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Subject: What if...Italy splits in two or more parts?
FT_Italy    7/8/2008 11:14:15 AM
Italy is seeing difficult times, politically and socially, and now economically too (as the entire West World). Since well before unity, contemporary Italy was always deeply divided by geography, climate, folk culture/language and ethnicity. I do not mean simply North vs. South, which is anyway the main division: but also Venice vs. Turin or Bologna vs. Rome or Palermo vs. Naples. Despite state propaganda, this situation was and is well known to all Italians, north to south, rich and poor, right-wing and left-wing. Also, many people (as Sardinians, Venetians, Sicilians) feel themselves first as their region inhabitants rather than part of the nation (so e.g. a Venetian feel himself as Venetian and Italian, but above all as Venetian, while a Roman is Italian at all). And, moreover, the "external" view of this by other regions marks the differences even more (e.g. here in Veneto we feel different from Bologna and very different from Naples, while Bologna inhabitants feel us different as well and Neapolitans consider ourselves as "Germans", I mean the way Catalunyans or Scottish feel different from Spanish or English). Now, during difficult times, the deep and old divisions come out. More, they are economically and socially sanctioned. Dividing Italy in 3, we have from Eurostat data: - North: pro-capite wealth among the richest European countries; educational system among the best ones; - Centre: high pro-capite wealth, comparable or slightly more than germany and Sweden; educational system on average or slightly below european standards; - South: the poorest European area, worse than Portugal or Greece; educational system at the level of Mexico. More, the north-east area including Triveneto and Lombardia ("Lombardo-Veneto") is even wealthier and better educated, and its manufacturing industry is likely the best for direct profits of Europe (considering the amount of income due to production of goods and services, and taking the costs to buy materials, goods and services to produce the first ones, Lombardo-Veneto has an yearly 6.6billions€ gain vs. 5.5billions€ gain for entire Germany) and a strong "national feeling" about culture, identity and society. So, what about Italy in a few years splitting into 3-4-5 states? or in the event of North declaring its indipendence (with likely Venetia/Lombardo-Veneto to become indipendent from the North)? What would, in your opinion, be the consequences for other "small countries" in Europe, like Scotland, Basque Countries, Catalunya, Corsica etc. willing to become indipendent? And how would EU, NATO, UN, Russia react to this secession?
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eldnah       7/11/2008 11:11:40 AM

Although a great grandfather on the Italian side of my family came to the US in the late nineteenth century we have still kept in contact through the generations with what are now fourth and fifth cousins living in Italy. I travel to Italy for pleasure most years and at times stay with or visit them and when they are in the US for business or pleasure we usually get together. They are basically transplants to the Milan and lakes area from Civitavecchia after WWI & II. Their political opinions depend pretty much on their income. Those who are seriously well off lament what they see as the corruption and idleness of the mezzogiorno but believe it is an integral part of Italy. A few who have not been as successful somehow blame their problems on "Others" and are more inclined to believe separation would be better. A small sample I know and somewhat skewed toward the upper middle, lower upper incomes but they and their friends and associates say they believe Italy will remain intact. All are uncomfortable with the African immigration they see as a major problem. It's interesting that of all the married cousins my daughter's age, fortyish, none have more than one child.   

What you say is simply...what happens in every part of the World, at every time, since history began.

People are driven by own interest rather than a pure ideology.


Anyway, West Lombardia is not the more separatist area...I know, you would tell me that Northern League leaders were born and live there, but they have been conquered by Rome's government seeds and incomes; and Milan is where Italy was born, and where there were and there is a massive immigration from the South.

Until some year ago, I would have agreed with your cousins - who anyway, as you seem to suggest, are of strong Central-South Italian roots but transplanted in the North, so they rightly feel more "Italians" than a person who is living where his family lived for many years, even before Italy were more than "a geographic expression" (Metternich). Splitting Italy would have been very difficult and even unpopular.

But now...federalism is coming very late, if it is coming, because Southern regions are trying to stop it in any way, or at least to make it useless, granting themselves strong outer incomes to support their public expense (corruption, waste, byzantine bureaucracy, an economy based on welfare system and statal works rather than on capitalism). And we are tired of wasting money there: but not just this thing; we really need our moneys, for investments and to reduce taxation, to keep our economy always at the best level and expand our markets as to keep safe good life standards.

And here, indipendentist parties are small, but they can account for a 10-12% direct vote at regional election, while all main parties (right-wing moderates of PdL, left-wing moderates of PD, and Northern League) together with smaller ones (catholic centrists, communists, socialists, neo-fascists, enivoromentalists) strongly support a strong local authonomy. While, believing to recent polls, between 50% (local newspapers) and 70% (local televisions) of Venetian people believe that South Italy is just a weight and there is no way that things can get better with them (TV polls clearly told of "indipendence" as the only way to resolve such problem).



A question: here, the division between North and South Italian people (not to talk about more local divisions) is felt very much: but what about your country? Did they form separate communities or tended to live in different areas?

Because I read that, in the USA, North Italians were much better considered than South Italians, who instead (with the typical racist thought of XIXth-early XXth century) were considered just a little better than Afro-Americans.

The greatest number of Italian immigrants that came to the US were from the south of Italy and from the poorer amd less well-educated classes. They were more Mediterranean than Nordic in their features and thus stood out from the northern Europeans of earlier immigrations. Like all earlier immigrants they settled in
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Claymore       7/15/2008 12:41:23 AM
It would be hypocritical for most western governments to oppose any Italian succession attempts. This is due to their stances on the Kosovo situation.

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FT_Italy       7/23/2008 8:39:56 AM

It would be hypocritical for most western governments to oppose any Italian succession attempts. This is due to their stances on the Kosovo situation.


I think the West will have to face such problem well before, with Basque Countries, Flanders and Scotland: actually Spain, tell me if I am wrong, rejected to recognize Kosovo.
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brit cadet       2/24/2009 7:35:30 PM
unlike these other places scotland already has a government of its own and although the uk government makes the important decisions it would not be as difficult for scotland to form instistutions after secession from the uk which incidently would no longer be called  the uk 
cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese
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Nichevo       2/28/2009 2:37:19 PM
You people are all crazy.  Yeah, that's what Europe needs, more countries!  Each of you would just become smaller fish in a larger pool, and more readily swallowed up.  And what DO you think would happen with NATO, with EU, with Gazprom? I guess I don't appreciate, but do you really think Scots will be happier out off England or Catalans and Basques out of Spain?  Imagine all the fricking visas one'll need then...what an expense of spirit all round.
Too bad China isn't going to break up anytime soon, now that would be fun to watch, useful too...
Look, I'm an American and of course we had our own brush with secession, so maybe you don't need to hear from me.  But the big idea here is for your more desirable section of the country to get away from the scum in the other parts?  Does that mean you will be picking up the new country and moving it too?
Drawing board, folks, go back to it.
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