On Wednesday, ahead of a visit, France’s interior minister said that Paris is set to loosen its grip on Corsica in a process that is yet to be settled, with a Corsican newspaper citing autonomous status for the island.
The statements were publicized ahead of a two-day visit to Corsica, after protests last weekend that resurrected long-standing uncertainties between Corsica and Paris less than a month before a presidential election in the euro area’s second-largest economy.
Last week, demonstrations in a mainland French prison expressed outrage over an attack on a jailed nationalist and attacked public buildings and hurled projectiles at police in the northern Corsican city of Bastia on Sunday.
Further, it is predicted that other protestors are also expected to attack the regional capital of Ajaccio, where Darmanin is set to meet local officials.
Luc Bernardini of Core in Fronte, a nationalist group, told broadcaster RMC that they don’t hope much that how a minister can come and make the suggestions, although he is not aware whether he will still be a minister in less than a month.
He added that there is no point in coming to their place because their response will not suit him because they will not support his words.
In 2003, the then Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who would later become French President, was forced to hold a political meeting at a local airport as protesters blocked his arrival on the island.
Darmanin said that dealing with the island’s status would be a priority during a potential second term in office for President Emmanuel Macron.
Current opinion polls favour Macron as the most likely winner in next month’s presidential elections.