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Thursday, March 15, 2018

“The Northern League” held a referendum in Lombardy and Venice: what’s next

While in Spain tensions in the aftermath of the referendum on secession of Catalonia, in another European country – Italy – two regions voted for the extension of their powers. However, neither in the Veneto or Lombardy, where they had a vote about obtaining the status of autonomy, the question of full independence from Rome is not worth it.

photo: AP
President of the administrative region of Lombardy, Roberto Maroni during the referendum.

Moreover, according to the Professor of European law at MGIMO Nikolai TOPORNIN, the Central government of Italy is likely to make concessions in order to avoid escalation of the situation and political damage.

Not to say that the referendum in Veneto or Lombardy caused a stir among the local population. In the first case, the turnout was less than 58%, while the second does is less than 40%. Thus in both areas, more than 95% of voters were in favor of granting to the regions extensive powers. In the first place – in financial and tax spheres. This problem in Italy for the inhabitants of the Northern regions traditionally believe that the actual fed southerners.

In Milan and Venice have already expressed willingness to negotiate with Rome on the results of the people’s will. However, until the conditions for a serious crisis like, say, Spanish, no.

“Both the Italian referendum was Advisory in nature, it was, rather, the questionnaire recalled in an interview with “MK” associate Professor of the Department of European law of MGIMO Nikolay TOPORNIN. They were conducted in accordance with the 116th article of the Italian Constitution, allowing to implement such initiatives. During the voting was not talking of independence, their secession from Italy is just about the possibility of expanding their autonomy within a unified Republic.

In my opinion, anything critical to happen now is not just the authorities of Lombardy and Veneto is now on hand more leverage to communicate with the government in Rome. They want to get more financial / tax benefits, and will now be able to more confidently put pressure on the Central authorities Italy order to obtain these preferences.

Lombardy and Veneto in total contribute to the total Italian budget about 30% of GDP. They give the center more than get from him, and, of course, unhappy with this situation. To remove this discontent to Rome there must be some way to negotiate with the authorities of the two regions: below and “wolves” in the face of regional elites, were well fed, and “sheep”, in Italy, a – that the country started to crumble, as is happening now in Catalonia.

It is worth remembering that in Italy is around the corner and parliamentary elections (they will take place in 2018), the government is now a coalition, not too strong, forced to rely on a different kind of arrangement. At the same time, the country has populist party “Northern League”, which, strictly speaking, was behind the recent referendum. It is believed that she may gain the election extra points if the Central government will not compromise with the Northern regions. So it has a value and a political component: if the social Democrats want to maintain the position, it is necessary to find a compromise, otherwise it will strengthen the “Northern League”. Of course, politicians who are in power now, don’t want it. So they sit down at the negotiating table – and what’s more they have a choice?”.

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