Venetian independence referendum, 2014

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Venetian independence referendum, 2014
Veneto in Italy.svg
Map of Italy with Veneto highlighted in red.
Date 16–21 March 2014
Location Veneto, Italy
Voting system Simple majority, online voting
Do you want Veneto to be a federal, independent and sovereign state?
Turnout was 63.2%.
Should Veneto adopt the Euro as its currency if it becomes independent?
Turnout was 24.6%.
Should Veneto seek to join the European Union if it becomes independent?
Turnout was 22.3%.
Should Veneto seek to join NATO if it becomes independent?
Turnout was 19.8%.

The Venetian independence referendum of 2014 was an unofficial, non-binding, online and privately organised poll held among residents of Veneto, one of the 20 regions of Italy, 16–21 March 2014. The vote, known also as the "digital plebiscite" or "", was promoted by Plebiscite 2013, a Venetian nationalist organisation led by Gianluca Busato.


Turnout and results[edit]

According to's staff, 2.36 million Venetians (63.2% of all eligible voters) participated in the online referendum and 89.1% of them (that is to say 56.6% of all eligible voters) voted yes to independence.[1] P2013 proclaimed Veneto's independence from Italy in Treviso on the night of 21 March.[2][3][4][5]

In the poll, ten "delegates for independence" were elected: Busato was the preferred candidate with 135,306 votes, followed by Stefano Vescovi (48,320), Selena Veronese (46,947), Silvia Gandin (43,025), Lodovico Pizzati (25,731), Gianfranco Favaro (16,670), Raffaele Serafini (16,627), Manuel Carraro (16,627), Gianluca Panto (16,321) and Paolo Bernardini (16,299). Finally, voters were asked to express their opinion on three "foreign policy issues", where Veneto to become independent: adoption of the Euro (supported by 51.4% of voters), accession to European Union membership (supported by 55.7% of voters) and accession to NATO membership (supported by 64.5% of voters); turnout was however much lower for these three questions (24.6%, 22.3% and 19.8%, respectively).[1]

Critique of turnout and results[edit]

Turnout and results were questioned by many news sources based on publicly available website traffic statistics released by Alexa Internet and similar providers. According to the critics, throughout the duration of the poll, the website received approximately 135,000 visits (just 3.6% of eligible voters). Moreover, a significant proportion of this traffic came from outside Italy, with 10% coming from Santiago, Chile alone.[6][7][8][9]

According to an opinion poll by Ilvo Diamanti's Demos&Pi for La Repubblica taken on 20–21 March, however, 48% of Venetians had voted or had intention to vote in the online referendum, 49% had not voted, and 3% did not answer. Among those voting, 78% favoured independence. Moreover, Diamanti found that 55% of all eligible voters favoured independence, which was opposed by 39%.[10][11] Other polling firms, including Ixè[12] and Istituto Piepoli,[13] offered comparable data., for its part, announced on 29 March that a short report on the referendum by a committee of international observers would be soon presented. The president of the committee, former ambassador of Georgia to Italy, Beglar Davit Tavartkiladze, anticipated that 100% of the voters who had been contacted confirmed to have voted.[14][15]

Reactions and aftermath[edit]

The event was covered by several international media. During an interview with foreign journalists on 19 March, Luca Zaia, President of Veneto and leading member of Liga VenetaLega Nord, announced that he too had voted (yes) in the online poll and explained that he would seek "total independence" for Veneto.[16][17]

On 1 April 2014 a committee of the Regional Council of Veneto put forward bills calling for a referendum on independence and on more autonomy for the region. The move was supported by the representatives of Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, Forza Italia (the minority faction), New Centre Right, Popular Future, Union of the Centre and North-East Union, with the opposition of the Democratic Party, Italy of Values and the Federation of the Left.[18][19] The day after, all the floor leaders of the parties (but the federation of the left) represented in the council officially asked the Italian government to give Veneto the status of a special-statute autonomous region and fiscal autonomy.[20] The final document was approved by Liga Veneta–Lega Nord, Forza Italia (both fations), New Centre Right, Union of the Centre, Italy of Values and North-East Union.[21]

On 28 April, during a visit in Veneto, Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano acknowledged that "there is a Venetian question, which will be central in the government's relation with regions". In reference to what he called "Agenda Veneto", he said: "We think that Veneto could be the laboratory for a form of strong and advanced federalism. [...] We cannot close our eyes in front of independentist risings. [...] The answer is dual: enhancing autonomy and improving the government's services". For his part, Zaia explained to Alfano the "legitimate request of Venetians" for autonomy and independence, and that "the issue of autonomy and the desire of independence of Venetians cannot be resolved with an aspirin", concluding that "if Rome continues to sleep, it is inevitable that Veneto will organise by itself".[22][23]

On 12 June the Regional Council of Veneto voted to organise a referedum with the following question: "Do you want Veneto to become a sovereign and independent republic?".[24][25] The Constitutional Court will judge whether the proposed referendum respects the constitution or not.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Veneto Libero, Indipendente (nella Nato in Europa e con l'Euro.... Il Problema è lo STATO ITALIANO) - Rischio Calcolato". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Referendum indipendenza Veneto: 2 milioni di sì - Rai News". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  3. ^ Marco Bonet. "In mille dichiarano l’indipendenza "Ora Zaia può solo inseguirci"". Corriere del Veneto. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Veneto residents support leaving Italy in unofficial referendum - Telegraph". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  5. ^ "Venice votes to split from Italy as 89% of the city's residents opt to form a new independent state | Mail Online". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  6. ^ corrieredelveneto
  7. ^ "Numeri falsi, i counter confermano �Il 10 per cento dei voti dal Cile� - Corriere del Veneto". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Referendum Veneto, "150mila voti non 2 milioni". Organizzatori attaccano: "Falso" - Il Fatto Quotidiano". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  9. ^ "La Stampa - Voti gonfiati al referendum veneto “Un elettore su 10 collegato dal Cile”". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  10. ^ "L'indipendenza del Veneto non è uno scherzo Bocciato lo Stato centrale, no alla politica locale -". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  11. ^ "Il referendum per l'indipendenza del Veneto - Demos & Pi". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  12. ^ "Il Veneto, referendum o no - Il Post". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  13. ^ "PCM Sondaggi Politico Elettorali". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  14. ^ "SAPPADA: DELEGAZIONE DEI DIECI PRESENTA ROADMAP VERSO L’ASSEMBLEA COSTITUENTE DEL VENETO | Repubblica Veneta, federale, indipendente, libera e sovrana". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  15. ^ "Il Giornale di - Home - Veneto". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  16. ^ "President of Veneto joins campaign for Venetian independence from Italy - Telegraph". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  17. ^ "'Rome thinks it is still an empire': Veneto president - The Local". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  18. ^ "Consiglio Regionale Veneto - Sala stampa". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  19. ^ "Indipendenza e autonomia speciale Via libera a entrambi i referendum - Corriere del Veneto". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  20. ^ "Consiglio Regionale Veneto - Sala stampa". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  21. ^ "Consiglio Regionale Veneto - Sala stampa". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  22. ^ "Alfano: �Esiste una questione veneta� - Corriere del Veneto". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  23. ^ "Alfano: «Esiste una questione veneta da federalismo avanzato e spinto»". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  24. ^ Indipendenza del Veneto, via libera del consiglio regionale al referendum
  25. ^ LEGGE REGIONALE n. 16 del 19 giugno 2014
  26. ^ Indizione del referendum consultivo sull'indipendenza del Veneto. (19-6-2014)