March 21, 2012 By

Venice Voting to Break Away From Italy

51_0The Indipendenza Veneta Party is organizing an online poll this week on whether the region of Veneto should split from Italy and form their own state. The party authorities told AFP that the separatist movement was fuelled by the government’s apparent inability to stamp out corruption, protect its citizens from a damaging recession and plug waste in the poorer south.

The poll which opened on Sunday closes on Friday and around 2million voters are expected to take part. A large independence demonstration is planned in Padova on Sunday, expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people.

“Italy is weighed down by an enormous level of public debt, thousands of businesses have closed, we have lost count of the number of people who have committed suicide in Veneto” said party co-coordinator Nicola Gardin. The region pays around 71 billion Euros in taxes to Rome, 21bn Euros more than it receives in investment and services. “The history of the Venetian republic is not taught in schools any more, neither is the Venetian language. The state has erased our identity,” Gardin said. “The vote for independence is not just driven by economic reasons, it is also a bid to protect and revive our culture.”

The latest reports show that in the 3.8 million people eligible to vote in the region around 60% are in favor of independence. “The push for independence comes from the people. It is a democratic request born of Rome’s indifference,” Governor Luca Zaia told Liberoquotidiano newspaper.

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