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After Scotland, watch out for these breakaway regions

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Scotland's independence vote has caught the eye of the media worldwide—and piqued the hopes of other breakaway movements across Europe.

According to Capital Economics, the next regions most likely to push for independence are Catalonia in Spain and Flanders in Belgium, followed by the Veneto region in Italy and even Bavaria in Germany.

Click ahead to learn which regions may try to follow Scotland—and why.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato on Tuesday September 16.

Catalonia, Spain

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Where: North-East Spain, including the city of Barcelona.

Desire for independence: In 2009 and 2011, unofficial referendums were held in hundreds of Catalan towns. The independence option won an overwhelming majority, but participation was very low.

Catalonia is in the spotlight at present, with nationalists vying for an official independence referendum of their own to take place on November 9 this year. However, the vote is very likely to be judged unconstitutional.

"We believe that the surge in support for Scottish independence in the past few weeks might trigger a response from the Spanish central government that could actually reduce the risk of a Spanish break-up," said JPMorgan's David Mackie and Gianluca Salford in a research note this month.

Basque Country, France & Spain

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Where: Part of South-West France and a larger part of northern Spain across the Pyrenees mountains.

Desire for independence: Possibly strengthening—the two main nationalist parties triumphed in the most recent elections in the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain.

The Basque people are one of the oldest surviving ethnic groups in Europe and retain a distinctive language and culture. They have considerable autonomy in Spain, but little in France. Separatists want to see Basques in the two countries united as one people.

The Basque bid for independence appears to have strengthened since armed separatist group ETA renounced violence in 2011—after killing hundreds of people over the previous 40 years.

In the 2012 elections in the Basque Autonomous Community, the Basque National party remained the strongest political force.

Flanders, Belgium

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Where: Northern Belgium, including the cities of Bruges and Antwerp, where Dutch is spoken.

Desire for independence: In elections in May, the New Flemish Alliance won the largest share of the vote, making it an unavoidable part of the new coalition government.

The center-right party is in favor of long-term secession from Belgium, but is treading carefully to ensure it does not alienate either the electorate or political allies.

More than three months after the elections, discussions to form a coalition government are still ongoing. In 2011, government formation talks were deadlocked for 541 days, prompting concern the country could be on the brink of a break-up.


Bavaria, Germany

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Where: South-East Germany, including the city of Munich.

Desire for independence: Very low but possibly growing.

The separatist Bavaria Party scored 2.1 percent of the vote in Bavarian elections last year—the highest since 1966, but still far lower than its 1950s' heyday.

Nonetheless, the party believes that Scottish secession would provide a major boost for its own 60-year independence campaign.

"We wish our Scottish friends victory in the referendum with all our hearts," Bavaria Party Chairman Florian Weber told The Local, an English-language German news service, last week.

"A 'yes' vote would have a positive effect on other regions in Europe. For us in Bavaria, it would be a real boost and it would no longer be so easy for our media to negate or ridicule this topic."


Venice and surrounding Veneto region, Italy

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Where: The city of Venice and the surround Veneto region in North-East Italy.

Desire for independence: Medium.

Regionalist movements are a long-standing part of the political scene in Italy—which was only formed as a nation-state in the 19th century.

One such movement is Venetian nationalism, whose proponents trumpet that the Venetian Republic was one of the world's first modern states, and held strong for over 1,000 years prior to the formation of Italy.

An unofficial independence referendum was held online for citizens of Veneto in March this year. According to Plebiscite 2013, the regionalist organization which hosted the vote, around two-thirds of citizens took part, with 89.1 percent of these voting "yes" to independence. However, as the vote was unauthorized and non-binding, Veneto remains part of Italy.


South Tyrol, Italy

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Where: An Alpine region at the northernmost point in Italy, bordering Austria to the east and north and Switzerland to the west.

Desire for independence: High, although the province already has significant autonomy.

South Tyrol was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I, after which it was annexed to Italy. A dispute over autonomy between Italy and Austria did not officially end until 1992 and the majority of the population still speaks German as its first language.

Calls for either independence or the right cede to Austria continue to this day. The South Tyrolean Freedom party held an unofficial referendum in October 2013 on self-determination, in which 92 percent of the 61,000 people who voted (out of a total electorate of 400,000) were in favor of secession.


‘Padania’, Italy

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Where: All of northern Italy - in particular the Po Valley.

Desire for independence: Low, outside of the right-wing Northern League Party.

Separate to Venice and South Tyrol's bid for independence, the anti-immigrant and anti-euro Northern League Party is pushing for all of the wealthy north of Italy to break away from the poorer south.

The Northern League, which was previously allied with Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, wants to recreate the ancient historical region known as Padania, which includes Lombardy around Milan and Piedmont on the border with France and Switzerland, as well as Veneto.

Last week, Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Northern League, said that Scotland's referendum had bolstered his secession hopes.

"The fact the vote is taking place at all is a positive thing for us in Padania. We are going relaunch the battle for independence," he told the U.K.'s Financial Times newspaper.


Wales, United Kingdom

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Where: West of England in Great Britain. Wales is one of the four countries which make up the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Desire for independence: Tepid.

Wales would be a leading candidate to follow in Scotland's footsteps—except most Welsh say they are happy as part of the United Kingdom. A YouGov poll this month showed support for independence was growing in Wales, but was still opposed by a margin of four-to-one. More than three-to-one of those Welsh people surveyed also opposed Scottish independence.


Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Where: North-East Ireland, including Belfast.

Desire for independence: Sharply split on sectarian lines.

David Trimble, the former Northern Ireland first minister, warned this month that a "yes" vote in Scotland could intensify pressure for a similar referendum in his country—further polarizing its sectarian politics.

A Scottish "yes" vote, "means the union becomes a live issue again in the province", Trimble told The Guardian newspaper. "It will polarize and further divide like never before."

Northern Ireland suffered 30 years of deadly violence from the late 1960s due to battles between "unionists" who wanted to remain part of the U.K. and "nationalists" who wanted to re-join the rest of Ireland. Tensions have waned since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, but sectarianism and segregation remain.


Cornwall, England, United Kingdom

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Where: A large county in the South West toe of England.

Desire for independence: Low—but some calls for devolution from Westminster.

Like Scotland, Cornwall has Celtic roots, a vibrant identity and a long coastline. It even has its own microclimate, with warmer winters than the rest of the country.

The nationalist Party for Cornwall has called for Cornwall to be recognized as a nation-state and granted legislative powers similar to those of Scotland and Wales. It does not want Cornwall to become independent of the U.K. however.