Other Referenda

EU WARNED: Support for Italian anti-EU party SURGING as autonomy votes fuel separatism

ITALY’s eurosceptic Northern League party will see its support grow ahead of the 2018 Italian election after the Veneto and Lombardy regions voted to gain autonomy from Rome, economist Russell Jones claimed.

The Eurosceptic Northern League party has been increasingly criticising Italy’s membership of the European Union over the years.Now the party could use the recent referenda held in Veneto and Lombardy to build up its support base ahead of the country’s upcoming elections to later organise a UK-like exit vote.

Economist Russell Jones said: “The Northern League, which has long been a mouthpiece for greater autonomy for the northern part of Italy certainly sees these votes as an opportunity to expand their influence.

“The northern part of the economy is responsible for about 30 per cent of the GDP and the regions that held the referenda feel that they are not getting their fair share of influence and of tax revenues.”

Italy - Anti-EU party could boost its influence after Lombardy and Veneto voteGETTY/AL JAZEERA

Mr Jones said eurosceptic Norther League could build up its support base and demand a EU referendum

Mr Jones said the unhappiness in the regions was caused by the economic disparity between richer northern regions and the rest of Italy.He explained residents in Veneto and Lombardy believe Rome is not providing the services it needs despite paying a large sum to the central state in taxes.

While the Italian economy is growing stronger after the 2008 financial crisis, the overall structure remains subject to possible changes within the EU’s economic system that inflate the support of populist parties questioning Brussels’ control.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mr Jones continued: “The economic situation is pretty positive for Europe, finally. The cyclical position of the European economy – and that certainly includes Italy as well – is in good shape.

“The problem is that a lot of the underline faultiness and structural issues Europe has still have not been addressed. The process of structural reform has slowed down a lot.

“The question you have to ask is whether structural reform, or progress in that area, is actually consistent with a situation where you have these populist movements.”The Northern League is currently the third-largest party in Italy at 13.5 per cent, tailing behind the governing Democratic Party (PD) and eurosceptic 5 Star Movement (M5S).

In March 2017, the Northern League presented a motion to the Italian Parliament calling for a new law to allow Italians a vote on membership of the EU.

The Italian Constitution recognises the right to hold referenda once 500,000 signatures have been collected or whenever five regional councils request it.

However Article 75 forbids popular votes on issues regarding the national budget, amnesty or international treaties – such as the one regulating Italy’s membership of the EU.

Leave a Reply

Help put the World to rights and leave a Comment

Notify of
Powered by: Wordpress
%d bloggers like this: