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Italy Government

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

    Data code: IT

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Rome

    Administrative divisions: 20 regions (regioni, singular—regione); Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino-Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto

    Independence: 17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed)

    National holiday: Anniversary of the Republic, 2 June (1946)

    Constitution: 1 January 1948

    Legal system: based on civil law system, with ecclesiastical law influence; appeals treated as trials de novo; 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 Oscar Luigi SCALFARO (since 28 May 1992)
    head of government: Prime Minister (referred to in Italy as the president of the Council of Ministers) Massimo D'ALEMA (since 27 October 1998)
    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; election last held 25 May 1992 (next to be held NA June 1999); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by parliament
    election results: Oscar Luigi SCALFARO elected president; percent of electoral college vote—NA

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (326 seats—315 elected by popular vote of which 232 are directly elected and 83 are elected by regional proportional representation, 11 are appointed senators-for-life; members serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; 475 are directly elected, 155 by regional proportional representation; members serve five-year terms)
    elections: Senate—last held 21 April 1996 (next to be held by NA April 2001); Chamber of Deputies—last held 21 April 1996 (next to be held by NA April 2001)
    election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Olive Tree 157, Freedom Alliance 116, Northern League 27, Refounded Communists 10, regional lists 3, Social Movement-Tricolor Flames 1, Panella Reformers 1; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—Olive Tree 284, Freedom Alliance 246, Northern League 59, Refounded Communists 35, Southern Tyrol List 3, Autonomous List 2, other 1

    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:
    Olive Tree (Ulivo): Democrats of the Left or DS [Walter VELTRONI]; Greens (Verdi) [Luigi MANCONI]; Italian Popular Party or PPI [Franco MARINI]
    Freedom Pole: Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI]; National Alliance or AN [Gianfranco FINI]; Christian Democratic Center or CCD [Pierferdinando CASINI]; Democratic Union for the Republic or UDR [Clemente MASTELLA]
    other: Northern League or NL [Umberto BOSSI]; Communist Refoundation or RC [Fausto BERTINOTTI]; Italian Social Movement-Tricolor Flame or MSI-Fiamma Tricolore [Pino RAUTI]; Italian Socialists or SI [Enrico BOSSELLI]; Italian Communist Party or PDCI [Armando COSSUTTA]; Autonomous List (a group of minor parties) [leader NA]; Southern Tyrols People's Party or SVP (German speakers) [leader NA]; Italy of Values [Antonio DIPIETRO]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: the Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Sergio COFFERATI] which is left wing, Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Sergio D'ANTONI] which is Catholic centrist, and Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Pietro LARIZZA] which is lay centrist); Italian manufacturers and merchants associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio); organized farm groups (Confcoltivatori, Confagricoltura)

    International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ferdinando SALLEO
    chancery: 1601 Fuller Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 and 2700 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
    FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
    consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
    consulate(s): Detroit

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas M. FOGLIETTA
    embassy: Via Veneto 119/A, 00187-Rome
    mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
    telephone: [39] (06) 46741
    FAX: [39] (06) 488-2672
    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 d'Ivoire, which has the colors reversed—orange (hoist side), white, and green

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)