FRENCH OFFICIAL: ‘KIND OF RACISM’ IN CORSICA BOMBS

by SARAH DILORENZO, ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  published on December 9, 2012


PARIS — France’s interior minister said Sunday that there was a “kind of racism” behind the bombings of dozens of vacation homes on the French island of Corsica but stopped short of saying nationalist groups were responsible.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Friday night attacks and officials have not overtly pointed the finger. But several signs indicate there might have been a political motive behind the bombings.

While Corsica was definitively taken over by the French in the 18th century, it has significant autonomy and maintains a distinct language and culture. Homegrown nationalists have long pushed for more autonomy and have specifically lashed out at the influx of “continentals” from mainland France who flock each summer to the Mediterranean island known for its mountain vistas and rugged beaches.

Officials have said that the 26 homes targeted were mostly second residences, which often belong to mainland French. A graffiti tag of a separatist group was left on one of the houses hit, although the Paris prosecutor’s office said it was too early consider that a claim of responsibility.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who is France’s top cop, also declined to say who was behind the attacks, but he pinpointed at least one motive.

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