France in FLAMES days before election as furious protesters clash with police in Corsica

France: Corsica protesters clash with police days before election

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Angry protests have erupted on the French-governed island of Corsica with riot police clashing with rioters in violent street battles in the provincial capital of Bastia. The demonstrations by Corsican nationalists come ahead of this weekend’s French elections where incumbent President Emmanuel Macron hopes to secure re-election. 

Footage from the scene of the clashes shows the streets of Bastia lined by French gendarmes.

One policeman can be seen hurling a stun grenade toward the protestors.

A number of fires can be seen burning to fill the streets of the island’s capital with thick smoke.

Pro-Corsican nationalists are opposed to rule from Paris and seek an independent or self-governing Corsica. 

Macron is still ahead in opinion polls but his far-right, eurosceptic rival Marine Le Pen has been closing the gap, and a poll on Monday put victory within the margin of error, ahead of Sunday’s first round.

Macron easily beat Le Pen five years ago with two-thirds of the vote in the second round.

Though polls see both qualifying this time too for the April 24 runoff, they put Macron’s lead at just 3 to 6 points – the former being within the margin of error.

Since her 2017 defeat, Le Pen has patiently worked on softening her image, striving to appear as a potential leader rather than a radical anti-system opponent.

France: Protesters gather in Bastia, Corsica

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