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Lombardy and Veneto today hold a referendum to ask for more autonomy

The two prosperous regions vote in a constitutional and non-binding consultation requesting the Italian Government to transfer some competencies and better funding

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Lombardy and Veneto today hold a referendum to ask for more autonomy

Lombardy and Veneto, two of three richest regions in industrialized Italy vote all day today in a referendum to request Government of Italy more autonomy. The consultation, which is called some 12 million citizens, is not binding and is carried out within framework of Constitution and "unity" of Italy, as question itself underlines, and will serve to make two regional presidents (of Norrn League both) have more Force when it comes to negotiating in Rome greater powers. Participation is refore key to assessing results.

Lombardy, chaired by Roberto Maroni, has not set a legal minimum to validate mandate that leaves ballot box. Its president, he said, would be conformed to 34%. However, Veneto region, led by Luca Zaia, is committed to not taking into account results if 50% of participation is not reached. Both processes, led by a Norrn League that has inisistido to separate completely from what happens in Catalonia, and publicly backed by Silvio Berlusconi and Forza Italia, would begin to run before spring elections and will be a piece Important part of election campaign.

There are 23 competencies that can be transferred — education, guardianship of health, supplemental pensions — and some 27 billion euros to pay for m (in case of Lombardy) because it is half fiscal deficit y allege and that y will claim. Critics claim that one could ask without referendum. In fact, Emilia-Romania, ruled by PD, will follow that procedure. But Roberto Maroni disagreed in an interview with country last week. "In 16 years, many regions have asked for it, but government has always denied it." So if a lot of people vote now, it would give us more strength to negotiate.

And margin is wide. The vote is held from eight in morning until eleven o'clock tonight. Both governments have bought thousands of iPads ( celebration of referendum will cost about 66 million euros divided between both regions) to carry out a telematics elections and accelerate count, which already in case it starts late. This morning, however, first technical problems have begun.

Beyond number of participation, referendum reopens controversy over lack of solidarity of North with south and can complicate national key discourse of Norrn League of Matteo Salvini. In fact, one of his main allies – Fratelli di Italia, de Giorgia Meloni-has already been unmarked from him and has openly criticized him. Siun However, major PD mayors in region, such as Giuseppe Sala (Milan) and Giorgio Gori (Bergamo) have signed up to initiative and have openly shown ir support. The Goberanador of Veneto, Luca Zaia, has come to vote first thing in morning at Colegio de San Vendemiano, in province of Trevisto, has already urged "everyone to vote" because, said on Twitter, "only so we will show that we are a people."

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