Venice holding referendum on cutting ties with Italy

Venice holding referendum on cutting ties with Italy
Mon Mar 17, 2014 17:25:08

Veneto, a northern Italian region having Venice as its capital, is holding a referendum from March 16 till 21 to vote on the region’s secession from Italy and the creation of an independent federative republic.

The residents of this region are free to choose which way to vote – on the website, by telephone or by mailing a letter.

The population of Veneto, one of Italy’s most industrially developed regions, has grown increasingly weary of sustaining the poorer south and is seeking financial independence from Rome.

Veneto reportedly disburses to Rome 20 billion euros more in taxes than the amount of investment and services it gets in return. Rome has carefully avoided commenting on the matter.

"Part of the region insists that they sponsor the rest of Italy. As a matter of fact, it looks like everyone in northern Italy shares this view. Yet, in the absence of any official statistics or official statements, it’s hard to say to what extent it may be true," said Russian journalist Olga Kameneva, who toured Veneto on Sunday hours after voting began.

Whatever the results of the plebiscite, they aren’t binding. But the questions put to a vote send a strong message to Rome. Question one is "Do you want Veneto to become an independent federative sovereign republic?" Residents are also invited to express their attitudes to the EU, the euro zone and NATO.

Russian analyst Nadezhda Arbatoa believes that aim of the vote is to manifest people’s discontent with the economic situation in Italy.

"It’s a purely symbolical vote intended to voice the dissatisfaction of a richer part of Italy. The problem of debtors and lenders has moved from the EU level to the national level. This is the emotional manifestation of the unhappiness with the state of affairs in Italy, with the fact that one has to pay more to support the poor," she said.

Over 60% of the nearly four million eligible voters of Veneto have reportedly already voted to secede from Italy. Most residents are convinced that the region could do pretty well on its own.


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