Referendum on division of Venice and Mestre into two autonomous Municipalities ruled legitimate

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The Council of State has declared the referendum legitimate, reversing the decision by the Veneto TAR of 14 August 2018. The Movement for Autonomy: “The consultation will be set by Zaia for December”

18 September 2019

The Council of State has declared that the referendum on the division of Venice and Mestre into two autonomous Municipalities has been ruled to be legitimate, reversing the 14 August 2018 decision by the Veneto TAR. The consultation regarding the regional law by popular initiative now becomes possible. The sentence was published today, Wednesday 18 September, by the fifth section. For the Council there is no inadmissibility. “A favorable outcome for the referendum does not automatically mean that the capital of the metropolitan City becomes Mestre and that this issue renders the referendum inadmissible”, we read in a note. “Denying the referendum would have discriminated against the citizens involved, who would be deprived of their constitutional right to express themselves regarding a change in their municipal governance”.

Among the promoters

“I have carried this pack on my shoulders for ten years. This is a day of victory for direct democracy, and for a legal project provided for in the Constitution – affirmed attorney Marco Sitran, among the main promoters of the referendum – “I’m sorry that President Zaia has, in this case, let go of an issue as dear to him as the protection of local autonomy. Now there will be changes because either via the Delrio law or via the referendum momentum and dignity will be given to two cities that were joined by force during the Fascist era. There will be a renewal of the City of Mestre, as it was before 1926, while Venice will get a special Statute. This will be a tool for protecting the city from the effects of uncontrolled mass tourism and economic interests that are alien to the citizens. The metropolitan area will be given the chance to have government directly elected by the people”.

Technical time

“We hope that it is not already too late, given that the cities are decaying – said Stefano Chiaromanni of the Movement for Mestre Autonomy – There is some bitterness about these appeals which have cost time and public funds. We are satisfied with the Council’s sentence. It’s articulate and holds us to be correct on every point: the referendum is legitimate, only residents of the City of Venice will be voting, and Zaia’s part is missing, that is, the resolution to call the referendum. We hope that with the technical time required, 45 days – he says – there is time to hold it before the municipal elections. It could likely be that the referendum consultation will be set for around December”.

Source: Venezia Today

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