Zaia welcomes Catalan vote turnout, warns similar vote in Veneto is irreversible

NEWS IN BRIEF. Veneto referendum currently blocked by Italian Government, Veneto President says Rome's attitude is "scandalous"

Veneto President Luca Zaia yesterday said that "in light of what happened in Catalonia," a similar, non-binding referendum on the independence of Veneto is irreversible. According to Zaia, the outcome of the Catalan poll -in which 2.3 million voted despite Spain's Constitutional Court had ordered its suspension- is "exceptional," a "great political result" through which the Catalan people "gave a strong signal of freedom and democracy."

Zaia, who is a member of the Venetian League-Northern League, recalled that the Italian government does not to allow a non-binding vote on Veneto independence either, not even an alternative poll on enlarged autonomy. Zaia believes this is a "scandalous" attitude since it violates "the fundamental right of expression."

Veneto laws on both non-binding votes were challenged by the Italian government in August. The government of Veneto is collecting funds so that both polls can be held.