Veneto and Lombardy will have more autonomy

Last 22nd October, the Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy held a referendum to ask the Italian Government for more autonomy. Twelve million citizens were called to ballot in a non-binding consultation, held in accordance with the Constitution. The greatest challenge was the mobilisation. The Presidents Luca Zaia and Roberto Maroni needed a large participation to have enough strength to negotiate increased powers.

In Veneto, 57.2% voted obtaining a 98% of votes in favour of having more autonomy. In Lombardy, 40% voted, of which 95.3% also voted in favour. Participation was not very high, but it was high enough to initiate the negotiation process with Rome, which has been accepted by the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni.

Both processes, led by the Northern League, have had the support of Silvio Berlusconi and Forza Italia. However, Luca Zaia, President of Veneto, stated that this is not the process of a political party. "There is no such thing as the party of the autonomy, but the citizens of Veneto. Today, the wish to be the master in our own house has won".

The two regions will be asking for the majority of the 23 powers that can be allocated to the regions, in accordance to the Constitution. Security, immigration, education, health and complements for contributory pensions are key issues. The resources will also be essential, since both regions maintain a strong fight for their fiscal debt (approximately 54,000 million annually, according to the regional government, in Lombardy’s case). 



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