Venice votes to Secede from Italy over High Taxes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 23rd, 2014

Week in Review

I remember learning long ago that there were two Italys.  A prosperous north.  And an impoverished welfare state in the south.  Apparently that was and still is true (see Venice votes to split from Italy as 89% of the city’s residents opt to form a new independent state by Hannah Roberts posted 3/21/2014 the Mail Online).

Venetians have voted overwhelmingly for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy…

The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866.

Wealthy Venetians, under mounting financial pressure in the economic crisis, have rallied in their thousands, after growing tired of supporting Italy’s poor and crime ridden Mezzogiorno south, through high taxation…

Campaigners say that the Rome government receives around 71 billion euros  each year in tax from Venice – some 21 billion euros less than it gets back in investment and services.

The five-day poll came in the same week that Crimean residents chose in a landslide vote to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia.

Crimea is no Venice.  Venice was one of the great Italian city-states that rose after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.  They were an economic powerhouse.  Trade made Venice the richest city in Europe.  Their navies dominated the Mediterranean.  And they helped usher in the Renaissance.  Venice was an independent republic for 850 years longer than they were part of Italy.  So Venice has some esteemed history.  And they know a thing or two about economic activity.  Such as income redistribution does not work.

If you keep taxing the economic producers more and more eventually they’re going to do something about it.  Such as moving their economy underground.  Out of reach of the greedy hands of the taxman.  Or they may just vote to secede.  That vote may not be constitutional.  But apparently that doesn’t matter these days.  At least it didn’t matter in Crimea.  But one thing for sure.  Based on the flow of money between Venice and Rome it is fair to say that Rome needs Venice more than Venice needs Rome.

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