Corsican bombers target holiday homes


Corsican bombers target holiday homesPA

A number of bombings by the National Liberation Front of Corsica (FLNC) has destroyed at least 30 holiday homes on the island in less than three months.

The Sunday Times reports that people renting luxury, beachside villas are most at risk, as separatists are keen to prevent the Corsica becoming dominated by wealthy tourists.

Last week, a gang of armed men forced a retired Parisian banker, Alain Lefebvre, and his six guests out of his seaside villa near Bonifacio in broad daylight, before blowing up the property before their eyes.

They were released, unharmed after the blasts.

According to local media, Lefebvre recently won permission to build a dozen new holiday homes in the area around Balistra beach.

The FLNC warned: "We will strike when we want and where we want, regardless of the importance of the building or its owner."

The FNLC pointed out that 80 per cent of homes on the island are now owned by outsiders and occupied for just a few months each year.

They explained: "Foreigners have built more than 4,500 homes here in one year, and we will not stand for it. Their behaviour dispossesses and marginalises the Corsican people."

Property agent Laurent Besnier told the Sunday Times that the attacks are unlikely to affect the average holidaymaker.

He said: "If you are renting traditional houses in the villages, you will be completely safe. It is those renting the luxury modern beachside villages who are most at risk, although I emphasise that there is no personal danger to tourists themselves. The activists are targeting property rather than people, but I accept that having your villa blown up might spoil your trip."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against travel to Corsica, but reports "a number of explosions, failed explosions and other attacks," and warns that "attacks might escalate."

The FNLC is demanding an independent Corsian state. The bombings are believed to be intended to protect the environment and prevent mass urbanisation of the coastline. They are also fuelled by a longstanding antipathy of some Corsicans towards outsiders known as 'continentals', especially from mainland France and Italy. The resentment towards these 'outsiders' is deepened by the fact that many inhabitants of the island can no longer afford to buy property.

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