Two of Italy's wealthiest regions are poised to hold a referendum on greater autonomy Sunday, marking the latest bids by European regions to wrestle more power away from the establishment.
Lombardy and Veneto, two northern regions home to about a quarter of Italy's population, are pushing for more control over their finances and administrations.
Milan and Venice, the respective capitals of Lombardy and Veneto, have both campaigned for total independence from Rome in the past.
However, lawmakers have agreed ahead of the forthcoming ballots that Sunday's vote is about fiscal autonomy and not secession. And while both votes have been authorized by the relevant state institutions, the referendum results will not be legally binding.