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Tourists trapped by Corsican nationalist protest


Tourists on the French island of Corsica were unable to leave for several hours Saturday morning because of Corsican nationalist demonstrations.The demonstrations were part of long-running - sometimes violent - nationalist agitation.


About 200 nationalist protesters blocked access to Ajaccio airport and the seaport at Bastia, calling for prisoners who support their cause to be transferred from the mainland to the island. The blockade was lifted at the beginning of the afternoon.

About 3,000 passengers were due to leave Ajaccio but the only link to the airport was blocked by demonstrators, led by the group Sulidarita (Solidarity in the local language). The town was paralysed by a massive traffic jam.

Air France decided not to cancel flights, however.

Nationalist groups, some of which use bombings and assassination to further their cause, say they want the implementation of an agreement that “political prisoners” should be transferred to jails in Corsica.

“The prisoners’ families decided to blockade Ajaccio airport and the port at Bastia to show how difficult it is to get home,” Sulidarita official Dominique Tafani told the AFP news agency.