge: convincing powerful French central state, always jealous of its prerogatives and traditionally allergic to decentralization, to That accepts for Corsica a statute of autonomy comparable to that of Spanish Autonomous Communities. The nationalist list Pè with Corsica, formed by Autonomist and Independentists, confirmed in second round of regional elections-according to a survey of Ipsos would obtain 56.9% of votes-, celebrated this Sunday, its wide victory in first round of Week before. The only blur for this resounding success for nationalism, which is consolidated as hegemonic current on Mediterranean island, is very high abstention, a sign of wide indifference that elections aroused.Learn More
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The tandem formed by lawyer Autonomista Gilles Simeoni, already president of executive Corsican since 2015, and independentist Jean-Guy Talamoni, since same date president of Assembly of Corsica, will assume greater responsibilities from now on. On 1 January new regional entity enters into force, a "unique collectivity" product of merger of three previous entities: two departments that set up Corsica, and collectivity or region itself. Corsica, with 320,000 inhabitants, is one of regions with highest rate of poverty and violence in metropolitan France.
With challenge of managing administratively new regional entity, it joins for nationalist rulers negotiation of Statute of Autonomy, central point of program of Government of Simeoni, senior partner of coalition, and of Talamoni, junior partner. The plan envisages a three-year term to reach a statute of autonomy — upcoming elections are scheduled in 2020 — and a total of ten to apply it.
The program excludes independence option, which today has a minority support in Corsica. To question, during an interview in October in his office in Ajaccio, capital of Corsica, on wher his model of autonomy was that of autonomous Catalonia, Simeoni replied: "It would be completely satisfactory for us."
Among or demands of Corsican nationalists, is recognition of coofficiality of language, adoption of a statute of residents forcing to live on island to acquire property, and approach or release of convicted prisoners For terrorism. Neir of se claims has found echo eir in previous French presidents or in Emmanuel Macron, in office since May.
The electoral result in Corsica confirms exceptionality of island, only region of France ruled by nationalists and even by a secessionist party. The moderate Simeoni assures that this is not time to accelerate demands, and expresses his will to govern for all Corsican, nationalist and non-nationalist. The Talamoni himself, leader of independence and connected with Catalan independence movement, admits that moment of independence has not arrived and subscribes program Autonomista for next decade.
The willingness to work within system, without seeking rupture, can be one of keys to nationalist success at polls. Anor key is end of clandestine way, abandonment of weapons three years ago by National Liberation Front Corso (FLNC), which ended four decades of violence and terrorism.
The fatigue with status quo translates in Corsica in rejection of traditional parties. The great losers of se last elections are National Front and left, which brings toger Communists and insubmissives akin to Jean-Luc Mélenchon. As noted by journalist Corso Antoine Albertini in Le Monde, nationalists can end without opposition. This, and specter of an independentist drift that victors deny, are, according to weakened non-nationalist parties, dangers of new legislature.