Italy RUPTURING as more regions want independent powers from Rome

After the regions of Veneto and Lombardy in a Sunday , two more regions could request further powers.

Northern region Emilia-Romagna will demand further autonomy without holding a referendum, while southeastern Puglia is also viewed as a likely candidate for greater independence.

The President of Emilia-Romagna has already agreed to negotiate greater powers for the state with Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

The regional president, Stefano Bonaccini, said: “It is fair to reward regions with orderly accounts and a high level of efficiency in services.

“The additional powers we ask for will allow us to invest and do even better in four areas: work and training; enterprise; research and innovation; protection of health, territory and environment.”

However politicians within Italy’s right-wing Five Star Movement (M5S) have speculated Mr Bonaccini’s position will be weakened by the fact there was no referendum in Emilia-Romagna as there was in other northern regions.

Lombardy president Roberto Maroni has also announced he will attempt to pursue dialogue with the government.

Meanwhile Veneto’s Luca Zaia has proposed a constitutional amendment to include the region among those granted special status by the government, although this is not expected to be approved by the government.

Gianclaudio Bressa, Rome’s minister in charge of regional autonomy, said regions with special status were a precise historical category, and becoming one would not align with Italian law.

It is now thought the regional leaders in Veneto and Lombardy could visit the Prime Minister alongside Emilia-Romagna’s Bonaccini, as they will all have to negotiate the terms of their increased independence with the central Italian government.

Unlike the mainland Italian regions, Sicily would abolish its own autonomy if it could, a leading politician from the region has said.

Sicilian Davide Farone, the health secretary in previous prime minister Matteo Renzi’s cabinet, said he thought his region would be better off if it had closer ties to the rest of Italy.

He said: “A greater autonomy doesn’t mean a better government. In my region, because of the Special Statute, all national reforms, right or left, have not been applied or have gone the wrong way. A joke, in short.”

Nonetheless Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s regionalist political party Lega Nord, says more regions will call for their independence in the coming months, citing south Italian Puglia as a potential candidate.

Mr Salvini claims the movement for independence in Lombardy and Veneto is “in line with what is happening all over Europe: in the Czech Republic, in Austria. The next in line is Italy.”

He added: “Less central constraints and less European constraints mean more development.”