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One killed and two injured in Corsica shooting

Bastia Airport in Corsica, where three people were shot
Image: Bastia airport in Corsica, where three people were shot

One person has died and two others injured in a shooting in Corsica, near the entrance of the island’s airport.

A man received a fatal gunshot wound to the head during the attack in a car park at Bastia airport on Tuesday morning.

Emergency workers told local media another person, aged 40, had several bullet wounds, and the third victim, a 35-year-old, suffered minor injuries.

According to a report by the newspaper La Depeche, the third man was not a target, but had been trying to get away from the scene.

Police are hunting for a getaway driver and their car, and said they would be investigating an “assassination by an organised gang and an attempted assassination by an organised gang”.

They said the motive for the shootings was unclear.

Last Sunday, Corsica held its regional assembly elections, and nationalists triumphed.

A second round next Sunday is expected to cement their victory, helping them claim a mandate for greater local powers for Corsica.

The Mediterranean island used to be plagued by separatist violence but the main independence group declared a ceasefire in 2014.

Around a dozen assassinations of public figures have taken place on the island in the last two decades, and in 2013, it had the highest per capita murder rate in Europe.

Although known for its beaches and tourism, the island, which is home to around 300,000 people, has had a high murder rate over the years. In 2009, it recorded 28 murders and 17 attempted murders.

Between 2007 and February 2013, there were 105 assassinations, with only 10% being prosecuted.

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    Far-right party to enter Austrian government

    Heinz-Christian Strache
    Image: The FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache is tipped to be deputy chancellor

    Austria is set to become the only western European country with a far-right party in government.

    The head of the conservative People’s Party (OVP), Sebastian Kurz, has struck a coalition deal with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).

    The FPO will take charge of the foreign, interior and defence ministries, among others, while its leader, 48-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, will be deputy chancellor.

    Mr Kurz, 31, will be the youngest leader in Europe. His OVP will run ministries including finance and justice.

    When the OVP won Austria’s election on 15 October it did so with a hard line on immigration – a policy which often overlapped with that of the FPO.

    The FPO was third, taking 26% of the vote.

    “Nobody has anything to fear,” said the FPO’s secretary general and Austria’s next interior minister, Herbert Kickl.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Sebastian Kurz says he wants to increase security and combat illegal immigraton

    Mr Kurz held a joint news conference with Mr Strache and told reporters: “Our aims are quite clear.

    “We want to ease the tax burden for people, we want to strengthen our economy, which will bolster our social system.”

    Mr Kurz, known as ‘wunderwuzzi’ or ‘whizz-kid’, added: “And first and foremost we want to increase security in our country, including by combating illegal immigration.”

    While Mr Kurz has said his administration will be pro-European, both he and Mr Strache have expressed doubts about further social integration.

    Sebastian Kurz
    Image: Mr Kurz, 31, is Europe’s youngest leader

    The two men presented their agreement to Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former Greens leader who narrowly beat the FPO in a presidential vote in 2015.

    Mr Van der Bellen, who has the right to reject ministers, has said a new government could be sworn in early next week if everything went to plan.

    Following their meeting, Mr Van der Bellen said they had agreed it was in Austria’s “national interest” to remain at the “centre of a strong European Union”.

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    The FPO’s success mirrors that of similar parties across Europe. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party is now the second-largest in the Netherlands, the Front National in France was involved in a run-off for the presidency in May and representatives from Germany’s AfD have entered the Bundestag.

    When the FPO was last in government, under the late Joerg Haider, other EU countries imposed sanctions on Vienna in protest.

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