Last December, Corsican nationalists won a historic and unexpected victory in France’s regional elections. After decades of violence, they now have two years to prove themselves in power.
For generations of nationalist militants, December’s victory might be the most important milestone in their fight against France’s dominance over Corsica. They hope this first step will help the island follow Scotland and Catalonia democratically along the road to greater autonomy, and maybe one day full independence.
Two movements now share power: the autonomists, led by Gilles Simeoni, who hold a vast majority; and the separatists, a more radical group headed by Jean-Guy Talamoni, the new speaker of the local assembly. Ruling side by side, they won’t have long to prove their worth to Corsicans. A new vote will take place in only two years. Our reporters went to investigate.