Thousands of protesters assembled for a rally on October 6 in Venice to demand independence from Italy.
Predominantly for economic reasons, the separatist group, Independenza Veneta, wishes to create their own country which would be called “Repubblica Veneta,” and would include approximately five million residents from Venice, the surrounding Veneto region and parts of Lombardia, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Local newspapers claim that roughly 70 percent of the residents are in favor of this plan. Arguing that Italy’s tax rate is the highest in the world and that these areas pay more than they receive in return the people are protesting.
Venice has only been a part of Italy for the past 146 years, which is a very short time in the history of Europe. Prior to that, they were ruled by Austria and France. Venetians have long felt isolated from Rome and have maintained their own culture and dialect. They predict success with this plan, claiming that the new country will become the second richest European country. With today’s economic problems in Italy, the prediction seems a little lofty. I guess time will tell.