'Independent Veneto can help EU’
RT: Recently we’re hearing about the willingness of different European regions to become independent. Why does the Veneto region, which is currently part of Italy, want to become independent from Italy?
Giovanni Dalla-Valle: They have got 4,000 years of history, they have never really accepted going under the rule of Italy. The original plebiscite in 1866 was a kind of cheat widely recognized. Then they suffered a lot because they are one of the areas that are most productive in Italy. They produce 140 billion euros of GDP per year and they have got provinces like Piacenza, Treviso that export as much as Portugal and Greece together. However, they are not treated fairly by Rome. They have got taxation that now has reached levels of nearly 70 percent of income for a corporation, for a company…They can`t cope anymore with this extreme level of exploitation that they get from the central government.
RT:What is Veneto uniqueness all about?
GDV: I guess all Italian peninsulas have got plenty of different people with different histories, very fascinating glorious histories. Italy has always been a group of different peoples; it has never been really a united nation. I think Veneto has got this pride about the Serenissima, the Republic of St. Marc that with more than 1,000 years of history were known internationally for being of a high level of civilization mainly in cultural, commercial, artistic aspects and exporting culture all over the world.
RT:In your opinion, how will the EU react to Veneto independency? Will they be interested in a new state in the union?
GDV: I suspect that Italy is bankrupt. So there will be an interest at some point for Europe to have a very productive and rich region like Veneto becoming a state, becoming a nation; it is a bit similar to what is happening to Bayern [Bavaria] or other areas with an independent spirit like Flanders or Catalonia… Basically, a nation that can actually help Europe, because it has got a GDP which is higher than in Romania, Hungary, as an example, rather than have Italy, which is going bankrupt.
RT:Have there been any surveys among citizens of Veneto recently. If yes, what do they show?
GDV: According to some recent surveys, the light majority of people still want to stay in the European Union, they still want to stay in the eurozone. However, we do understand that according to the Maastricht Treaty and Copenhagen Treaty there might be a need to reapply for membership - something similar to other countries that are going for independence at the moment.
RT:Is there any possibility of Veneto becoming an independent state?
GDV: We are now aware that there is a very high demand for independency in Veneto. There was a digital referendum in March that could be taken as a big consultation test. It is not absolutely an official referendum, it has not been certified. But as a consultation it is a huge survey that clearly proved that lots of people do want independence in Veneto. They did approve a law that should allow the Venetian people to have an official referendum now - it is the so-called law 342. So all that is happening at the moment - especially what is happening in Scotland, what is happening in Catalonia – is going to make a huge pressure on Venetian institutions, which are currently under Italy to allow people to have this referendum. So we are really looking forward, particularly we are very excited about what is happening in Scotland at the moment and in Catalonia.
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