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M/S Danielle Casanova departing the port of Bastia.
SNCM (Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée) is a Frenchmarker ferry company operating in the Mediterranean Seamarker.

Its ferries sail from Marseillemarker, Toulonmarker, Nicemarker on mainland Francemarker, Calvimarker, Bastiamarker, Ajacciomarker, Ile Roussemarker, Proprianomarker, and Porto Vecchiomarker on Corsicamarker, Porto Torresmarker on Sardinia, Alger, Oranmarker, Skikdamarker and Bejaiamarker in Algeriamarker as well as Tunismarker in Tunisiamarker and Genoamarker in Italymarker.

SNCM traces its history back to 1850.

2005 privatization

In September 2005, French Prime minister Dominique de Villepin presented a project of privatization of the company. Villepin was to hand out the SNCM to Butler Capital Partners for 35 million euros, after a previous "recapitalisation" of 113 million euros (injection of new capital by the state). However, this project caused a public outcry, as it put into question the balancing out principle of public transports (péréquation), meaning that to insure the continuity of the national territory and the equality of all concerning this important territorial continuity. In other words, the state-owned SNCM was to insure transport between the mainland and Corsica all year long, even though in exclusive market terms it may be considered as not profitable enough, in order to insure the possibility for Corsicans to acceed to administrative services as well as any other Frenchman. Moreover, Butler was Villepin's schoolmate and friend from l'ENAmarker, the elite public servants school.

Following hard negotiations and a strike by the CGT trade-union and the Syndicat des travailleurs corses ("Corsican workers' trade-union"), a new project was presented. Connex (which has since became Veolia Transport, a subsidiary of Veolia Environment group) would take 28% of the SNCM (against 38% for Butler in the previous arrangement); the state was to keep 25% of the shares, and 9% sold to the employees. 400 layoffs were planned; in addition of the 113 million euros reinjected by the state before the privatization, 35 million euros were to be given to finance the layoffs.

The company is actually privatized since May 31st 2006.


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