VENICE (Sputnik) — Over 98 percent of residents in Italy's Veneto region voted on Sunday in favor of obtaining autonomy status during a non-binding referendum, the local election commission said.
"This is really a historic event, which will have serious consequences. Over two million residents voted in favor of autonomy. This is the beginning of a new history of Veneto," President of Veneto Luca Zaia told Sputnik.
Earlier, a representative from the referendum’s electoral committee announced that turnout was high enough to be recognized as valid.
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.