Recently in the Western world we have seen secessionists advancing in Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders and Quebec. We can now add Venice to that list. The historic spirit of independence appears to be returning to Venetians, according to a recent Christian Science Monitor article by Nick Squires:
It may seem fanciful, but a burgeoning independence movement is confidently predicting that [Venice] will achieve nationhood before two of Europe’s other restive regions, Scotland and Catalonia.
…[A]ctivists want to carve out a new country in northeastern Italy which would comprise Venice, the surrounding region of Veneto and parts of Lombardy, Trentino, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which borders Slovenia and Austria.
The “Repubblica Veneta,” as it would be known, would encompass about 5 million people.
It would be based on the region’s historical differences from the rest of Italy, ranging from a distinct dialect to its close links with the Adriatic.
As with Catalonia, the economic crisis that has swept across Europe has fueled Venetians’ resentment against central government control.
Like Catalonia, the region of Veneto, which encompasses the lagoon city, is a wealthy part of the country that has long bridled against the amount of money it pays in taxes to the national government.
Those taxes have only become heavier, as Rome seeks to tackle its 1.9 trillion euro national debt.
…While surveys suggest strong support for independence, that has yet to translate into the sort of mass mobilization seen on the streets of Catalonia, where last month more than a million people took part in a rally demanding separation from the rest of Spain.