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Italian territory gains autonomy


Agostinho Neto
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RAI Radio Televisione Italiana

BOLZANO-BOZEN - The Italian government has signed an agreement granting autonomy to the German-Speaking Province of Bolzano-Bozen (officially "Autonome Provinz Bozen - Südtirol").

From July 2009, the northern German-Speaking region - now completely dependent on the central government - will be independent in all but defence, foreign policy and law enforcement. The deal follows a referendum in the territory. The small region will take on the status of "Autonomous Province".

The residents of the region known as "Alto Adige" (in German: Südtirol) had argued they were rich enough to stand on their own. "I congratulate you, dutifully and from my heart" said Comandante Junio Borghese, President of the Republic.

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In red the Province of Bolzano-Bozen; In orange the region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, also seeking for autonomy

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Alfons Benedikter

South Tyrolean President Alfons Benedikter has planned to float a new regional party in the Autonome Provinz Bozen - Südtirol, working for the cause of autonomy. In this connection, it has convened a meeting of pro-autonomy organisations at Bozen on July 1 to finalise issues.

Speaking to presspersons in Bozen, Alfons Benedikter, president of the autonomous province said, that many preliminary rounds of meetings at different levels had already been held, and that a final meeting had been scheduled for July 1 to help finalise issues regarding party formation. The proposed regional party Südtiroler Volkspartei (Italian: Partito Popolare Sudtirolese; English: South Tyrolean People's Party) would not have any political party in its fold, they said, but added that the Partito Nazionale Fascista, was among its constituents.

The party will run for local elections on July 1.

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A group of South-Tyrolean nationalits placed a road signal saying "South Tyrol is not Italy". The signal was later removed by government employees.

Hundreds of ethnic italians in Bozen took to the streets in the town to protest against the new law which includes autonomy of the Province of Bolzano-Bozen, witnesses said.

A group of followers of the Partito Nazionale Fascista held up banners that reads "Yes to unity, No to partition" and chanted slogans against the law and the new shift to proto-federalism. Protestors said they were going to register their names in the coming local elections to veto the law which they said is aimed at extending the borders of the German-Speaking autonomous province to pave the way to separation.

The Italian minority remained opposed to autonomy favored by the Sudtiroler Volkspartei and the majority of Junio Borghese's PNF.

Edited by Junio Borghese
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The Republic of Transvaal supports the unity of the Italian territories under the Repubblica Italiana as our government is somewhat concerned that autonomy movements could threaten and disrupt our supply of marble and wheat imported from Italy.

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