Venice votes on splitting from Rome

Venice, 16 March 2014 The vote will go on till the end of the week

Related Stories

Voting has begun in Venice and the surrounding region on whether to break away from Italy.

Recent opinion polls suggest that two-thirds of the four million electorate favour splitting from Rome, but the vote will not be legally binding.

The online poll was organised by local activists and parties, who want a future state called Republic of Veneto.

This would be reminiscent of the sovereign Venetian republic that existed for more than 1,000 years.

A focal point for culture, architecture and trade, Venice lost its independence to Napoleon in 1797.

Venice, 16 March 2014 Polls suggest many in the Venice region favour splitting from Rome

Online voting is due to continue until Friday.

The vote received very little coverage in Italy's national media but the organisers said they expected as many as two million people to take part.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says the vote reflects a growing separatist mood in parts of Europe, such as Spain's Catalonia region and Scotland, which votes on whether to become independent in September.

Moves towards independence often evoke more sympathy in wealthy northern Italy, where many resent what they see as the poorer south's waste and corruption.

Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, the Venice region, rejected suggestions that the Italian constitution would prevent secession.

International law, he told Libero Quotidiano, allowed "the right to self-determination".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.