In Corsica, relations are strained between Simeoni and the prefect

How far can the arm wrestling between the Community of Corsica and the government go? Two timid rallies organized on Saturday, December 4, in front of the prefectures of Ajaccio and Bastia reflect this rise in pressure from Femu a Corsica (“Let’s make Corsica”), the party of Gilles Simeoni. This impromptu return to the streets, which brought together a total of about 500 people, sounds like a failure, away from the river processions to which the nationalist family is accustomed.

It comes even as crucial negotiations are pending between Paris and Corsica. In the middle of the week, Mr. Simeoni, the president of the executive council of Corsica, met in Paris Jacqueline Gourault, the minister of territorial cohesion and relations with local authorities, to try to get out of the rut. Expected on the island in mid-November, the arrival of the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, remains to be re-entered on the calendar.

Two pebbles in Mr. Simeoni’s sandal grip the relationship between the island and the central government. On the one hand, the imprisonment of three members of the commando who murdered Prefect Erignac in 1998, sentenced to life imprisonment in Borgo (Haute-Corse) prison, was sentenced to life in prison. Imprisoned for twenty-two years, Pierre Alessandri and Alain Ferrandi can be released on parole, as can Yvan Colonna, who spent 18 years behind bars. On October 22, 2021, a solemn resolution of the Executive Council and the Assembly of Corsica called for their immediate reconciliation, “In accordance with what French and European law provides”, and the lifting of their particularly marked prisoner status which, according to the prison administration, is blocking their transfer to the island.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Autonomy, Corsica Ferries… Corsican files on the executive table

86 million euros due to Corsica Ferries

The other the spy is clear, it is the refusal, on November 18, by President Simeoni to enter in the supplementary budget the payment of the fine of 86 million euros due to the company Corsica Ferries because of the illegality of the additional service for the benefit of the late SNCM from 2007 to 2013. Daily interest of 14,000 euros drives up the bill. “We cannot assume a debt that is not ours, it is up to the State to respond”, defended Mr. Simeoni, believing that this choice to unduly help SNCM was the application of a government instruction.

One of the hypotheses put forward to break the deadlock would be the payment of half of the sum by increasing the allocation for territorial continuity or other channels but also a staggered payment. “I cannot reveal the substance of the discussions in progress, but the account is not there, the proposals seem insufficient to me”, told the World M. Simeoni. According to the president of the Corsican executive, “We need a political solution with all the forces, with modalities that remain to be defined and during a public discussion, not clandestine, with the aim of full autonomy and full exercise”.

You have 45.52% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.