On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron made a speech on the future of Corsica at the end of his trip to the island, refusing the nationalists' proposal of local tax collection and the demand of an official status for the Corsican language.
"I doubt that Macron’s speech [will] result in the immediate capitulation of Corsicans. I don’t believe it for a second. There will be new protests, peaceful, democratic, but determined," Pierre-Antoine Tomasi said.
In his speech, Macron agreed that Corsica should be mentioned in the French Constitution, something which would help recognize its "identity." The French president also pledged to start fighting crime, and improving health care and cell phone coverage in the region. However, he rejected the nationalists' demand to institute a special "resident status" so that the property on the island could be sold only to its inhabitants.
"One of the consequences [of Paris' current policy] could be seeing the aspiration of sovereignty increase, like it was in Barcelona. So clearly if France keeps in mind what’s going on in Catalonia now, it has to have a clear vision of what happened through these past 10 years and why," Tomasi said.
Corsica has been pushing for greater autonomy from France for decades. The latest protests were held in the capital of Ajaccio on Saturday, when thousands rallied ahead of Macron's visit.
Last December, the nationalists' position was solidified at the level of regional legislature by a strong performance at the local elections, when lawmakers from the Pe a Corsica party gained 41 seats in the 63-seat of the Corsican Assembly.