Here National Review’s John Fund looks at Scotland and Venice as two examples.
The debt crisis and years of barely perceptible economic growth are fueling independence movements in some regions of Europe.
On September 18, Scotland will vote on becoming independent from the United Kingdom. If a majority approves, the U.K. would lose a full 10 percent of its population and a third of its landmass. Polls show that backers of independence are trailing but gaining; they now have more than 40 percent of the vote.
Last month, Venice and its surrounding areas held a non-binding online referendum on independence from Italy. Of the Veneto region’s 5 million people, more than 2 million cast ballots, and an astonishing 89 percent supported secession. Even if some of the votes cast were duplicates (something security precautions were erected to prevent), the result clearly shows an alienated and angry electorate. The regional government might soon announce a more formal referendum to be held at polling places.