Years ago during various interviews I predicted that the Greek crisis would spread from there throughout southern Europe, and that the countries to watch would be Spain, and Italy, both for the reasons that each country has regions with rich histories and traditionas of "autonomy" from their central governments, or at least, a history of comparative wealth to the rest of their respective nations. Sure enough, we've seen a growing separatist movement grow in Catalonia, which of course recently held a referendum to leave Spain. Well, you can now add provinces of Lombardy and Veneto in Italy to the list, according to this article shared by Mr. S.C.:
Of course, it would be wrong to compare Catalonia and Lombardy and Veneto; they all have different histories, and in the case of Veneto particularly, a long tradition of acquiring privileges" from the ruling authority, the eastern Roman or Holy Roman emperors, or the papacy. But the way the stories are being covered, a growing phenomenon is being ignored. Here's what this article says:
The sharp rise in support for Catalan independence can be traced back to a 2010 court decision to overturn the previously approved 2006 Catalan Statute. This statute would have given Catalonia more control over taxes. Many people believe that the rejection of this statute laid the foundations for the current crisis, with Catalans feeling aggrieved that the region pays more to the Spanish state in taxes than it receives in return.
In Italy, Veneto and Lombardy make up about a third [paywall] of the overall Italian gross domestic product (GDP). The recent votes in favour of greater autonomy emphasise the importance of more control over their taxes and decentralisation of powers from Rome. The two referendums give Lombardy and Veneto a stronger mandate to negotiate tax reform and devolution with the central Italian government.
Granted, the real culprit and target of the growing dissatisfaction is not Madrid, or Rome, but rather, their subservience to a bloated and overgrown bureaucracy in Brussels, and a completely non-responsive attitude to the wishes of the people not only in Rome and Madrid, but Brussels, whence stems much of Europe's current problems with the refugee crisis, which has hit both Italy and Spain particularly hard. It's that, plus the growing fiscal irresponsibility of their central governments and the fact that citizens are not listened to, that is driving the crisis. One reader here told me once that she felt her country had become "Spanistan," and was no longer Spain, not simply because of the refugee crisis, but because of the massive youth unemployment, drug problems, and an attitude in Madrid akin to Marie Antoinette's infamous "let them eat cake" statement.
The bottom line: big, unresponsive federal structures governed by unelected bureaucrats choking things in a blizzard of regulations and policies inimical to the national interest isn't working. And when governments no longer listen, revolutions, tyrannies, secessionist movements grow, particularly if there is a strong local history and tradition such as one sees in Catalonia or Veneto.
Ok... so where's the high octane speculation? Very simply, with but little modification, one could take the article and apply it to most of the West, where there has been secessionist talk in the USA itself, where the matter was supposedly "settled," and where little thought is given to the consequences of running governments according to the ideological playbooks of crony crapitalism for those at the top, and socialism for everyone else. And the issue is the same: what is being done with that tax money?
So what's my high octane speculation? Not only will these movements grow, but they're going to start "comparing notes" and "lists", and the big federated regional "structures" Mr. Globaloney constructed are going to be increasingly called upon to demonstrate that they're doing any good.
See you on the flip side...