While independence movements in Scotland and Catalonia are in the spotlight right now, the Italian region of Veneto (which includes the city of Venice) is quietly growing its own mission towards nationhood — a goal that activists believe could happen there before it does elsewhere in Europe. In addition to Veneto, the “Repubblica Veneta” would include parts of Lombardy, Trentino, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and contain a population of about 5 million people. Historically Venice was a republic for over 1000 years, and in 1866 was the last city-state to join with a unified Italy.
What’s the Big Idea?
The European economic crisis and Italy’s response to it has a lot to do with the burgeoning independence movement. “Like Catalonia, the region of Veneto…is a wealthy part of the country that has long bridled against the amount of money it pays in taxes to the national government.” Polls show many in favor of independence, but a recent rally in Venice had low turnout. Activists are optimistic, however.”We’ve gained a lot of momentum from what is happening in Scotland and Catalonia and things are moving fast.”