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Country Information
Capital: Rome Population: 61,016,804 (est.) Language: Italian, French minority in Val d'Aosta, German minority in Trentino Alto Adige and Albanian minority in Puglia Weights and Metric Measures: Currency: European Euro Time Zone GMT +1

Flag description Three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; design inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797; colors are those of Milan (red and white) combined with the green uniform color of the Milanese civic guard.

Note: similar to the flag of Mexico, which is longer, uses darker shades of red and green, and has its coat of arms centered on the white band; Ireland, which is longer and is green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of the Cote d'Ivoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green.

Culturally and linguistically. and art during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. which flourished between 900 and 150 BC in the Center North. Umbrians and Latins. came an Italy whose people would make immeasurable contributions. After the Roman Republic and Empire dominated this part of the world for many centuries. the origins of Italian history can be traced back to the 9th century BC.Italy. Latium and Campania. has significantly contributed to the cultural and social development of the entire Mediterranean area. Po Valley. . as Romeemerged as the dominant city around 350 BC. Linguistically they are divided into Oscans. Many cultures and civilizations have existed there since prehistoric times. when earliest accounts date the presence of Italic tribes in modern central Italy. Some of these contributions led to the development of European philosophy. science. Other pre-Roman civilizations include Magna Graeciain Southern Italy and the earlier Etruscan civilization. Later the Latin culture became dominant. united in 1861.

before the Italian Peninsula was eventually liberated and unified amidst much struggle in the 19th and 20th centuries. as being the 11th greatest worldwide national power. the Austrian and Napoleon's empire. the country built acolonial empire. such as the European Economic Community. In 1946. and 2 June 1946 saw the birth of the Italian Republic. The 1950s and 1960s in Italy saw a period of rapid modernization and economic growth succeeding the disastrous consequences of World War II. NATO. measuring hard power. and Italy has been classified in a study. The Fascists. or has joined. and ever since. or the new Kingdom of Italy. Italy was a hard-fought a battlefield 1943-45. took over and set up an authoritarian dictatorship 1922-43. Italy is currently ranked as a regional power. Italy was a junior partner ofNazi Germany and Japan in World War II. the Kingdom of Italy was abolished. Italy has been one of the founding nations. which later became the European Union. and countries along the Mediterranean. the G20. and after the southern regions had been liberated in 1943 the Fascists fought on until surrendering in 1945 as the "Republic of Salò".[8] . colonizing parts of Africa. several organizations.Dominated by city-states for much of the medieval and Renaissance period. led by Benito Mussolini. the United Nations. In the late-19th century and early 20th century. while the Vatican maintained control over the central part of it. the G7. Parts of Italy were annexed to the Spanish. due to a referendum. and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Italy suffered enormous losses in World War I but came out on the winning side. the Italian peninsulaalso experienced several foreign dominations.UNESCO. which afterward became the G8.

is balanced the year round and there is not much fluctuation and ranges between 11°to 19°C (about 52° to 66°F). when the . Italy consists of The Po river valley .926 sq mi. Mount Vesuvius near Naples. its principal river. Rainfall mainly occurs during the fall and winter months. 25.Italy.the two largest islands in the Mediterranean sea comes under Italy. Po river is the longest river in Italy running for 652km. Climate of Italy : Italy has a great diversity of climates ranging from the frigid in the higher elevations of the Alps and Apennines. Switzerland. Several islands form part of Italy. The Apennine Mountains form the peninsula's backbone. 370 sq km). The largest of its many northern lakes is Garda (143 sq mi. The temperature. to the semitropical along the coast of the Ligurian Sea and the western coast of the Lower Peninsula.301 sq mi.. however. flows from the Alps on Italy's western border and crosses the Lombard plain to the Adriatic Sea. make those areas very cold during winters. the Po. Cool Mediterranean breezes modify extremetemperatures. the Alps form its northern boundary. the dormant volcano and Mount Etna . and Slovenia to the north.The plain is known as the Padan Plain . Italy is also famous for the two volcanoes. Mont blanc with a height of 4810mts.708 sq km) and Sardinia (9. the active volcano situated in Sicily . and forms the largest alluvial plain along its coast. the largest are Sicily (9. is a long peninsula shaped like a boot. Austria. 24. The northeastern winds blowing on the eastern slopes. The Italian Peninsula and Sardinia and Sicily. is the highest point in Italy. slightly larger than Arizona.Italy is located in the southern part of Europe. It is bounded by France. surrounded on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the east by the Adriatic. however.090 sq km).

Sardinia. Within mainland Italy lie the independent countries of San Marino and Vatican City. Prime minister: Silvio Berlusconi Silvio Berlusconi began his third term as prime minister of Italy in May 2008. the Tyrrhenian Sea. Apart from the mainland. Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea on the east. heading a centre-right coalition including his own Forza Italia party. veteran politician. the Ligurian Sea. The former member of the Italian Communist Party was among the leading architects of the party's transformation into a social-democratic movement. and Sicily. Italy also comprises of the Mediterranean islands of Elba.westerly winds prevail. was sworn in as Italy's 11th post-war president in May 2006. and many lesser islands. and France on the northwest. and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. . disband parliament and call elections. The Italian president heads the armed forces and has powers to veto legislation. He played a key role in a fierce right-to-die debate in 2009 by refusing to sign an emergency government decree ordering doctors Giorgio Napolitano to resume feeding a woman who had been in a coma for 17 years. GOVERNMENT President: Giorgio Napolitano Giorgio Napolitano. Location of Italy : Italy shares its borders with Switzerland and Austria on the north. the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea on the south.

Timeline: Berlusconi's political The government was not able to meet its career economic targets. He used the period in opposition to reorganise Three-times premier Silvio Forza Italia along more traditional party lines. His legal troubles took a surprise turn in October 2009 when the constitutional court overturned a law granting him immunity while in office. Berlusconi and won the 2001 elections at the head of a broader centre-right coalition with a Profile: Silvio Berlusconi commitment to simplify the tax system and halve unemployment. The ruling meant he could face trial in at least two court cases. and narrowly lost power in 2006. He also has interests in banking and insurance. when he first moved directly into politics. The financial crisis of 2008 led to a boost in Mr Berlusconi's popularity ratings. . and owns three of the country's seven television channels and several leading newspapers. and owns the AC Milan football team. His brand of populism and can-do image. he was later acquitted or benefited from the expiry of the statute of limitations. Mr Berlusconi has been put on trial at least six times over financial matters. Although found guilty on three occasions. and he headed a fractious right-wing coalition that fell after a few months. especially over legislation seen as protecting his commercial interests. which paralysed the established parties. drawing accusations that it was tailormade for him.The dominant figure on the right since 1994. including one accusing him of corruption. heavily promoted through his media empire. Mr Berlusconi launched his political career during the corruption inquiries of 1994. Italy!") party the largest in the new parliament. His business contacts and media role have led to accusations of conflict of interest. who denies all charges. were suspended as a result of the law. He took steps to inject money into troubled banks and high-profile businesses and his ability to rule by decree when necessary seems to have reassured at least some voters. made his new Forza Italia ("Let's go. Mr Berlusconi built a business empire out of construction and media interests in his native Milan. The law was pushed through by Berlusconi's coalition in 2008 when he faced separate trials in Milan for corruption and tax fraud tied to his Mediaset broadcasting empire. He is one of Italy's wealthiest men. The proceedings against Mr Berlusconi.

to other previous GATT members who have yet to ratify the accord. Mr Berlusconi survived four no-confidence votes brought as concerns mounted over scandals in his personal life and the corruption allegations against him. Though his governing coalition has been looking increasingly shaky. Estonia. such as the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (formerly the Multi-Fiber Agreement). Mr Berlusconi insists that the case is politically motivated and accuses the Milan prosecutors of pursuing a vendetta against him. Bulgaria. he has dismissed talk of an early election and insists he will see out his term until elections scheduled for 2013. The WTO oversees most global trade in goods and services as negotiated in the various agreements. The European Union has numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements. Malta. Czech Republic. Portugal. Mr Fini had repeatedly voiced concern about the rule of law in Italy. Turkey Agreement. Baltic Sea countries Agreement. The exemption or reduced tariff is applicable only to qualified members under the agreement as originating goods. TRADE The European Union (EU) allows for the free movement of goods between Italy and other member states: Austria. His coalition lost its majority in the lower house of parliament in August 2010.Under the General Preferential Tariff (GPT) duty-free entry is allowed for . Between August and December. Lithuania. France.In 2009. Poland. Luxembourg. Slovakia. Latvia. Greece. when more than 30 deputies led by his long-time ally. Finland. Hungary. Germany. Cyprus. as well as. However. Sweden. Israel Agreement. which is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). including allegedly spending a night with an escort and the publication of pictures of topless women at his residence. PECO countries Agreement. Slovenia. Denmark. Gianfranco Fini broke away from his Party of Freedom. Ireland. Mr Berlusconi came under pressure from the centre-left opposition over a series of allegations about his sex life. a Milan judge ordered that he should stand trial on 6 April on charges of abuse of power and paying a minor for sex. Romania. and United Kingdom. In February 2011. Belgium. MFN or Most Favored Nation tariff treatment is accorded to all countries that have ratified the WTO. Netherlands. All agreements ratified by European Union Executive Commission automatically apply to all EU member states. All these agreements are grouped under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO). he maintains only a tiny majority in parliament and so his ability to implement any kind of legislative programme is severely restricted. it also provides arbitration in case of disputes.

although in the early 2000s the government of Silvio Berlusconi adopted a more Eurosceptic stance.a towering 120% of GDP Venice: The city built on islets has in the eurozone.the lowest in Europe . in his support for the US-led campaign in Iraq. . Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of wild fauna and flora provides for the seizure of shipments prohibited under this agreement and the assessment of fines.. who was prime minister from 2006 to 2008. instructed Italians to "rediscover the culture of life and love and. pulled the Italian troops out of Iraq and set about restoring good relations with other EU member states. The Italian political landscape underwent a seismic shift in the 1990s when the "Clean Hands" operation exposed corruption at the highest levels of politics and big business. been sinking There is concern over Italy's birth rate . Mr Berlusconi sought to align Italy more closely to the US.. Italy had one of the highest levels of public debt . By the summer of 2011. France and Germany. Italy is the fourth largest European economy and for long enjoyed one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe. The Europhile Romano Prodi. their mission as parents".direct importation in all EU member states of eligible goods from the countries listed in the preliminary section of the Customs Tariff. With the population forecast to fall significantly over the next 50 years. Several former prime ministers were implicated and thousands of businessmen and politicians were investigated. Italy was one of the six countries which signed the 1951 Paris Treaty setting Europe off on the path to integration. breaking ranks with the country's traditional allies. the late Pope. But it became one of the first eurozone victims of the global financial crisis of 2008. It has been staunchly at the heart of Europe ever since. despite the decline in traditional industries such as textiles and car manufacturing as a result of globalisation. John Paul II.and the economic implications of an ageing population.

with high unemployment. which by some estimates accounts for as much as 15% of GDP. but in the longer-term Italy's low fertility rate and quota-driven immigration policies will increasingly strain its economy. and increasing employment opportunities for young workers.Overview Italy has a diversified industrial economy. and its fiscal deficit . welfare-dependent. The international financial crisis worsened conditions in Italy's labor market. The Italian government has struggled to limit government spending. A rise in exports and investment driven by the global economic recovery nevertheless helped the economy grow by about 1% in 2010 following a 5% contraction in 2009. which is divided into a developed industrial north. but Italy's exceedingly high public debt remains above 115% of GDP. as the costs of servicing the country's debt rose. These activities are most common within the agriculture.4% in 2010. construction. Italy also has a sizable underground economy. overhauling costly entitlement programs. such as reducing graft. and a less-developed.2% in 2007 to 8.just 1. . particularly women. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and mediumsized enterprises. and service sectors. many of them family owned. with unemployment rising from 6. dominated by private companies. Italy has moved slowly on implementing needed structural reforms. agricultural south.5% of GDP in 2007 exceeded 5% in 2009 and 4% in 2010.

) -5.100 (2009 est.) note: data are in 2010 US dollars .) $31.per capita (PPP) $30.) GDP .real growth rate 1.GDP (purchasing power parity) $1.) $1.3% (2010 est.) $1.) GDP .500 (2010 est.800 (2008 est.) $30.) note: data are in 2010 US dollars GDP (official exchange rate) $2.055 trillion (2010 est.2% (2009 est.) -1.751 trillion (2009 est.3% (2008 est.847 trillion (2008 est.774 trillion (2010 est.

1% (2005) Unemployment rate 8.) .Gini index 32 (2006) 27.8% (2000) Distribution of family income .2% industry: 30.) Population below poverty line NA% Labor force 24.3% services: 72.4% (2010 est.8% (2009 est.7% services: occupation agriculture: 4.) Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.) 7.4% of GDP (2010 est.GDP .composition by sector agriculture: 1.3% highest 10%: 26.3 (1995) Investment (gross fixed) 19.98 million (2010 est.) Labor force .8% (2010 est.9% industry: 25.

) Central bank discount rate 1.) Public debt 119. which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area Commercial bank prime lending rate 4.052 trillion (2010 est.Budget revenues: $957.6% (2010 est.6% of GDP (2010 est.) Stock of narrow money $1.6% of GDP (2010 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -4.303 trillion (31 December 2009 est.) Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.) Note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area.025% (31 December 2010 est.757% (31 December 2009 est.1% of GDP (2010 est.6 billion expenditures: $1.8% (2009 est.) $1.75% (31 December 2009) note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility. individual members of .) 0.223 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) 115.9% of GDP (2009 est.) 4.) Taxes and other revenues 46. the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).75% (31 December 2010) 1.

olives. footwear. motor vehicles.production by source fossil fuel: 78. iron and steel.3 billion (31 December 2009) $520. dairy products. vegetables.5% (2010 est.7 billion kWh (2007 est. beef. food processing. ceramics Industrial production growth rate 6. fish Industries tourism.4% .) Market value of publicly traded shares $317. clothing.274 trillion (31 December 2009 est. grapes.) $1.production 289.) Electricity .the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders Stock of broad money $2.6% hydro: 18. textiles.) $3.105 trillion (31 December 2010 est.) Electricity .9 billion (31 December 2008) $1.073 trillion (31 December 2007) Agriculture . grain.899 trillion (31 December 2009 est. sugar beets.) Stock of domestic credit $3. potatoes. chemicals. soybeans.products fruits.047 trillion (31 December 2008 est. machinery.

nuclear: 0% other: 3% (2001) Electricity .) Oil .119 billion cu m (2009 est.) Oil .537 million bbl/day (2009 est.production 146.500 bbl/day (2009 est.exports 3.imports 1.900 bbl/day (2008 est.production 8.consumption 1.) Electricity .) Natural gas .) .imports 43 billion kWh (2008 est.) Natural gas .consumption 78.proved reserves 423.) Oil .431 billion kWh (2008 est.12 billion cu m (2009 est.) Oil .7 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.exports 586.consumption 315 billion kWh (2007 est.911 million bbl/day (2008 est.) Oil .) Electricity .

partners Germany 12.) Natural gas . chemicals.4 billion (2010 est.) -$42.proved reserves 69.1 billion (2010 est.exports 124 million cu m (2009 est. motor vehicles. UK 5.24 billion cu m (2009 est.7%. US 5. Spain 5.1%.Natural gas .) Exports $448.) $407.5 billion (2009 est. France 11. Switzerland 4. and nonferrous metals Exports .imports 69.6%.) Exports .7% (2009) Imports $473.) $406 billion (2009 est.commodities engineering products.96 billion (2009 est. textiles and clothing. transport equipment.83 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est. food. production machinery. beverages and tobacco.6%.94 billion (2010 est. minerals.) .9%.) Current Account Balance -$67.) Natural gas .

at home $403 billion (31 December 2010 Germany 16.5%.) Debt .9 billion (31 December 2010 est. chemicals.) $2.1 billion (31 December 2009 est. textiles and clothing. Belgium 4% (2009) Reserves of foreign exchange and gold $158.7%.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.) Exchange rates euros (EUR) per US dollar 0.7715 (2010) 0. energy products.7179 (2009) 0. Russia 4.Imports .) $394 billion (31 December 2009 est.4%.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.) $578.6827 (2008) 0.abroad $601. minerals and nonferrous metals.) Stock of direct foreign investment . France 8.external $2. transport equipment. Spain 4.) $132. China 6.7%. beverages.1%.7345 (2007) 0. and tobacco Imports . Netherlands 5.7964 (2006) .commodities engineering products.328 trillion (31 December 2008) Stock of direct foreign investment . food.223 trillion (30 June 2010 est.

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