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Italy Government
Capital:
Rome
Country name:
conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
former: Kingdom of Italy
local short form: Italia
Government type:
republic
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; 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 Carlo Azeglio CIAMPI (since 13 May 1999)
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 13 May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2006); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by Parliament
head of government: Prime Minister (referred to in Italy as the president of the Council of Ministers) Silvio BERLUSCONI (since 10 June 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president
election results: Carlo Azeglio CIAMPI elected president; percent of electoral college vote - 70%
note: a five-party government coalition includes Forza Italia, National Alliance, Northern League, Democratic Christian Center, United Christian Democrats
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (315 seats elected by popular vote of which 232 are directly elected and 83 are elected by regional proportional representation; in addition, there are a small number of senators-for-life including former presidents of the republic; 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 13 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 13 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - House of Liberties 177 (Forza Italia 82, National Alliance 46, CCD-CDU 29, Northern League 17, others 3), Olive Tree 128 (Democrats of the Left 62, Daisy Alliance 42, Sunflower Alliance 16, Italian Communist Party 3, independents 5), non-affiliated with either coalition 10, senators for life 9; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - House of Liberties 367 (Forza Italia 189, National Alliance 96, CCD-CDU 40, Northern League 30, others 12), Olive Tree 248 (Democrats of the Left 138, Daisy Alliance 76, Sunflower Alliance 18, Italian Communist Party 9, independents 7), non-affiliated with either coalition 15
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 Olive Tree Coalition [Francesco RUTELLI] - Democrats of the Left, Daisy Alliance (including Italian Popular Party, Italian Renewal, Union of Democrats for Europe, The Democrats), Sunflower Alliance (including Green Federation, Italian Democratic Socialists), Italian Communist Party; Center-Right Freedom House Coalition [Silvio BERLUSCONI] (formerly House of Liberties and Freedom Alliance) - Forza Italia, National Alliance, The Whiteflower Alliance (includes Christian Democratic Center, United Christian Democrats), Northern League; Christian Democratic Center or CCD [Marco FOLLINI]; Democrats of the Left or DS [Piero FASSINO]; European Democracy or UDC [Marco FOLLINI] (formerly CDU and CCD); Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI]; Green Federation [Alfonso Pecoraro SCANIO]; Italian Communist Party or PdCI [Armando COSSUTTA]; Italian Renewal or RI [Lamberto DINI]; merged with PPI and I Democratici to form La Margherita (or The Daisy Alliance); Italian Social Democrats or SDI [Enrico BOSELLI]; Socialist Movement-Tricolor Flame or MS-Fiamma [Luca ROMAGNOLI]; National Alliance or AN [Gianfranco FINI]; Northern League or NL [Umberto BOSSI]; Southern Tyrols People's Party or SVP (German speakers) [Siegfried BRUGGER]; Sunflower Alliance (includes Green Federation, Italian Social Democrats); The Daisy Alliance (includes Italian Popular Party, Italian Renewal, Union of Democrats for Europe, The Democrats) [Francesco RUTELLI]; The Democrats [Arturo PARISI]; The Radicals (formerly Pannella Reformers and Autonomous List) [Marco PANNELLA]; The Whiteflower Alliance (includes Christian Democratic Center, United Christian Democrats); Union of Democrats for Europe or UDEUR [Clemente MASTELLA]; United Christian Democrats or CDU [Rocco BUTTIGLIONE]
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), CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Sergio VENTO
consulate(s): Detroit
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
chancery: 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Melvin F. SEMBLER
embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A, 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 d'ivoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green
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