Archive for Italy

Action Needed to Save Columbus Day in Baltimore

Columbus Day
The following email about city legislation affecting Columbus Day was sent today to local members of the Knights of Columbus by the national KofC – please share it with your friends and call Friday:

The Baltimore City Council is voting on Monday, Dec. 5, on a proposal to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ and Italian-Americans’ Day.

We urge you to call the city hall operator THIS WEEK at 410-396-3100 or the Office of the City Council President at 410-396-4804 to respectfully express your support for preserving Columbus Day.

The following points may be useful in your conversation:

  1. October 12 should continue to be celebrated as Columbus Day. We strongly object to and oppose any efforts to abolish or diminish this holiday by repeal, dilution or replacement. Such actions are unfair to Columbus himself and to those who celebrate his holiday.

  2. The legacy and accomplishments of Christopher Columbus deserve to be celebrated. He was a man ahead of his time and a fearless explorer and brilliant navigator whose daring discovery changed the course of history.

  3. Columbus has frequently been falsely blamed for the actions of those who came after him and is the victim of horrific slanders concerning his conduct.

  4. Long-time Stanford University Professor Carol Delaney has done extensive research debunking many of the negative myths about Columbus. In fact, she paints a positive portrait of a man who had generally benign relations with the Native Americans and has been unfairly blamed for everything that ever went wrong in the New World after his arrival.

  5. Advocating the addition of a new holiday is one thing, but it is something else altogether to lobby for the diminishment or elimination of an already well-established holiday that is celebrated by Americans year after year.

  6.  Because Columbus Day has special meaning — including to many Italian Americans and Catholics — efforts to repeal, diminish or replace Columbus Day are unfair and hurtful to those communities, regardless of what substitutions are offered.

More on Columbus Day

In 2014,  I wrote about Carol Delaney and her research that debunked many myths about Columbus. She also found that Columbus was searching for gold to help fund a new crusade to retake Jerusalem from Muslim invaders.

Venice votes to secede from Italy

Venician flag flying over Saint Marks Basilica - Venice

Last week, I wrote about the upcoming 5-day vote regarding the Veneto region seceding from Venice. The region includes the cities of Venice, Verona, Padua, Vicenza and Treviso. 89% of residents voted to secede from Italy, but the referendum was “unofficial.” Separatist activists have been cooperating with the Scottish National Party and Basque and Catalonian separatists.

The Daily Mail reports:

Venetians have voted overwhelmingly for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy.

Inspired by Scotland’s separatist ambitions, 89 per cent of the residents of the lagoon city and its surrounding area, opted to break away from Italy in an unofficial ballot.

The proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ would include the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and could later expand to include parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866.

Wealthy Venetians, under mounting financial pressure in the economic crisis, have rallied in their thousands, after growing tired of supporting Italy’s poor and crime ridden Mezzogiorno south, through high taxation.

[…]

Campaigners say that the Rome government receives around 71 billion euros  each year in tax from Venice – some 21 billion euros less than it gets back in investment and services.

Organisers said that 2.36million, 73 per cent, of those eligible to take part voted in the poll, which is not recognised by the Rome government.

The ballot also appointed a committee of ten who immediately declared independence from Italy. Venice may now start withholding taxes from Rome.

Venice region could secede from Italy

Venician flag flying over Saint Marks Basilica - Venice

Sunday Express

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.

More information on Veneto.