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VENETIAN, CATALAN AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENTISMS

Three students from 4 A discuss a topical issue.


ThreeFlags

Alessandro Di Muzio

“Venetism” is a name given by the media to a set of organizations, political parties and people connected with local Venetian things. It includes both the movement that asks for more autonomy for the region and the movement that wants the independence of the Veneto region. It is also an umbrella term for those who promote the rediscovery of Venetian culture, language and literature.

Some Venetists consider the Veneto region as a different country: a nation distinct from Italy. Some, such as the members of movements like  Veneto Stato and those of Independenza Veneta, propose  a referendum. The first Venetist movement in Veneto was the Lion of St. Mark, active from 1921 to 1924. After that came the Movimento Autonomo Regionalista Veneto (MARV), a cultural association active in the sixties. Nowadays a Venetist party is Liga Veneta, which was founded in 1984.

Recently Venetians were called to express their opinion about the independence of their region with an online referendum, whose result might lead to a proper future referendum.

The Catalan independence movement is a social, cultural and political current that advocates the independence of Catalonia and, more generally, of the Catalan Countries, as a sovereign state within the European Union.

It is based on the idea that the Catalans form a nation that has got its own history, its own language and culture. The flag, called Estelada, is the symbol of the movement. The pro-independence Catalans ask to fix the referendum on November 9, 2014.

The Scottish independence movement is the ambition of some political parties and cultural groups, who want Scotland to become an independent  country. The independence of Scotland is supported by the Scottish National Party, but also by other political parties or movements such as the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity – a Scottish Socialist Movement. Other organizations and associations are the Scottish National Liberation Army and the ultranationalist and radical Siol nan Gaidheal, which means “Seed of the Gaels” in Scottish Gaelic.


Greta Gaggiato

The “yes” campaign – organized by pro-independence Italians activists from Veneto  – was an unofficial referendum about Veneto Independence.

The organizers said that if the majority of Venetians voted for the separation of the region, Veneto would issue a ‘Declaration of Sovereignty of Veneto ‘ and stop all tax transfers to the central government in Rome.

Over 89 % of locals voted in the unofficial on-line referendum in favour of independence.

The poll also asked residents if they wanted the region to keep the euro and remain part of the European Union and NATO when independent.

More than 55% of voters said they would prefer an independent Veneto to remain part of the EU, and over 51% said they wanted to remain in the eurozone. Over 64.5 % said they wanted Veneto to be part of NATO.

I’m not sure if I want Veneto to be independent. I’m scared and I think it’s like “a shot in the dark”. Also I am happy to belong to Italy.


Marco Marangon

Venice, Edinburgh and Barcelona are three cities far apart, but they all have in common the fact of wanting to be independent.

Venice — Venice was a city-state for about 1,100 years: from the 7th century until 17th October 1797, when Emperor Napoleon sold it to the Austrian Empire. Venice and the Veneto region has been an Italian region since 21st October 1866, when Italy won the Third Italian War of Independence.

In the last few years some parties from the radical right-wing, such as “Indipendenza Veneta”, “Northern League”, and “Liga Veneta” claimed the independence of the Veneto region to return to the former glory of the Serenissima Republic.

The debate is about making the Veneto region completely independent (from Italy, the EU, The Euro zone and the NATO) or a region with special statute (such as the “sisters regions” Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia). Another reason for the dissatisfaction is that the Veneto region is one of the four Italian regions that have the financial balance in green.

There was an online referendum (unofficial) from the 16th to the 21st March 2014 according to which about 2 million people (about the 50% of the Veneto region population) wanted the split.

Edinburgh — Also Edinburgh and Scotland want their independence from the UK.
Scottish people (or Scots) have their own traditions, culture, language (*Scottish Gaelic), flag (St. Andrew’s Cross), football and rugby teams and so on, so they want and claim their independence.

Scotland has had a different history from England. England was conquered by the Romans and became an imperial province (Britannia), while Scotland was not (Emperor Hadrian built *Hadrian’s wall to defend the province from the attacks of the Scottish tribes). England mixed Anglo-Saxon language and Latin, Scotland kept speaking Gaelic. England and Scotland were divided until 1701, when the latter became part of the UK with the Act of Union.

Scotland was never happy to be part of the UK, so now * Prime Minister David Cameroon has granted a referendum for the next 18th September to give the Scots the opportunity of the split.

Barcelona — Another country that asks for independence is Catalonia. Catalonia is a Spanish region that, like Scotland, has its own language (Catalan), culture, traditions and flag, the Estelada Vermella (or roja in Spanish). A referendum for the split from Spain is scheduled on the next 9th November. On 25th March 2014 the Spanish Constitutional Court declared the referendum unconstitutional, but the Catalan government announced that the consultation will take place all the same.

I personally think that the independence of Scotland is a right and good thing because it is legal, official and with compelling and valid reasons; to me the independence of Catalonia is pushed by the socialist parties, because there is nothing wrong for a region to have different traditions, dialect, and way of life from those of the mother country, which should unite and harmonize all the different local nuances. The independence of the Veneto region is an operation of the radical parties. According to me it is an illegal and out of season  attempt to erase the history of the last 150-200 years.

The split from Italy, the EU and the Euro zone would be the economic and political ruin of the Veneto region and the exit from NATO a military disaster.

So I think that the right solution is transforming the Veneto region into a region with a special statute, a kind of economic and political federalism (softer than the American one), slightly different from current regionalism, in line with the principles of economic liberalism.