New hefty fine: after being ordered to pay 86.3 million euros to the private shipping company Corsica Ferries, the Collectivity of Corsica will have to pay it an additional five million euros, again for breaches of competition. The Marseille Administrative Court of Appeal announced on Wednesday that it had ordered the Collectivity to pay Corsica Ferries 5.123 million euros “in compensation for the damage it suffered as a result of its irregular eviction from the public service delegation contract for maritime service to Corsica for the period 2014-2023”.
This new conviction comes in a tense climate between the Collectivity of Corsica and the State since the prefect of Corsica launched in February “an automatic mandate procedure” to force it to pay 9.2 million euros to Corsica Ferries. A sum corresponding to the interest of a previous sentence of 86.3 million euros. The autonomist president of the Executive Council of Corsica, Gilles Simeoni, had accused the prefect of the time of having “emptied the coffers of the Collectivity of Corsica like a thief”. The French State has however made a gesture of magnitude by committing to pay 50 million euros on the fine of 86 million imposed on the Collectivity.
Asked by AFP, Gilles Simeoni expressed a “mixed” feeling. “This new conviction is “below what Corsica Ferries had requested, but the Collectivity will miss five million euros of public money”, he reacted. “With the conviction passed, this made nearly 100 million under past terms of office. It is a very heavy weight for the community of Corsica today”, he added, stressing the importance of convincing Brussels of the need for Corsica to benefit from a public service in the maritime field and aerial too.