Power to the people: 2 Italy regions to hold autonomy votes

FILE – In this Sunday, June 1, 2008 file photo, Roberto Maroni, left, and Luca Zaia attend the annual meeting of the Lega Nord, Northern League party, in Pontida, Italy. It is greater autonomy, not independence, that two of Italy’s wealthiest regions are seeking in a pair of referendums Sunday, yet Catalonia’s secessionist ambitions loom over the debate. The president of Lombardy, Roberto Maroni and Veneto, Luca Zaia, are campaigning on the economic benefits of loosening Rome’s grip. But identity politics also is playing a role, particularly in Veneto, where a political fringe has never given up on the secession course long abandoned by the governing Northern League. (AP Photo/Alberto Pellaschiar, Files)


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