06:19 GMT +326 September 2018
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    A woman casts her vote for Veneto's autonomy referendum at a polling station in Venice, Italy, October 22, 2017

    Vote on Autonomy in Italy’s Veneto Recognized as Valid

    © REUTERS / Manuel Silvestri
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    Italy’s Veneto held a consultative non-binding plebiscite on its autonomy, which had a turnout high enough to be recognized as valid.

    VENICE (Sputnik) — Turnout at the non-binding referendum in Italy’s northern region of Veneto exceeded 50 percent, indicating that the vote results will be recognized as valid, a representative of the referendum’s electoral committee told Sputnik Sunday.

    "As at 08:15 p.m. [local time, 19:15 GMT], the number of voters in the Veneto region who took part in the vote made 50.1 percent of the total number of local voters," the representative of the commission said, adding that according to Veneto’s regional law on autonomy referendum, in order for the vote to be recognized as valid. 50 percent of the voters plus one vote must take part in this regional consultation.

    Veneto and neighboring Lombardy are holding consultative non-binding plebiscites on Sunday on the autonomy of both regions, for the first time in modern Italian history. The Lega Nord party, prominent in the regional parliaments of both Veneto and Lombardy, has long backed independence and increased autonomy for the northern regions.

    According to Lombardy’s agriculture minister Gianni Fava, the turnout in the region as at 17:00 GMT exceeded 30 percent.

    According to the Italian constitution, five regions in the country: Aosta Valley, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Trentino-Alto Adige have special autonomous rights in line with the special statutes approved by constitutional law. These rights allow the regions to be more independent from Rome in issues primarily related to finance.

    Veneto and Lombardy strive for the same status. Both regions provide the country's budget with larger sums of money than they receive.


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