Considering the recent referendum in Crimea, the legitimacy of which was questioned, and prior to a September referendum in Scotland, whose approval could mean independence from England as early as 2016, the Venice vote in March was more like a survey. Online and without official status, it nonetheless indicated 89 percent of two million voters approved of formally separating themselves from Italy.
“We are now experiencing a strong return of little nations, small and prosperous countries, able to interact with each other in the global world,” Paolo Bernardini, European history professor at Italy’s University of Insubria, commented. “The entire world is moving towards fragmentation, a positive fragmentation, where local traditions mingle with global exchanges.”
A fierce nationalistic pride, perceived oppression from a distant government and the scent of opportunity in the marketplace could lead to more independence bids in the future.
“(Spain’s) Catalonia, Scotland, the (Spanish) Basque country, (Britain’s) Wales and (Belgium’s) Flanders are distinct nations with a long history behind them and a strong will to govern themselves,” Xavier Solano, former representative of Catalonian government, said.
California, Texas, and Quebec could be added to the list.
Scotland’s September referendum is being discussed with conflicting predictions of its possible success, as well as conflicting explanations of the future should it divorce itself from England.