Following in Scotland and Catalonia’s footsteps, Venice goes against Rome and organizes a vote to become independent again. The capital of the Italian region of Veneto decided to hold a referendum which will last until Friday. Approximately 3.8 million people in the region, which also encompasses the cities of Vicenza, Padua, Verona and Treviso are eligible to vote in the referendum against the will of Rome, which opposes the independent movement. The reason why the region wishes to go against the capital of Italy is because it pays €20 billion more in taxes to Rome than it receives.
Venice takes Crimea, Scotland and Catalonia as an example and goes against Rome by organizing a vote to become independent. Recent opinion polls show that two-thirds of the electorate wish to split from the capital of Italy, although the vote will not be legally binding. The independence movement states that the wealth of the industrial northern region is unfairly used by Rome. Moreover, the leaders of the movement that wishes to see Venice free again mentioned that they are not going to wait for the capital’s approval and, if the vote shows that the population wants to become independent, they will begin the separation process.
Organizer Gianluca Busato stated that the action of going against Rome also means working side by side with experts who prepare the judicial and legal groundwork in order to make it official. Busato also mentioned that independence will transform the region into “about the seventh richest European state in terms of GDP per capita.”
“Italy steals 20 billion of taxes that are not returned to us,” Busato said when talking about the reason why Rome does not want Venice to become independent.
The president of Veneto, Luca Zaia, supports the independence movement because the area pays its taxes but receives nothing in return. At the same time, Zaia stated that a recent petition organized by one of the parties gathered 100,000 signatures in a single day and emphasized the fact that the region pays 68.5 percent of the total earnings to Rome, while the average is about 46 percent. In short, this means that the region with the center in Venice contributes approximately ten percent of Italy’s GDP.
Busato stated that this region has more in common with the neighbor countries than with the south of Italy, so separating from Rome is a rational decision.
Separatists have made their own calculations before Venice decided to go against Rome and before the region organized a vote to become independent, which reveal the fact that low skilled Venetians who earn approximately €1,200 per month will receive €500 more once the area is freed from Rome. Moreover, pensioners will also double their pensions from €570 to €1,000 per month.
Venice has decided to fight back in a peaceful way, although Rome is against the region’s decision to become independent, but the movement is set to go against the capital of Italy and even sever ties with “the euro, the EU and NATO,” according to Raffaele Serafini, a pro-independence activist. Fighting for independence has become a natural movement lately, ever since Crimea, Scotland and Catalonia decided to take the matter into their own hands, so Venice has decided to go against Rome and organize a vote to become independent. The referendum runs through Friday and, irrespective of what the Italian capital believes, the process of paying taxes to local authorities, and not to national government will begin.
By Gabriela Motroc