Lombard president say autonomy referendum can change Europe

Lombard president Roberto Maroni says referendums that seek greater autonomy for two of Italy's most prosperous regions have the potential to join the Brexit campaign and the Catalonia independence vote in changing the face of Europe.

Maroni said Friday that a primary aim is to retain 54 billion euros in tax revenue that goes to Rome each year. But the former interior minister also wants control over security and migration.

Voters in the Northern League-governed regions of Lombardy and Veneto will decide Oct. 22 if they want their presidents to seek greater autonomy, as already allotted to five other Italian regions.

Maroni called the project "very ambitious," adding: "It is not that I want some additional competencies. I want to change history. And this referendum gives me the possibility."