There’s no obvious explanation of the idea that Corsicans are lazy. Until recently, most of them lived by keeping sheep, goats, and pigs, and growing whatever suited the terrain. This is a hard way of life, and presumably the Corsicans who survived this way were no lazier than their counterparts in other countries.
One theory is that the origin of the canard was a remark by the Greek geographer Strabo, who commented in the fifth book of his Geography that Corsicans made lousy slaves and it was a waste of money to buy them.
The Corsicans’ response to the insult is the following joke:
A Corsican gets off the boat in Marseilles. His friends point to a 50 euro note on the ground. He only needs to bend over and pick it up. The horrified Corsican says, “I’m not about to start working the moment I arrive!”