In a non-binding Internet referendum, an overwhelming majority of Venetians expressed their desire for independence from Italy. According to the Czech online newsmagazine iDNES, the pro-independence activist and governor of the Veneto region, Luca Gaia, stated the problem as follows: “We Venetians have the impression that we are only here to pay taxes.”
He added that the Italian government “sucks out” 71 billion euros in taxes but only invests about 50 billion in Veneto. He directed a poke at the central government by adding that “the government in Rome still thinks that it’s the head of some kind of empire, and considers us mere periphery.”
A revival of the Venetian Republic, which had been a Mediterranean power in the Middle Ages and the Rennaissance, is not very likely, at least not in the near term. Independence would require the consent of the regional council, the Italian Parliament and the Italian government itself. According to signor Gaia, those bodies would exert too much resistance against any attempt at breakaway.
Of note, to date, I have not found any evidence that Vladimir Putin is involved in this matter, but if I were a Venetian, I would be on the lookout for suspicious-looking characters plying the canals in gondole or vaporetti. You can never be too careful, nowadays.