Italy

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Introduction - Italy:

Country

Italy

Background

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italys defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.

Location - Italy:

Location

Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

42 50 N, 12 50 E

Map references

Europe

Area

total: 301,230 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
water: 7,210 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily

Area comparative

slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries

total: 1,932.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km

Coastline

7,600 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Terrain

mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

Natural resources

coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land

Land use

arable land: 26.41%
permanent crops: 9.09%
other: 64.5% (2005)

Irrigated land

27,500 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice

Environment current issues

air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities

Environment international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe

People - Italy:

Population

58,147,733 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 13.8% (male 4,121,246/female 3,874,971)
15-64 years: 66.4% (male 19,527,203/female 19,059,897)
65 years and over: 19.9% (male 4,823,244/female 6,741,172) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 42.5 years
male: 41.1 years
female: 44.1 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.01% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

8.54 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

10.5 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

2.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.064 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.025 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.715 male(s)/female
total population: 0.959 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 5.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.94 years
male: 77.01 years
female: 83.07 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.29 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.5% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

140,000 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 1,000 (2003 est.)

Nationality

noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian

Ethnic groups

Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)

Religions

Roman Catholic 90% (approximately; about one-third regularly attend services), other 10% (includes mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community)

Languages

Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle dAosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.8%
female: 98% (2001 census)

Government - Italy:

Country name

conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
local short form: Italia
former: Kingdom of Italy

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Rome
geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 29 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

15 regions (regioni, singular - regione) and 5 autonomous regions* (regioni autonome, singular - regione autonoma); Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia*, Lazio (Latium), Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte (Piedmont), Puglia (Apulia), Sardegna* (Sardinia), Sicilia*, Toscana (Tuscany), Trentino-Alto Adige* (Trentino-South Tyrol), Umbria, Valle dAosta* (Aosta Valley), Veneto

Independence

17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

National holiday

Republic Day, 2 June (1946)

Constitution

passed 11 December 1947, effective 1 January 1948; amended many times

Legal system

based on civil law system; appeals treated as new trials; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal (except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25)

Executive branch

chief of state: President Giorgio NAPOLITANO (since 15 May 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister (referred to in Italy as the president of the Council of Ministers) Romano PRODI (since 17 May 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held 10 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2013); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by parliament
election results: Giorgio NAPOLITANO elected president on the fourth round of voting; electoral college vote - 543

Legislative branch

bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (315 seats; members elected by proportional vote with the winning coalition in each region receiving 55% of seats from that region; to serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; members elected by popular vote with the winning national coalition receiving 54% of chamber seats; to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 10 April 2006 (next to be held in 2011); Chamber of Deputies - last held 10 April 2006 (next to be held in May 2011)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - The Union 158 (DS 62, DL 39, RC 27, Together with the Union 11, other 19), House of Freedoms 154 (FI 79, AN 41, UDC 21, LEGA 13), other 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - The Union 348 (DS 220, RC 41, Rose in the Fist 18, Italy of Values 17, PdCI 16, Greens Federation 15, UDEUR 10, other 11), House of Freedoms 276 (FI 140, AN 71, Union of Christian and Center Democrats 39, LEGA 26), other 6

Judicial branch

Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (composed of 15 judges: one-third appointed by the president, one-third elected by parliament, one-third elected by the ordinary and administrative Supreme Courts)

Political parties and leaders

Center-Left Union Coalition [Romano PRODI]: Ulivo Alliance (including Democrats of the Left or DS [Piero FASSINO]; Daisy-Democracy is Freedom or DL [Francesco RUTELLI]); Rose in the Fist (including Italian Social Democrats or SDI [Enrico BOSELLI]; Italian Radical Party [Emma BONINO]); Together with the Union (including Italian Communist Party or PdCI [Oliviero DILIBERTO]; Green Federation [Alfonso PECORARO SCANIO]; United Consumers); Communist Renewal or RC [Fausto BERTINOTTI]; Italy of Values or IdV [Antonio DI PIETRO]; Union of Democrats for Europe or UDEUR [Clemente MASTELLA]; Republican European Movement or MRE [Luciana SBARBATI]
Center-Right Freedom House Coalition [Silvio BERLUSCONI]: Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI]; National Alliance or AN [Gianfranco FINI]; Union of Christian Democrats and Centrist Democrats or UDC [Pier Ferdinando CASINI]; Northern League or LEGA [Umberto BOSSI]; Christian Democracy (Per la Autonomie) [Gianfranco ROTONDI]
other non-allied parties: New Italian Socialist Party or New PSI [Gianni DE MICHELIS]; Italian Republican Party or PRI [Giorgio LA MALFA]; Social Alternative [Alessandra MUSSOLINI]; Social Movement-Tricolor Flame or MSI-Fiamma [Luca ROMAGNOLI]; Social Idea Movement with Rauti or MIS [Pino RAUTI]; South Tyrol Peoples Party or SVP (German speakers) [Elmar Pichler ROLLE]; Union of Valley Aosta Region or UV [Guido CESAL]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Italian manufacturers and merchants associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio); organized farm groups (Confcoltivatori, Confagricoltura); Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Guglielmo EPIFANI] which is left wing, Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Savino PEZZOTTA], which is Roman Catholic centrist, and Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Luigi ANGELETTI] which is lay centrist)

International organization participation

AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Giovanni CASTELLANETA
chancery: 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco
consulate(s): Detroit

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald P. SPOGLI
embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 121, 00187-Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
telephone: [39] (06) 46741
FAX: [39] (06) 488-2672, 4674-2356
consulate(s) general: Florence, Milan, Naples

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and is green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of the Cote dIvoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797

Economy - Italy:

Economy overview

Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Italy has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italys rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions. But the leadership faces a severe economic constraint: the budget deficit has breached the 3% EU ceiling. The economy experienced low growth in 2006, and unemployment remained at a high level.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$1.756 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$1.785 trillion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

1.9% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$30,200 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 2%
industry: 29.1%
services: 69% (2006 est.)

Labor force

24.63 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 5%
industry: 32%
services: 63% (2001)

Unemployment rate

7% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 26.6% (2000)

Distribution of family income gini index

36 (2000)

Inflation rate consumer prices

2.3% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

20.8% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $832.9 billion
expenditures: $925 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

107.8% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish

Industries

tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics

Industrial production growth rate

1.5% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

277.6 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

303.8 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

800 million kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

46.4 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

145,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

1.881 million bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

521,400 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

2.182 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

621.7 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

12.96 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

80.61 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

396 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

67.91 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

226.5 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$23.73 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$450.1 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; food, beverages and tobacco; minerals, and nonferrous metals

Exports partners

Germany 13.2%, France 11.7%, US 7.6%, Spain 7.3%, UK 6.1% (2006)

Imports

$445.6 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages, and tobacco

Imports partners

Germany 16.7%, France 9.2%, Netherlands 5.6%, China 5.2%, Belgium 4.2%, Spain 4.1% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$70.5 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

ODA, $1 billion (2002 est.)

Debt external

$1.957 trillion (30 June 2006 est.)

Currency code

euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Italy:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

25.049 million (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

71.5 million (2005)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern, well developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services
domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks
international: country code - 39; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (with a total of 5 antennas - 3 for Atlantic Ocean and 2 for Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and NA Eutelsat; 21 submarine cables

Radio broadcast stations

AM about 100, FM about 4,600, shortwave 9 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

358 (plus 4,728 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code

.it

Internet hosts

1.731 million (2006)

Internet users

28.855 million (2006)

Transportation - Italy:

Airports

133 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 98
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 31
under 914 m: 14 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 35
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 14
under 914 m: 19 (2006)

Heliports

5 (2006)

Pipelines

gas 17,589 km; oil 1,136 km (2006)

Railways

total: 19,460 km
standard gauge: 18,038 km 1.435-m gauge (11,354 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 123 km 1.000-m gauge (123 km electrified); 1,299 km 0.950-m gauge (161 km electrified) (2006)

Roadways

total: 484,688 km
paved: 484,688 km (includes 6,621 km of expressways) (2004)

Waterways

2,400 km
note: used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail (2006)

Merchant marine

total: 591 ships (1000 GRT or over) 11,737,175 GRT/12,573,225 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 52, cargo 45, chemical tanker 136, container 25, liquefied gas 37, livestock carrier 3, passenger 16, passenger/cargo 150, petroleum tanker 49, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 33, specialized tanker 13, vehicle carrier 28
foreign-owned: 36 (France 1, Greece 6, Spain 1, Taiwan 10, UK 3, US 15)
registered in other countries: 152 (Bahamas 5, Belize 4, Cayman Islands 12, Cyprus 2, France 2, Germany 1, Gibraltar 6, Isle of Man 5, Jamaica 1, Liberia 16, Malta 29, Marshall Islands 1, Norway 4, Panama 15, Portugal 12, Romania 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18, Singapore 2, Spain 2, Sweden 7, Turkey 3, UK 4) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Augusta, Genoa, Livorno, Melilli Oil Terminal, Ravenna, Taranto, Trieste, Venice

Military - Italy:

Military branches

Army (Esercito Italiano, EI), Navy (Marina Militare Italiana, MMI), Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana, AMI), Carabinieri Corps (Corpo dei Carabinieri, CC) (2005)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 year of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished January 2005; women may serve in any military branch; 10-month service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 45 (Army and Air Force) or 39 (Navy) (2006)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 13,491,260
females age 18-49: 12,886,033 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 10,963,513
females age 18-49: 10,452,189 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 286,344
females age 18-49: 270,099 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

1.8% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

Italys long coastline and developed economy entices tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from southeastern Europe and northern Africa

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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