Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna sign autonomy deal

Stefano Bonaccini. Photo: PD.

ROME – The regions of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto have signed a tentative deal with the Italian government for more autonomy, though it will have to be confirmed by a new government in Italy’s parliament, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.

 The Italian government has essentially measured the cost and acknowledged the resources that would be required for the new powers to be granted to the regions. The changes are admissible under the Italian Constitution after reforms from 2001.  

 Veneto and Lombardy began pressing for the changes following the referendum regarding autonomy on Oct 22. The referendum was spearheaded by the Northern League in the region which has long argued the north of the country should not be subsidising the south.

 Nonetheless, critics argued at the time that the referendums were a costly and unnecessary measure, designed to bolster support for the League prior to the national elections.

 Emilia Romagna joined the negotiations shortly after Oct.

 After the signing on Wednesday, the President of the Veneto, Luca Zaia, called it a “historic day,” while Lombardy’s president, Roberto Maroni, said he was “very happy to beautifully conclude my experience of five years at the helm of the region. It is written, one cannot go back, you need to complete the journey, a new course opens for Lombardy and the regions.”

 Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that, in response to a question about Salvini not supporting the move, Maroni responded by dedicating the outcome to the “three million Lombards who voted in the referendum.”

 However, the Governor of Emilia Romagna, Stefano Bonaccini, sought to distance himself from the other regions, by emphasising that his region had achieved its aims without the need for a referendum: “without slogans but with concrete facts.”

 Bonaccini likewise pointed out that the decision “is an opportunity for all the regions.”