Skip to Content

Two Italian regions to vote on autonomy

The Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto will be holding referendums this weekend on Sunday in a bid for more autonomy from Rome.

Published: October 21, 2017, 6:22 pm

    Read more

    Anti-immigrant party, Lega Nord or Northern League, has proposed legal and non-binding referendums in the wealthy regions of Lombardy and Veneto this Sunday.

    Voters will decide whether they want regional representatives to negotiate with Rome for more autonomy and return on their taxes. Observers say the referendums are about political positioning ahead of the crucial 2018 elections.

    Veneto Governor Roberto Zaia and Governor Roberto Maroni of Lombardy have both been critical of the Catalan movement.

    “[Catalan leader Carles] Puidgemont lost an extraordinary chance. He stopped in the middle and no longer has the strength he had on the first day,” said Maroni.

    “The Northern League is looking to maximize their gains in the next national election,” says Cristina Fusone, political science professor at Rome’s Luiss-Guido Carli University.

    Since 2001, Italian regions have had the constitutional right to request more autonomy, in matters related to education and finance, but the European financial crisis has limited the scope of financial autonomy.

    “The problem stems from the austerity measures introduced,” she says. “Re-centralization of financial management has taken place and so this autonomy has been restricted. Every region is now bound to comply with balanced budget rules.”

    Wealthier northern regions, who outperform the underdeveloped southern Italy in all financial indicators, are against such restrictions.

    The Democratic Party has opposed the referendum. “The first problem is that the referendum question is too vague,” says Lorenzo Colovini, member of the Democratic Party. He has urged voters to boycott Sunday’s Veneto referendum, where a 50 percent turnout is required.

    “If the referendum were really serious, they should have defined more precisely what more autonomy means. It’s like a blank check. It’s really just political propaganda for Governor Zaia,” said Colovini.

    Both northern regions have been ruled by the Northern League for years and they are well managed, with a functioning health system and low unemployment rate.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Migrants refuse to clean their own toilets in Dutch shelter

    AlkmaarEight very angry, unwashed migrants in jogging pants gathered in the shared kitchen of the asylum seekers' center in Alkmaar, the Netherlands to complain about having to clean toilets, a Dutch daily reported.

    NATO preparing a ‘military Schengen’

    The US has significantly boosted its forces in Europe, while preparing a "military Schengen" to allow easy movement across borders.

    ‘Refugees’ are not paying German pensions but contributing to poverty

    Germans were promised that an influx of migrants would solve the country's imploding demography. But instead pensioners are bearing the brunt of the wave of newcomers, not benefitting from it.

    Five nights of violence in Toulouse after arrest of niqab-wearer

    ToulouseA police patrol in the southern city of Toulouse, France arrested a woman wearing a niqab last weekend because she refused to show her face. The arrest, which took place in the city’s migrant populated Mirail suburb, sparked five consecutive nights of violence.

    Mayor of Naples refuses docking of US nuclear submarine

    NaplesA nuclear submarine that took part in a series of missile strikes conducted by US, French and UK warships and warplanes against Syria in contravention of the UN Charter, is not welcome near the waters of one of Italy's largest seaports, according to the popular mayor of Naples.

    American survey exposes growing grim mood in Ukraine

    An American Republican survey has exposed the mood in Ukraine: It is currently bad and respondents are expecting worse.

    Italy and Germany threaten to end ‘absurd’ Russia sanctions

    The leader of Lega Nord Matteo Salvini will put an end to “absurd” EU sanctions against Russia if he becomes prime minister of the country he said.

    Pressure increases on Britain to explain strange ‘Novichok’ claims

    Britain needs to show proof that Russia was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in England, the German government’s coordinator for Russia told German broadcaster ARD on Thursday.

    Migrant identity fraud: From a child to a woman to a man

    An African asylum seeker in France has been sentenced to four months in prison for identity fraud after he claimed that he was underage, then an adult and then switching his gender from female to male.

    Worse than the Cuban crisis, but the West’s population is kept in the dark

    An informative Swedish weekly has revealed the high drama - worse than the Cuban crisis - that enveloped the world in March while the West's population was being kept ignorant.

    Go to archive