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Autonomy, Corsica Ferries… Corsican files on the executive’s table

The meeting was not rumored. It was not on any agenda. Emmanuel Macron received at the Elysee Palace in mid-September, the president of the executive council of Corsica, the autonomist Gilles Simeoni. This meeting, which was held face to face, took place after the territorial elections in June, marked by a clear victory for the nationalists, whose three political groups now hold 46 seats out of 63 in the Corsican Assembly. Mr Simeoni’s party, Fa populu inseme, which this time decided to compete alone, has an absolute majority with 32 seats.

This personal and indisputable success of Mr. Simeoni allowed him to free himself from his cumbersome pro-independence ally Corsica libera, who has almost disappeared from the Chamber and whose main leader, Jean-Guy Talamoni, who chaired the Corsican Assembly under the previous term of office, has withdrawn from political life. The Head of State had to take this clarification of the island’s political landscape into consideration. It was at his request that the interview took place, making it possible to sweep up several pending files a few weeks before the Prime Minister’s next trip to the island.

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First and foremost, and for the President of the Executive Council this is a major issue: the evolution of the institutional status of Corsica with a view to “Full autonomy and full exercise”. Until now, the file has been blocked, especially since the constitutional bill which provided for recognizing the uniqueness of Corsica in the Constitution has remained in limbo. Mr. Simeoni, attacked by the hard wing of the nationalist movement, which accuses him of “Deference, even sometimes in connivance with power”, pleads for a statutory change based on the examples of the Balearic Islands or the Azores. Without making any commitment, the President of the Republic gave his agreement for the competent State services to provide him with insight.

“Damage compensation”

Second big file: the deployment of the transformation and investment plan for Corsica (PTIC), a budget of 500 million euros over five years which takes over from the previous exceptional investment program (PEI). For the president of the executive council, both in terms of management and implementation, all the programs integrated into the plan should be co-decided between the State and the Corsican Community. This is not the choice made by the former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who considered that this codecision system had resulted in a sprinkling of funds from the EIP, when they had not been used to replenish the budget lines. usual practices of the Collectivity.

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