Italian separatists inspire self-proclaimed Donbas republics

Author : Svyatoslav Bohdanov

Source : 112 Ukraine

Italy’s Northern provinces recognize Crimea as part of Russia and make loud statements about removal of all sanctions against Russia
10:35, 12 September 2016

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Russia sanctions
Open source

Media of so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic” reported that delegation of deputies from the Italian province of Piedmont visited occupied Lugansk on September 8. During the press conference, one of these deputies Maurizio Marrone said that half of MPs of Piedmont allegedly support recognition of "Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics" and want to achieve the same at the international level. In addition, Marrone openly criticized the official position of Rome and threateningly said that "sooner or later the central government would not be able to ignore the voices of the people."

Related: Italian deputies to visit Crimea in October

Since 2014, Russia is subjected to international political and economic sanctions, the main task of which is to stop the aggression of Russia against Ukraine. However, the sanctions affect not only Russia, but also the other states (which are in economic relations with Moscow) suffer from them. Apparently, this impact on the economies of many European states is negative, due to the lack of trade relations. And when the US add to the sanctions list new companies and persons, the northern regions of Italy are moving in the opposite direction, recognizing the annexation of Crimea and legitimacy "LPR/DPR," making loud statements about the need for the removal of all sanctions against Russia.

Related: Italian parliamentarians are going to visit Crimea

This is not the first time when some Italian regions make controversial decisions.

In May, Veneto region council adopted a resolution about recognition of Crimea part of Russia. The council called on the Italian government to condemn EU policy towards Crimea and Russia and seek cancellation of sanctions against the latter.

After Venice, Lombardy and Liguria adopted similar resolution in June and July.

Interestingly, the author of these initiatives was the same formation - "Northern League". According to official data, this is North Italian right-populist nationalist-separatist Conservative Party, which since 1991 has been struggling for granting Piedmont, Veneto, and Lombardy independence and creation of a new state with its capital in Milan. The main argument is that industrialized north regions do not want to "feed" the backward regions of the south. For Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia Romagna anti-Russian sanctions mean a 70%decrease in goods exports to Russia. It cased causing wave of dissatisfaction concerning the policy on northern regions and a new breath of separatist intentions of "League."

Being a right Conservative Party, "Northern League" fights for preservation of traditional values and the role of the Catholic Church, so it feels tacit support of the Vatican, which just does not share liberal attitude of the central Italian government and the entire European Union (for example liberal approach to homosexuality).

Related: "DPR leader": Coca-Cola, Mickey Mouse, jeans and Playboy cause moral decadence

But let us come back to the resolutions of the northern Italian regions. What legal force do they have, and which threats do they carry for the EU?

Art. 5 of Italian Constitution specifies that " The Republic, one and indivisible, recognizes and promotes local autonomies; implements in those services which depend on the State the fullest measure of administrative decentralization; adjusts the principles and methods of its legislation to the requirements of autonomy and decentralization." And art. 121 states that " The organs of the Region are: the Regional Council, the Regional Executive (la Giunta) and its President. The Regional Council exercises the legislative powers vested in the Region and the other functions vested in it by the Constitution and by the laws. It may propose bills to the Chambers of Parliament. The Regional Executive is the executive organ of the Region. The President of the Regional Executive represents the Region, directs the policies of the Executive for which he is responsible, promulgates the laws and regional regulations and directs the administrative functions delegated to the Region by the State, in conformity with the instructions of the Government of the Republic." At the same time, art. 126 provides that " With a reasoned Decree of the President of the Republic, the Regional Council may be dissolved and the President of the Regional Executive may be removed from office if they have committed acts contrary to the Constitution or serious offenses against the law. The dissolution of the Council and the removal of the President may also be ordered for reasons of national security."

Related: No one wants to live in “DPR/LPR”: percentage of pro-Russian citizens in Donbas dropped by 10%

Therefore, Italian constitution gives no chance for separation of any region, as it is a unitary state. As for the abolition of sanctions, the legislative initiatives and proposals of individual regions to the Chamber of Deputies do not imply a decision. In the worst case, the central government of the country may even dissolve "unreliable" regional councils to avoid autonomist manifestations in the north of the state.

Even if some opposition deputies in some regions of northern Italy would have enough votes, they just cannot decide the issues of national character; they might only express their wishes and recommendations.

Thus, the offers of individual provinces of Italy to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, or formal existence of “LPR/DPR” terrorist have no legal influence on international policies of official Rome. However, in terms of the global information war, these events play a very significant role. In addition, it creates a bad reputation for the northern regions of Italy.

Related: Military forces of unrecognized “republics”are fully controlled by Russian generals - expert

Some events indicate that the disintegration of the European Union has already begun. Brexit was the most vivid marker of this phenomena. Who knows, maybe the French presidential elections in spring 2017 will be the next stage of this process. Leader of the ultra-right French party "National Front" Marine Le Pen has promised that in case of her victory, she will hold a referendum on the country's exit from the EU.

Separatist "contagion" spreads quickly, especially when it has a good “informational nutrition.” Events in Ukrainian Crimea and Donbas do not disappear from the pages of international publications and channels for several years. It is clearly demonstrating the reality of geopolitical changes in the world order, even if its price is tens of thousands of lives.

Related: German MPs will not go to occupied Crimea

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