Two of Italy's wealthiest regions were drawing up plans yesterday to claw back power and money from Rome after a victory for autonomy campaigners that could deepen divisions in Europe.
Over 95 percent of voters who flocked to the polls in the Veneto and Lombardy regions, home to Venice and Milan, supported a mandate to negotiate a better deal with the Italian capital.
Turnout was higher than expected and the results should not be underestimated in the context of the crisis created by Catalonia's push for independence, analysts warned.
Voter participation stood at 57 percent in Veneto and nearly 39 percent in Lombardy.
The leaders of the two regions will now embark on negotiations with the central government on the devolution of powers and tax revenues from Rome.