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    A group of Five Star Movement Senators clap their hands during the Italian Parliament inaugural session, in Rome's Senate. (File)

    Referendum Should Decide EU Membership - Italian Independence Party Founder

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    The 100,000 signatures in support of holding a referendum on Italy's exit from the Eurozone reflect growing weariness with Europe's economic and political union, one of the founders of a pro-indpendence political party told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Italy's largest Eurosceptic opposition party, the Five Star Movement (M5S), launched a petition last November, drawing support from over 100,000 signatories and hoping to vote on Italy's exit from the Eurozone next year.

    "The decision of joining the EU was never endorsed by a popular referendum, in Italy and in many other countries… All those decisions should be taken by the people in referenda," Paolo Bernadini, founding member of the Independence Veneta party, said on Friday.

    According to Bernadini, the best path for Italy is to become independent from the European Union "as soon as possible."

    "The EU is moving towards the terrifying dimension of a fourth Reich in that it tends to centralize powers, more and more, and, consequently, raise fiscality," Bernadini explained, stressing that the Independence Veneta party does not favor Italy being part of the European Union in part due to geopolitical reasons.

    Among other European states, the 2010 Eurozone crisis had an adverse effect on Italy, which ran a budget deficit and a national debt almost equaling to 120 percent of its GDP.

    The following year, a series of unpopular austerity measures were introduced nationwide to stabilize the country's economy reeling from the downgrading of its credit rating and a decline in international investments.

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