Wednesday, 22 May, 2013
13:56 GMT 17:56 Moscow
Local Time: 17:56
The Italian Republic
The Italian Republic occupies the territory of the Apennine Peninsula in the south of Europe, the Mediterranean basin, the southern slopes of the Alps, Sardinia, Sicily and a number of smaller islands. The country is located between 47º05` and 35º29` N. Lat. and between 6º37` and 18º31` E. Long. The country borders France (488 km), Switzerland (740 km), Austria (430 km) and Slovenia (232 km) and has internal borders with San Marino (39 km) and the city-state of Vatican (3.2 km) situated within Rome. The land border measures 1,932.2 km. The coastline is 7,122 km long.
The country occupies an area of 301,200 km2.
The population is 57.9 million as of 2005.
The capital of Italy is Rome.
The administrative divisions consist of 20 administrative regions that subdivide into 107 provinces and 8,090 communes.
The state language is Italian.
The currency is the euro (1 euro = 100 eurocents).
The political system is a republic.
Adopted on December 22, 1947, the Constitution of the Italian Republic is in force since January 1, 1948.The head of state is the president elected by parliament during a joint session of two chambers. Three delegates from every region, elected by the regional councils in a way guaranteeing minority representation, participate in the election. The president is elected for a term of seven years and can be re-elected repeatedly. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Elected on May 10, 2006. The legislative body is a bicameral parliament that consists of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic and is elected for five years (last elected on April 10, 2006).
Fausto Bertinotti, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies (elected on April 29, 2006).
Franco Marini, Chairman of the Senate of the Republic (elected on April 29, 2006).
The executive branch is the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Romano Prodi.The executive authority is vested in the Council of Ministers led by the prime minister (currently Romano Prodi). The prime minister is nominated by the Italian president and approved by parliament. The Council of Ministers is nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president. The government pledges allegiance to the president and it should be granted confidence by both chambers of parliament. The Constitutional Court was set up under the Italian Constitution in 1947 and started working in 1956. The Constitutional Court comprises 15 judges appointed for nine years, with five of them elected by parliament, five appointed by the president and five elected by supreme judicial and administrative bodies. The Supreme Council of Magistrates is the supreme body of self-administration of Italian judges. It is chaired by the Italian president. The Supreme Council of Magistrates decides on most important issues relevant to the Italian judicial authorities. It also appoints, promotes, reassigns and disciplines judges.
The state holiday is Republic Day, the first Sunday of June.
The principal economic indices are as follows:
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