Venice Voting in Favor of Independence from Italy

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  • vicsinad
    Senior Member
    • May 2011
    • 2337

    Venice Voting in Favor of Independence from Italy

    With Crimea voting to be in Russia, and Scotland holding a vote this fall for independence from the UK, we have Venice voting for independence from Italy this week. Whether anyone will recognize it or not is yet to be determined. Nonetheless, this European movement of small regions/republics seriously seeking self-determination is interesting.

    FOR more than a thousand years she sparkled as the jewel of the Adriatic, her reputation as a global centre for trade and culture even earning her the grand title “La Serenissima”, or the Most Serene Republic of Venice.



    How a vote in Venice could change the face of Italy
    FOR more than a thousand years she sparkled as the jewel of the Adriatic, her reputation as a global centre for trade and culture even earning her the grand title “La Serenissima”, or the Most Serene Republic of Venice.
    By: Marco Giannangeli
    Published: Sun, March 16, 2014



    This vote could end 150 years of Italian unification This vote could end 150 years of Italian unification [GETTY]

    And tomorrow, the land that gave birth to Casanova and Vivaldi could find itself on the path to independence once more, as Venetians take to the polls in a vote that may see them cast aside 150 years of Italian unification.

    Tensions are running high. On Friday 25 Caribinieri military police officers broke up an interview with Russian TV in front of the Doge’s Palace in Venice and arrested independence organizers for flying the flag of St Mark.

    A 1997 ordinance made it illegal to display the Lion, symbol of the ancient Venetian republic, in St Mark’s Square.

    Yet while Britons pondering Scottish independence in September are witnessing a very public battle, few on the rest of the Italian boot are even aware of the constitutional challenge that could alter the face of Italy forever.

    Over the next five days up to four million Venetians will be given the chance to go to the polls and vote on whether Veneto, one of Italy’s three wealthiest regions, should secede from Italy and become an “independent and sovereign federal republic”.

    The “plebiscito” will also ask voters to tick “si” or “no” to EU membership, and to vote for delegates to lead the new republic out of a list of 30 candidates.

    At stake for angry Venetians is the £17billion in taxes separatists claim are “stolen” from Veneto’s coffers every year by Rome to prop up a failing Italian economy.

    The region which, apart from Venice, includes the cities of Verona, Padua, Vicenza and Treviso, has a working population of 3.8million and a healthy annual GDP of around £120billion.

    Half, however, leaves the region in national taxes, contributing around 10 per cent of Italy’s GDP.

    While Rome ploughs £40bn back to its cities and infrastructure, Veneto remains a member of the tiny club of regions, including, Lombardy, Emilgli Romagna and Piedmont, who are net contributors to the Italian treasury. The other sixteen regions rely on state contributions to stay afloat.

    “Put simply, hard working venetians have had their fill of propping up a failing state,” said Gianluca Busato, one of the fathers behind of the present bid for independence.

    “The citizens of Veneto have proven themselves to be the most loyal to Italy by paying the highest taxes.

    “And yet our hospitals, once famous for their quality, are failing because they are being starved of investment. We are wealthy but out roads aren’t paved with gold.

    “We have more in common with our northern European neighbours than we do Southern Italians. Austria and Switzerland are very near to us, and in those countries you see everything works. No one is forced to work 16 hours a day for tiny wage to prop up a bloated bureaucracy.

    “We need to keep our taxes, to free our economy from this Italian prison and secure our future. It is rational, not emotional. “

    A poll last month showed 64 per cent of Venetians in favour of independence, and support crosses political boundaries.

    Though traditionally favoured by the centre right, the last two years have seen support by the left grow from just 12 per cent to 40 per cent.

    And no wonder. According to separatists’ own calculations, low skilled venetians earning just 1,200 euros a month would immediately see a 500 euro a month pay hike if Veneto was responsible for its own finances, while pensioners would see their pensions almost double from 570 euros to 1,000 euros a month.

    All taxes, income and corporate, would be pegged to a flat 20 per cent rate with a £15,000 minimum threshold.

    Italy’s economy, by contrast, contracted by 1.8 per cent last year, and unemployment remains above 12 per cent as record numbers of businesses go to the wall.


    We need to keep our taxes, to free our economy from this Italian prison and secure our future

    Gianluca Busato

    Failure to curb public spending has left continental Europe’s third largest economy recently face a “recovery downgrade” by the EU.

    It is too early to say how Wednesday’s pledge by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of an £8.5bn tax cut to stimulate the economy will play, with unions already insisting the benefits go directly to workers and not corporations.

    More than 300,000 voters have already contacted the independence movement to pledge support, but it will need a quorum of fifty per cent of voters for any plebiscite to count.

    “We know we have overwhelming support, but it will all depend on the turnout,” said Mr Busato, a softly spoken former engineer who now stands as a candidate to lead the new republic.

    “It’s not like Scotland. Rome has tried to ignore what is happening for fear of unintentionally inflaming support, so we have worked very hard through the regions to contact every voter.”

    He claimed that success would force the rest of Italy to “make the difficult decisions it needs to take.”

    “People ask how we can abandon the poorer regions for the south, but we see this as a stabilizing measure on an Italian bureaucracy that is out of control,” he said.

    “What Italy needs is real rationalization, but this will never happen as long as regions like Veneto are bailing it out.

    “Carrying on would be no different than giving heroine to a drug addict who doesn’t want to end his addiction.”
  • Risto the Great
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 15660

    #2
    Wow, Spain is probably having conniptions now!
    And good ole Kosovo was the precedent.
    Risto the Great
    MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
    "Holding my breath for the revolution."

    Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

    Comment

    • Gocka
      Senior Member
      • Dec 2012
      • 2306

      #3
      Originally posted by Risto the Great View Post
      Wow, Spain is probably having conniptions now!
      And good ole Kosovo was the precedent.
      Yes and Yes.

      Many people were talking about the future precedent Kosovo would set, but no one really took it seriously. The economies in most of Europe and the USA were doing very well. so there wasn't much discontent, but now with countries literally teetering on default it seems everyone wants to save their own neck first.

      Spain and Scotland was a given but I for one did not foresee this. I wonder who will be next?

      Comment

      • vicsinad
        Senior Member
        • May 2011
        • 2337

        #4
        Yeah, there has been talk about the Catalonia movement in Spain for a while...I wonder what will happen with that.

        Italy, Spain and the UK aren't really much different than Yugoslavia. Essentially, they are artificial entities created from convenience and circumstance. Just like Yugoslavia failed to instill a long lasting feeling of being Yugoslavian, Italy is somewhat failing (in addition to Venice, I know plenty of Sicilians who don't consider themselves Italian, but I don't know of any active independence movements there) and so is the UK, and so is Spain. It's a mess that eventually has to sort itself out. Or maybe it's just a pendulum: swinging from large nation-states to small states and micro-states.

        What's more interesting, I think, is how Italy and the UK are handling these situations of Venice and Scotland. How they essentially claim that people voting for independence is illegal. Well, it may very well be illegal under national laws, but I still can't grasp how a region like Crimea or Venice voting for independence does not fit in the right to self-determination on the international level, according to these bigger powers.

        Comment

        • Risto the Great
          Senior Member
          • Sep 2008
          • 15660

          #5
          I wouldn't call Venice a given.
          This strikes at the heart of the EU. This won't be given up easily.
          Risto the Great
          MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
          "Holding my breath for the revolution."

          Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

          Comment

          • Vangelovski
            Senior Member
            • Sep 2008
            • 8533

            #6
            Originally posted by Risto the Great View Post
            Wow, Spain is probably having conniptions now!
            And good ole Kosovo was the precedent.
            You mean Italy
            If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

            The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

            Comment

            • Vangelovski
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2008
              • 8533

              #7
              Originally posted by vicsinad View Post
              Well, it may very well be illegal under national laws, but I still can't grasp how a region like Crimea or Venice voting for independence does not fit in the right to self-determination on the international level, according to these bigger powers.
              I agree that its definately within the realm of the right to self-determination. While national laws may make it illegal, that does not mean national laws are right. But with some cases of self-determination come conficting rights claims. There is also the idea that indigenous peoples own their traditional homelands (which also has support in constitutional and statutory law in many countries). If the people making a claim to self-determination are not indigenous to the area, how much of a claim do they really have to the land?

              Another point is that new minorities will obviously be created who in turn could seek self-determination. In such cases, delineating territory could become impossible.
              If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

              The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. John Adams

              Comment

              • vicsinad
                Senior Member
                • May 2011
                • 2337

                #8
                Originally posted by Vangelovski View Post
                I agree that its definately within the realm of the right to self-determination. While national laws may make it illegal, that does not mean national laws are right. But with some cases of self-determination come conficting rights claims. There is also the idea that indigenous peoples own their traditional homelands (which also has support in constitutional and statutory law in many countries). If the people making a claim to self-determination are not indigenous to the area, how much of a claim do they really have to the land?
                Yeah, that's a mess that may be too difficult to answer. On one hand, you have regions where the indigenous population is virtually less than a few percent of the population. Would they have the opportunity to vote for their independence from that region to form their own micro state? The Tatars in Crimea come to mind, although I don't know if they are indigenous or not. Still, that may not be possible in areas where indigenous and non-indigenous populations are mixed and scattered.

                In the US, I know there are Native American groups that have been striving for the independence of their tribes or nations. I personally feel that it's too messy to give a people who are a tiny percent of an entire region the power to determine what happens to that entire region. In the US, all of us today really have had no say in where we are born. I don't see how a Native American born today has more right to the land that I live on than I do because his ancestors had arrived there first. Especially if we are creating and basing a society off of individual rights. Still, I'm all for them choosing whether or not they want to be a part of the United States or not.

                It's much too complicated to find any solution that will be viewed as fair by all parties. At what point should self-determination be limited? The city? The suburb? The neighborhood? The street? Or is it anarchy all the way? Or are centralized governments and large nations going to be reformed anyway due to alliances and unions created upon a threat of war or invasion? And with regards to indigenous populations: how do we balance group rights with individual rights? No easy answer. It's something that's going to continue to play itself out.

                Comment

                • Peshoshnitsa Lerin
                  Junior Member
                  • Jun 2012
                  • 85

                  #9
                  I hope that this can give our brothers ans sisters in Egej Pirin and Mala Prespa some hope and strength to get together once again and fight for what is rite and kick the filthy enemies of our beautiful Macedonia

                  Comment

                  • vicsinad
                    Senior Member
                    • May 2011
                    • 2337

                    #10
                    It seems as if the chain reaction is picking up some speed...


                    Moldova fears separatists want to join Russia


                    CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova's president says he fears that separatists in eastern Moldova may ask Russia to recognize their breakaway region after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty annexing Crimea.

                    President Nicolae Timofti said Tuesday that Trans-Dniester, a thin strip of land between Moldova and western Ukraine, may ask to become part of Russia but denied reports it had already done so. Russia has said it respects Moldova's territorial integrity in the past.

                    "There are risks of provocations from Trans-Dniester," Timofti said.

                    Trans-Dniester broke away from Moldova in 1990 and Russia has 1,500 troops stationed there but does not recognize the region.

                    Timofti will meet Romanian President Traian Basescu on Wednesday. Basescu said Monday that he believes Russia wants to recreate the Soviet Union and that Moldova was a priority for him.

                    CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova's president says he fears that separatists in eastern Moldova may ask Russia to recognize their breakaway region after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty annexing Crimea.

                    Comment

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