Even though the outcome of the September 18 vote on independence from the British crown led to Scotland?s remaining in the United Kingdom, the vote itself has had a considerable impact on secessionist movements across Italy and Europe.
The secessionist spirit continues to shine brightly among Italy?s most outspoken separatists, including the Pro Lombardy Independence group, which is now looking to Spain?s Catalonia region, set to vote for independence this November 9, for inspiration. Even before the referendum in Scotland, Italy?s Veneto region approved two referenda: one for independence and a second asking residents to vote for ?special autonomy? status. However, whether or not Veneto will be able to hold the votes any time soon remains to be seen: the Italian government has blocked the issue in the courts, claiming the referenda are unconstitutional.
Regardless, supporters of the independence vote in Veneto remain determined to hold a vote. Remo Sernagiotto, a former regional councilor with Forza Italia and current minister of the European parliament, told La Stampa: ?It is not a question of what your political party is, it is a matter of freedom. The citizens of Veneto must be left free to choose. Maybe they will vote ?no? like Scotland did, and that?s fine. But they have to be able to vote.?