Corsica

Muslim prayer room vandalised after attack on firefighters in Corsica

France — Link

After youths on a housing estate in the French Mediterranean island ambushed firefighters and police, a protest gathering degenerated into violence.

Authorities in France seize Picasso painting banned from leaving Spain

France — Link

The painting 'Head of a Young Woman', worth €25m and owned by a banker, was seized from a boat docked at Corsica.

Eavesdropped chats of Mali president deal major diplomatic blow to François Hollande

International — Investigation

The conversations of two African heads of state have been eavesdropped by French police during a major investigation into alleged corruption by a French businessman. The transcripts of the phone-tapped conversations involving Mali's president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, known as IBK, and Gabon's Ali Bongo reveal a vast system of gifts and favours apparently provided by controversial Corsican businessman Michel Tomi, who has been dubbed the “godfather to the godfathers”. As far as the judges investigating the case are concerned, the phone taps reveal corruption. And for French president François Hollande the content of the transcripts involving IBK will come as a devastating and embarrassing diplomatic blow. For much of Hollande's African policy has been based on the symbolic success of his old socialist friend IBK, who was voted in as president of Mali just months after Paris sent in troops to end an Islamic insurgency there. IBK's election was supposed to usher in a fresh start for Mali and a new era of French diplomacy in Africa. That narrative now looks to be in ruins. Fabrice Arfi, Ellen Salvi, Lénaïg Bredoux and Thomas Cantaloube report.

French ferry company files for bankruptcy

France — Link

SNCM, which links Corsica with mainland, has told staff it will put company in receivership, a move which could help it escape EU aid ruling.

French government calls for football league action over Bastia violence

France — Link

Disciplinary action is urged after the Corsican supporters injured 44 police with rocks and explosives at a weekend match against Marseille.

Company that runs France to Corsica ferry needs court protection says minister

France — Link

Transport minister Frederic Cuvillier says ferry operator SNCM needs help to shield it from EU order to repay €440 million in state aid.

Tourists banned from Corsica property ownership

France — Link

Corsica’s Executive Council, the regional governmental body, has voted in favour of restricting property ownership to permanent residents.

France, a down-in-the-dumps nation

France — Link

French have become afraid of everything from the world itself to globalization, capitalism and global warming, says philosopher Pascal Bruckner.

The disturbing criminal backdrop to Hollande's secret liaison

France — Investigation

Behind the acute embarrassment caused for President François Hollande by recent revelations of his relationship with the actress Julie Gayet lies a disturbing backdrop. The pair met regularly in an apartment lent to them by Gayet’s friend and fellow actress Emmanuelle Hauck, who had close links with a number of individuals connected to organised crime. Mediapart has gained access to judicial documents that further underline the very serious risks run by Hollande, wittingly or unwittingly, during his secret liaison, and which former presidential security officers describe as a major failure by his protection services.         

President Hollande's secret visits to meet actress; flat linked to 'organised crime'

France

What may have at first seemed like a simple affair of the heart on the part of President François Hollande looks set to take on a political dimension. Mediapart can reveal that the flat where Hollande is reported to meet actress Julie Gayet has connections with a convicted criminal suspected of links to Corsican organised crime. This immediately raises questions of what France's 'top cop', interior minister Manuel Valls, knew about the affair. Was he unaware of the flat's links to a criminal? Or did an amorous president fall into a political trap?

Overdue 'merci' extended to Morocco WWII vets

International — Link

Moroccan veterans have finally been honored 70 years after they played a critical role in the liberation of the French island of Corsica.

Corsican political leader moves to limit non-resident property purchases

France — Link

Senior politician on the French Mediterranean island wants to impose strict limits on property purchases and prohibited zones for non-residents.

Tour de France riders say ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to drug accusations

France — Link

On the eve of race, cyclists feel 'degraded' after newspaper quoted Lance Armstrong saying it was impossible to win the Tour without doping.

Corsica national parklands chief shot dead

France — Link

Jean-Luc Chiappini, 65, was ambushed and killed by a gunman riding pillion on a high-powered motorbike as he left Ajaccio airport by car.

Corsica holiday home bombings 'a kind of racism', says French interior minister

France — Link

Manuel Valls says bombings of holiday homes on Corsica on Friday was 'a kind of racism', implicitly implicating nationalists over the attacks.