Over the next five days up to four million Venetians will be given the chance to go to the polls and vote on whether Veneto, one of Italy’s three wealthiest regions, should secede from Italy and become an “independent and sovereign federal republic”.
The “plebiscito” will also ask voters to tick “si” or “no” to EU membership, and to vote for delegates to lead the new republic out of a list of 30 candidates.
At stake for angry Venetians is the £17billion in taxes separatists claim are “stolen” from Veneto’s coffers every year by Rome to prop up a failing Italian economy.
The region which, apart from Venice, includes the cities of Verona, Padua, Vicenza and Treviso, has a working population of 3.8million and a healthy annual GDP of around £120billion.
Half, however, leaves the region in national taxes, contributing around 10 per cent of Italy’s GDP.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.