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Rocket attack heightens unrest in Corsica

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Rocket attack heightens unrest in Corsica


Against a backdrop of industrial unrest, nationalist sentiment in the French island of Corsica is soaring.

In Ajaccio the Prefecture – the headquarters of the Paris government – was damaged in a rocket attack, though no one was injured. It is not clear if the attack was linked to a dispute over privatisation plans for the state ferry company but it has raised concerns about separatist violence. Corsica’s Prefect – the highest state official on the island said it was “a symbolic act”. But he added that behind such symbols there are people and officials need to remember that. The rocket attack came after violent clashes between protestors and police in Bastia. Earlier, employees of the the state-owned SNCM company, hijacked a ferry. Workers fear for their jobs if the firm goes out of state-control. Talks between unions and the government on the privatisation proposals have broken down. Members of the CGT union walked out of the discussions saying compromise proposals by the French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin do not go far enough. He has suggested the state keeps 25 percent, employees 5 percent, and the private sector takes up the remaining 70 percent. The priority for the French government is to stop SNCM from operating at an annual loss of 30 million euros.
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