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Breaking News English .com, Venice Calls for Independence from Italy (October 7th, 2012)

Thousands of protesters in Venice gathered in front of the regional government building on Saturday demanding independence from Italy. The separatists called for an immediate referendum on the region’s independence from Rome. The pro-independence activists have also referred their case to the European Commission to start the legal process for self-rule. A survey taken in September showed that support from local residents for autonomy is very high, with 80 per cent favouring it. The new Venetian state would be known as the "Repubblica Veneta" and would be home to around five million people. Separatist leader Lodovico Pizzati told reporters: "It will be the second-richest country in Europe."

Venice was an independent republic for a thousand years before it was annexed to the then Kingdom of Italy in 1866. There have been calls for a break away from Rome since the 1970s, but Italy’s current economic downturn and similar calls for independence from Catalonia in Spain have added momentum to the Venetian cause. Italy’s economic crisis has caused a lot of anger against the Italian government. Mr Pizzati said: "The economic situation here is really desperate, with the recession hitting small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, of the 70 billion euros we pay in taxes to Rome, we only get back about 50 billion euros….We are losing out on 20 billion euros a year." Pizzati said that was "unbearable".

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1210/121007-venice_independence.html



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Thousands of protesters in Venice gathered in front of the regional government building on Saturday demanding independence from Italy. The separatists called for an immediate referendum on the region’s independence from Rome. The pro-independence activists have also referred their case to the European Commission to start the legal process for self-rule. A survey taken in September showed that support from local residents for autonomy is very high, with 80 per cent favouring it. The new Venetian state would be known as the "Repubblica Veneta" and would be home to around five million people. Separatist leader Lodovico Pizzati told reporters: "It will be the second-richest country in Europe."

Venice was an independent republic for a thousand years before it was annexed to the then Kingdom of Italy in 1866. There have been calls for a break away from Rome since the 1970s, but Italy’s current economic downturn and similar calls for independence from Catalonia in Spain have added momentum to the Venetian cause. Italy’s economic crisis has caused a lot of anger against the Italian government. Mr Pizzati said: "The economic situation here is really desperate, with the recession hitting small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, of the 70 billion euros we pay in taxes to Rome, we only get back about 50 billion euros….We are losing out on 20 billion euros a year." Pizzati said that was "unbearable".

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1210/121007-venice_independence.html


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