The week-long unofficial voting in the Italian region of Veneto,
including the city of Venice, has ended. Organizers of the
plebiscite to determine whether or not citizens of Veneto want
to secede from Italy, and form a sovereign, independent nation
(to be called the "Republic of Venice") announced a large turnout
of about 2.4 million of the 3.7 million eligible voters. The "yes"
votes were 89%. Organizers of the vote pointed out that 56% of all
eligible voters thus indicated that they wanted independence from
A bill is now being prepared to be sent to the Italian parliament in
Rome that would legislate the formal separation of Veneto, with its
population of about 5 million, from Italy. It is unclear if such
legislation would pass.
Venetian separatists often cite the efforts in the Spanish province of
Catalonia to secede from Spain as a model of their efforts. The
Spanish province also plans a vote, although the Spanish government
in Madrid has said it would not recognize the secession.
In Great Britain, a formal vote is scheduled soon on the secession of
Scotland. Te British government has said it would accept the results
of the vote.
For more than a thousand years, until 1797, the Republic of Venice
was the world's most famous and long-lasting democratic republic.