Italian town declares independence

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 09/07/2011 - 20:56

ROME, Italy - August 31, 2011 - If you’re a small town mayor unhappy with your national government, there’s one thing you can do: declare independence and start issuing currency with your face on it. Just ask the mayor of Filettino, Italy.

Italy is right in the middle of the larger sovereign debt crisis going on in Europe, which is shaking the confidence of markets across the globe. The Italian government has issued a number of austerity measures to get its books in order, including plans to merge the governments of towns with less than 1,000 people to cut costs. That’s a total of 1,963 towns.

But Luca Sellari, the mayor of Filettino, Italy, is fighting back. Rather than give in to the national government’s demands, Sellari wants his central Italian town of 598 to become an independent state under a monarch. Who would be the monarch, you ask? Well, Sellari, of course.

“It’s everyone’s dream to be a prince,” he said.

The town, located about 60 miles from Rome, has begun issuing its own currency, called the fiorito, and according to Sellari, it’s already being used by the townspeople. The town,
which would become a principality, already has a new coat of arms that are on T-shirts and even bottles of liqueur.

Sellari plans to meet with one of the country’s most famous lawyers to examine the legality of his actions. A number of towns and regions have printed their own coin in these tough economic times, and the law, of course, is different depending on where you’re located. As of now, the fiorito is looked at as more of a souvenir than true currency to those outside the town.

However, Sellari envisions Filettino will some day be like the republic of San Marino, which is surrounded by Italy but not officially part of it. It’s the oldest surviving state and constitutional republic in the world; and it has no national debt. In debt-ridden Europe, who even knew that was possible?