Italy ready to discuss more autonomy for Lombardy and Veneto ‘within the law’ – PM

Rome is ready to begin discussions on greater autonomy for the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday while visiting an oil refinery near Venice. While Italian authorities are ready for dialogue with the regions which voted for autonomy during a recent referendum, it would be a “complex discussion that can’t be done in five minutes,” the PM underlined. “Here we are talking about how to make Italy work better. We are not calling into question Italy and its unity,” Reuters quoted Gentiloni as saying. Over 95 percent of those who turned up for Sunday's referendums in Veneto and Lombardy voted for transferring more powers from the central government to the regional institutions. Voter turnout in Lombardy was some 40 percent, while Veneto recorded 57 percent.