The following article, written by James Masters and Valentina Di Donato, appears on CNN.com.
While the rest of the world has its eyes on the outcome of Catalonia’s tussle for independence from Spain, two of Italy’s most prosperous regions voted overwhelmingly in favor of greater autonomy from Rome in non-binding referendums on Sunday.
More than 95% of voters who cast ballots in Veneto and Lombardy — two northern regions which account for around 30% of Italy’s GDP between them — opted to vote “yes” to more autonomy, according to officials in both regions.
Turnout was more than 57% in Veneto, the region’s spokesperson told CNN. In Lombardy, turnout was about 39%, that region’s spokesperson said.
The referendums were called by the two regions’ governors, both of whom are part of the right-wing Northern League — a party that once favored secession — and were aimed at securing further powers over spending, immigration, education and healthcare.
Five regions in Italy already boast autonomous powers, including Sardinia and Sicily, as well as Veneto’s neighbor, Friuli-Venezia. Continue reading at CNN.com.