Paolo Bernardini on the Venice Secession Vote

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477px-Veneto_in_Italy.svgIn spite of widespread coverage by the UK Guardian, NBC, and The Atlantic, some readers have suggested that the vote on secession in Venice did not actually happen. So, to clear things up, I contacted Prof. Paolo Bernardini, a friend of the Mises Institute,  a local supporter of the vote, and professor of European history at the University of Insubria in Como, Italy.

Bernardini writes:

Dear Ryan,

The vote did indeed happen. International agencies are working to certify the numbers of voters and the results. Once certified, and if and only if no fraud whatsoever will be detected, we will formally ask (in the legal capacity of provisional government of the Veneto) the UN and other international agencies to formally recognize the Venetian Republic, according to the binding principle of the UN 1966 Declaration, art. 1, or the principle of self-determination of the nations. The UN declaration became an Italian law in 1977 and 1978, in a two-step legal process, while the Italian law recognizes the status of “people” (popolo) to the Venetian nation, with a national law of 1971 never repealed. So, there is no legal ground to deny the self-determination of the Venetian people, although I suspect there will be a number of international arbitrations immediately after independence. (The same will happen for Scotland, should she become independent, for instance, as for the disputed ownership of a number of platforms in the Northern sea, and the relevant rights of exploitation of oil and natural gas).

So the British press did not make up the case.

As a libertarian at heart, I dream of a future with no states. As a political realist, well in line with Mises (e.g. in his early work “Liberalismus”), Rothbard, Hoppe, and the Italian libertarians Carlo Lottieri, Marco Bassani, and Alessandro Vitale, I envisage a (near) future world of small states, free to interact in a global, free market.

12:46 pm on March 26, 2014