In brief

Macron insists on Corsica “autonomy” offer with no law-making powers, no co-official status for language

Proposal lies far below demands of Corsican government

Students display banner blaming France for having a colonizing character, during the "Dead island" protest
Students display banner blaming France for having a colonizing character, during the "Dead island" protest Author: Partitu di a Nazione Corsa
Emmanuel Macron and the Corsican government have once again staged their differences on the issue of autonomy for Corsica during the visit paid by the French president to the island this week. Macron reiterated his offer of “autonomy” without law-making powers or co-official status for the Corsican language. The proposal lies far below the wishes of the Corsican government.

Macron has advocated “autonomy” for Corsica “within the Republic", which the president says can be found by mentioning Corsica in article 72 of the Constitution. This article so far only mentions details relating to non-European territories of France.

But according to the French president, such mention would only open the door to the ability of the Corsican authorities to “tailor [French state] rules within the framework of their powers.” That lags far behind the aspirations of the Corsican government, which include co-official status for the Corsican language —that was again rejected yesterday by Macron— and the creation of a resident status that will protect Corsica from property speculation. More generally, the Corsican parties seek to obtain legislative autonomy for the island, with fiscal powers granted. That was the manifesto under which an alliance of pro-autonomy and pro-independence parties won the December 2017 Corsican election with an absolute majority. The demand was rejected by Macron only two months later.

Dead island”

Parties, unions, and associations have called on the Corsican population to observe a series of protest actions, under the name of “Dead island” (“Isula morta”), to show dissatisfaction with the president’s stance.

Macron had summoned Corsican mayors to a meeting, 4 April, in the center of the island, to which only 160 of a total 360 have attended. President of the Corsican government Gilles Simeoni and President of the Assembly Jean-Guy Talamoni have invited Macron to an alternative meeting that the French leader has refused.