Several days ago, the largest Veneto secessionist group organised an online referendum and obtained an overwhelming result: 89% of the people voted in favor of independence for this Northern Italian Region, whose capital is Venice.
It appears that Italian officials are not taking this democratic initiative very seriously; however, they were certainly surprised when 24 citizens attempted to take over St. Mark’s Square, in Venice, to request the independence of this and other Italian regions.
The pro-independence campaigners armed a simple tractor with a small 12mm canon, capable of firing. The amazing initiative – which hopes to replicate a similar one carried out in 1997 – was frustrated by a special unit of the Italian carabinieri. Now, the 24 people implicated could be facing charges of terrorism and subverting democratic order, as well as fabrication and possession of military weapons.
Franco Rocchetta, one of the founders of the Venetian League – a party affiliated with the secessionist Northern League – was among the people who were arrested. The Secretary General of this organisation, Matteo Salvini, had hard words to say about the Italian officials through his profiles on social networks. “They help illegals, they release delinquents from jail and arrest those who desire independence. This is insanity. If the State thinks they are frightening someone, they are wrong,” Salvini asserts.
Nonetheless, the Attorney General of Brescia, Tommaso Buonanno, clarified that there is no direct relation between the accused and the Northern League Party, which has reclaimed Padania’s secession from Italy.
The Venetists consider Veneto as a separate nation from Italy and, often, deny the validity of the referendum in 1866 that united Veneto to Italy. Others, like the Veneto State, propose a republication of this referendum and have launched campaigns to achieve independence for Venice, a country that be composed of all the territories of the historical Venetian Republic, including Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, some parts of Lombardy (Brescia, Bergamo, Crema and a part of the Trento Province).