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Industrial dispute prompts clashes in Corsica

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Industrial dispute prompts clashes in Corsica


Protesters in Corsica clashed with riot police again on Saturday – the latest chapter in an industrial dispute which has left the island cut off for several days. The clashes in Bastia followed a demonstration in support of striking workers from the state ferry company SNCM. Around thirty youths, some masked, threw stones at police, who responded by firing tear gas.

The dispute over plans to privatise SNCM has stoked tensions between nationalist Corsicans and French authorities. Thousands of tourists have been left stranded by the strike which has also hit Corsica’s airports. Earlier, French police ended a blockade of the port of Ajaccio, allowing some tourists to leave aboard ferries provided by another company. However authorities said all other ports remain blocked. Talks between the government and union on selling off the debt ridden ferry operator remain deadlocked.
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