October 22, 2017 / 10:42 PM / a year ago

Two rich Italian regions vote for more autonomy - prelim results

Residents arrive to cast their electronic votes for the Lombardy's autonomy referendum at a polling station in Milan, Italy, October 22, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - Two wealthy regions of northern Italy, Lombardy and Veneto, voted overwhelmingly on Sunday for more autonomy from the central government, according to preliminary results.

Millions of people in the regions, both run by the once openly secessionist Lega Nord party, voted more than 90 percent for “yes”. Together, Lombardy and Veneto account for a third of the Italian economy.

The party wants to use the results to persuade Rome to allow the regions to keep more of their taxes at home, though the referendums are not binding on the central government.

Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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