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Italy separatists unfazed by Scotland's 'no'

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Italy separatists unfazed by Scotland's 'no'
The Pro Lombardy Independence group is slowly watching what happens in Spain's Catalonia region. Photo: Pro Lombardy Independence
14:07 CEST+02:00
The Scots may have voted to stay united with the rest of Britain but that hasn't dampened the spirits of separatists in Lombardy, the president of the northern Italian region's independence movement told The Local.

"It is unfortunate that Scotland voted against independence," Giovanni Roversi, the president of Pro Lombardy Independence, told The Local on Friday.

"But we're still strong in our views that Lombardy should be in control of its own destiny."

The group is now pinning its hopes on a successful ballot over independence in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia region.

The parliament there was due on Friday to pass a new electoral law that leaders say will allow them to hold a non-binding "consultation" on independence.

READ MORE HERE: Spain welcomes Scots' 'no' but Catalans unfazed

The region's president Artur Mas then plans to sign a decree formally calling the vote for November 9th, but Spain's government has vowed to block those steps by appealing to the Constitutional Court.

"We will closely watch what happens in Catalonia," Roversi added.

"Then we will decide how to take our own movement forward. We still believe Lombardy would be better independent; the main problem is we pay much more tax compared to other regions but don't get the services to match."

The momentum ahead of the Scottish vote helped regional independence groups in Italy gather wind in their sails.

Earlier this year, an unofficial online referendum in Veneto - the region around Venice - saw 89 percent vote for separation from Italy.

Separatist groups have also formed in Sardinia and Sicily.

The sudden takeover of Italy's leadership by Matteo Renzi in February also spurred the independence campaigns.

"He didn't get voted in and I don't think he'll do much," Roversi told The Local in April.

READ MORE HERE: Why Italy might not exist in five years 

Angelo Cioccia, a councillor for the Northern League's Lombardy office, said in a statement on Wednesday that the region "has an obligation to its citizens to keep resources within its territory."

Cioccia and a delegation from the party's youth movement, Giovani Padani, went to Scotland on Thursday to support voters for independence and show the party's "firm sharing of the principle of autonomy".

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