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Italian town, pop. 598, wants to secede from ailing Italy

The New York Times story today doesn't really speculate if this is a publicity stunt, or a serious effort to secede. This reminds me a bit of The Mouse That Roared.

Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters

A general view of Filettino, 43 miles east of Rome, Aug. 29. Filettino, a small town in central Italy, is trying to go independent and mint its own money in protest against government austerity cuts. The town is rebelling against a proposal to merge the governments of towns with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants to save money. Filettino has only around 550 people, but instead of merging with neighboring Trevi, Mayor Luca Sellari is trying to go it alone and set up a "principality" along the lines of the famous republic of San Marino to the north.

Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters

Mayor Luca Sellari displays Filettino's own bank currency, the "Fiorito", at his office in Filettino.

Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters

A saleswoman holds up a T-shirt with a Filettino Principality logo for sale in Filettino, 43 miles east of Rome, August 29.