Venice Votes to Leave Italy
Secessionists declare victory with 89% in online 'referendum'
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2014 6:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – Venice made its dream of independence come true on Friday, if an online poll means anything. A stunning 2.3 million voters took part in the self-organized "referendum," and 89% approved letting Veneto—the wealthy region that surrounds Venice—break away from the rest of Italy as a sovereign state, EU Observer reports. "The Venetian Republic is born again," said the "yes" camp leader to a crowd of hundreds in Treviso. A committee of ten people then declared Veneto's independence from the nation, the Daily Mail reports.

Couple of problems, though. Italian reporters noted how easily non-Veneto residents could vote in the poll with fake names (one professor likened the referendum to "clicking 'like' on Facebook"). And a 1997 Venetian independence bid from Italy, led by commandos who highjacked a ferry, went nowhere. But today's secessionists claim to be different: "The media have painted us as a rag-army, but we are not so stupid," said an adviser to the movement. "It will be a peaceful change." Their main motive is economic, analysts say, for wealthy Venice sends $71 billion in tax dollars to Rome but receives $21 billion less in return.

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Mar 24, 2014 2:12 PM CDT
It is illegal under modern international law to break away from a country without mutual consent. The breakaway of Crimea from the Ukraine is illegal. If Texas voted to break away from the US it would be illegal. When the Czechs and the Slovaks went their separate ways, it was legal because there was mutual agreement. When Slovakia broke away from Yugoslavia it was illegal and caused the civil wars that shattered Yugoslavia. IF we go back to the old pre-WWII ways of doing things we'll end up with WWIII eventually. The world order is breaking down and that can only lead to worse wars because of nukes and WMDs these days.
Mar 24, 2014 12:18 PM CDT
Good for them. It's good to see democracy at work.
Mar 24, 2014 6:22 AM CDT
With all due respect, the commentary on this is ridiculous. There is no movement and there is no strong evidence of a move to cecede from Italy. Just because someone creates an internet poll doesn't mean jackdiddlysquat to anything. Fact is, I believe most people would "like button" anything if it's a free entry to a contest giveaway. The idea that 89% of 2.3 million people - i.e. 2,047,000 people - voted in favor of becoming independent from Italy is silly.