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French protesters cut sea link between Corsica, mainland
www.chinaview.cn 2005-10-01 05:20:29

    PARIS, Sept. 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Sea links between Corsica and the mainland had been cut on Friday and the major French port of Marseille paralysed by protesters, French news channel TF1 reported.

    The protest was due to a new proposal by the French government on Thursday for a privatization scheme.

    Corsican nationalists broke into the island's regional assembly to protest the arrest of union members, according to the report.

    Some 30 people with metal-cutters smashed open the gates of the assembly building in the city of Ajaccio where deputies were debating a motion demanding the release of four seamen from the nationalist Union for Corsican Workers (STC), who were arrested Wednesday after they hijacked a cargo-passenger ship belonging to the National Corsica Mediterranean Company (SNCM).

    Late Thursday a rocket was fired on the prefecture building in the Corsican capital, causing extensive damage, without casualties.

    French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy described it as an "unacceptable act" and said he would "not allow public order in Corsica to break down".

    French government is trying to sell off the debt-burdened ferry company SNCM to private investment firm Butler Capital Partners, that provoked strikes and even violent clashes between police and protesters over the last three nights. Enditem

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