Monday 17 December 2018

Two Italian regions hold votes on greater autonomy from Rome

An election worker checks the electronic voting system at the Berchet School polling station in Milan
An election worker checks the electronic voting system at the Berchet School polling station in Milan

Voters in the wealthy northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto are heading to the polls to decide if they want to seek greater autonomy from Rome.

While the twin referendums are non-binding, a resounding "yes" vote would give the presidents of the neighbouring regions more leverage in negotiations to seek a greater share of tax revenue and to take more responsibility from Rome.

The leaders want more powers in areas as security, migration, education and the environment.

Lombard president Roberto Maroni has lowered expectations, saying he would be happy with a 34% turnout among the region's 7.5 million voters, equal to the national turnout in a 2001 referendum.

The Veneto autonomy drive will die if voter turnout is below 50% plus one of the region's 3.5 million voters.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News