Date set for Referendum for the separation of Venice and Mestre: “We vote September 30”


The decision was announced by Regional Vice-President Forcolin during the Tuesday meeting of the Regional Administration. Mayor Brugnaro: “We will verify the legitimacy”

VENEZIA. There is an official date. Next September 30 will be the day of the referendum for the citizens of the City of Venice, to vote on the request for the separation of the city into two new administrative entities: Venice and Mestre. The regional administration in fact, having heard the report from the vice-president and assessor to local entities Gianluca Forcolin, has fixed the date and approved the provisions under which the referendum can be held. As always, this is only if it is not disrupted (something which is very probable) by appeals to the TAR (courts) by the City.

“We have done our part”

“Doing that which we must, the regional administration has fulfilled with this act – said vice-president Forcolin – the requests of the Council, which is sovereign. We have established the date for voting on the referendum, and we will stop here. We will not engage in any campaign, neither for yes nor for no, in order to allow interested citizens to vote with maximum freedom”.

How to vote

Voting will take place between the hours of 7 and 23 on Sunday, September 30 regarding the referendum’s question, which asks if one is in favor, or not, of the separation in to two autonomous cities. In the case of a victory for ‘yes’ and at the conclusion of the process the Regional Council will proceed to approve the laws establishing the new cities. The costs of the referendum will be borne by the Region, in accordance with article 28 of the regional law dated 12 January 1973, and will be carried out by the Offices of the City of Venice.

Mayor Brugnaro: “We will verify the legitimacy”

After the announcement from Palazzo Balbi, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, who is part of an argument over the referendum with the Lega Nord (which supports the referendum) also weighed in. He is against it, and reading between the lines it is clear he intends to launch an appeal to the TAR: “I must verify that something so serious for the city is legitimate – he stated – First we will verify, then we’ll see what the citizens decide”. His judgement of the merit is clear: “We have already voted four times and the citizens have always said no – he continued – fortunately the citizens are wiser than the speculators. Is it better to have a bigger and stronger city or the chopping up of thousands of bell towers? Anyhow, history demonstrates that it better to be bigger and stronger. We need to expand our horizons. Venice should once again be a capital of the world”. He did not miss taking a jab at referendum supporters: “I have nothing to say regarding President Zaia, his point of view is very clear and it is better that there are no doubts – concluded the leader of Ca’ Farsetti – Perhaps instead we should inquire further into what kind of people we want to manage things. Is it people who speak without ever having produced anything in life or those who have demonstrated what they know how to do. The parents of our children will decide”.

Referendum supporters: “Only an announcement”

In any case some of the promoters of the referendum remain skeptical that the referendum vote will happen. Stefano Chiaromanni, representative of the movement Autonomia di Mestre, explains: “The fear is that this is only a step to delay the next hearing at the TAR, set for March 21. We still do not have an official provision, for now it seems to be simply an announcement which will help the City and the Metropolitan area more than us”. All told, the question is far from closed. At least until we have the pronouncement of the administrative judges.

Source: Venezia Today, 13 March 2018

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