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citizenship law

Legal system: mixture of English common law, British Mandate
regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim
legal systems; in December 1985, Israel informed the UN Secretariat
that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ezer WEIZMAN (since 13 May 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Ehud BARAK (since 6 July 1999)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the
elections: president elected by the Knesset for a five-year term;
election last held 4 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); prime
minister elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last
held 17 May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2003); note - in March 1992,
the Knesset approved legislation, effective in 1996, which allowed for
the direct election of the prime minister; under the new law, each
voter casts two ballots - one for the direct election of the prime
minister and one for a party in the Knesset; the candidate that
receives the largest percentage of the popular vote then works to form
a coalition with other parties to achieve a parliamentary majority of
61 seats; finally, the candidate must submit his or her cabinet to the
Knesset for approval and this must be done within 45 days of the
election; in contrast to the old system, under the new law, the prime
minister's party need not be the single-largest party in the Knesset
election results: Ezer WEIZMAN reelected president by the 120-member
Knesset with a total of 63 votes, other candidate, Shaul AMOR,
received 49 votes (there were seven abstentions and one absence); Ehud
BARAK elected prime minister; percent of vote - Ehud BARAK 56.08%,
Binyamin NETANYAHU 43.92%
note: government coalition - One Israel, Shas, MERETZ, Yisra'el
Ba'Aliya, Center Party, National Religious Party

Legislative branch: unicameral Knesset or parliament (120 seats;
members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 17 May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - One Israel 20.2%, Likud
Party 14.1%, Shas 13%, MERETZ 7.6%, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 5.1%, Shinui 5%,
Center Party 5%, National Religious Party 4.2%, United Torah Judaism
3.7%, United Arab List 3.4%, National Union 3%, Hadash 2.6%, Yisra'el
Beiteinu 2.6%, Balad 1.9%, One Nation 1.9%, Democratic Movement NA
(party formed after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya
list); seats by party - One Israel 26, Likud Party 19, Shas 17, MERETZ
10, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 4, Shinui 6, Center Party 6, National Religious
Party 5, United Torah Judaism 5, United Arab List 5, National Union 4,
Hadash 3, Yisra'el Beiteinu 4, Democratic Movement 2 (party formed
after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya list), Balad
2, One Nation 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, appointed for life by the president

Political parties and leaders: Balad ; Center Party
; Democratic Movement ; Gesher
; Hadash ; Labor Party ;
Likud Party ; MERETZ ; Moledet [Rehavam
ZEEVI]; National Democratic Alliance (Balad) ; National
Religious Party ; National Union
(includes Herut, Tekuma, Yisre'el Beiteinu and Moledet); One Israel
(includes Labor, Gesher, and Meimad); One Nation [Amir
PERETZ]; Shas ; Shinui ; Third Way
; Tzomet ; United Arab List [Abd
al-Malik DAHAMSHAH]; United Torah Judaism ; Yisra'el
Ba'Aliya ; Yisra'el Beiteinu

Political pressure groups and leaders: Gush Emunim, Israeli
nationalists advocating Jewish settlement on the West Bank and Gaza
Strip; Peace Now supports territorial concessions in the West Bank and
is critical of government's Lebanon policy

International organization participation: BSEC (observer), CCC, CE
(observer), CERN (observer), EBRD, ECE, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner),

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador David IVRY
chancery: 3514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (202) 364-5500
FAX: (202) 364-5610
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles,
Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Martin S. INDYK
embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv
mailing address: PSC 98, Unit 7228, APO AE 09830
telephone: (3) 519-7575
FAX: (3) 517-3227
consulate(s) general: Jerusalem; note - an independent US mission,
established in 1928, whose members are not accredited to a foreign

Flag description: white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star)
known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal
horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag


Economy - overview: Israel has a technologically advanced market
economy with substantial government participation. It depends on
imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment.
Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed
its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel
is largely self-sufficient in food production except for grains.
Diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits
and vegetables) are leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable
current account deficits, which are covered by large transfer payments
from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's
external debt is owed to the US, which is its major source of economic
and military aid. The influx of Jewish immigrants from the former USSR
topped 750,000 during the period 1989-99, bringing the population of
Israel from the former Soviet Union to 1 million, one-sixth of the
total population, and adding scientific and professional expertise of
substantial value for the economy's future. The influx, coupled with
the opening of new markets at the end of the Cold War, energized
Israel's economy, which grew rapidly in the early 1990s. But growth
began slowing in 1996 when the government imposed tighter fiscal and
monetary policies and the immigration bonus petered out. Those
policies brought inflation down to record low levels in 1999 and,
coupled with improved prospects for the Middle East peace process, are
creating a climate for stronger GDP growth in the year 2000.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $105.4 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,300 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2%
industry: 17%
services: 81% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.9% (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 2.3 million (1997)

Labor force - by occupation: public services 31.2%, manufacturing
20.2%, finance and business 13.1%, commerce 12.8%, construction 7.5%,
personal and other services 6.4%, transport, storage, and
communications 6.2%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 2.6% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 9.1% (1999 est.)

revenues: $40 billion
expenditures: $42.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
(2000 est.)

Industries: food processing, diamond cutting and polishing, textiles
and apparel, chemicals, metal products, military equipment, transport
equipment, electrical equipment, potash mining, high-technology
electronics, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 5.4% (1996)

Electricity - production: 35.338 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.9%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 31.805 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 1.061 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 2 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: citrus, vegetables, cotton; beef, poultry,
dairy products

Exports: $23.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, software, cut
diamonds, chemicals, textiles and apparel, agricultural products

Exports - partners: US 32%, UK, Hong Kong, Benelux, Japan, Netherlands

Imports: $30.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

Imports - commodities: raw materials, military equipment, investment
goods, rough diamonds, fuels, consumer goods

Imports - partners: US 19%, Benelux 12%, Germany 9%, UK 8%, Italy 7%,
Switzerland 6% (1997)

Debt - external: $18.7 billion (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $1.1 billion from the US (1999)

Currency: 1 new Israeli shekel (NIS) = 100 new agorot

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels (NIS) per US$1 - 4.2260 (November
1999), 3.8001 (1999), 3.4494 (1997), 3.1917 (1996), 3.0113 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use: 2.8 million (1999)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 2.5 million (1999)

Telephone system: most highly developed system in the Middle East
although not the largest
domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all
systems are digital
international: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3
Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 23, FM 15, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios: 3.07 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 24 (plus 31 low-power repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 1.69 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 23 (1999)


total: 610 km
standard gauge: 610 km 1.435-m gauge (1996)

total: 15,965 km
paved: 15,965 km (including 56 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 708 km; petroleum products 290 km; natural gas 89

Ports and harbors: Ashdod, Ashqelon, Elat (Eilat), Hadera, Haifa, Tel

Merchant marine:
total: 20 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 711,831 GRT/823,929 DWT
ships by type: container 19, roll-on/roll-off 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 58 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 33
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 7 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 25
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 20 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1999 est.)


Military branches: Israel Defense Forces (includes ground, naval, and
air components), Pioneer Fighting Youth (Nahal), Frontier Guard, Chen
(women); note - historically there have been no separate Israeli
military services

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,499,186
females age 15-49: 1,462,063 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,226,903
females age 15-49: 1,192,319 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 50,348
females: 47,996 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $8.7 billion (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 9.4% (FY99)

@Israel:Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are
Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the
Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be
determined through further negotiation; Golan Heights is
Israeli-occupied; Israeli troops in southern Lebanon since June 1982

Illicit drugs: increasingly concerned about cocaine and heroin abuse;
drugs arrive in country from Lebanon and increasingly Jordan




Background: Italy became a nation-state belatedly - in 1861 when the
city-states of the peninsula and Sicily were united under King Victor
EMMANUEL. The Fascist dictatorship of Benito MUSSOLINI that took over
after World War I led to a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany and
Italian defeat in World War II. Revival followed. Italy was a charter
member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and joined
the growing political and economic unification of Western Europe,
including the introduction of the euro in 1999. Persistent problems
include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime,
corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical
standards of southern Italy compared with the more prosperous north.


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

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

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in

Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) 4,807 m

Natural resources: mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, dwindling natural
gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 31%
permanent crops: 10%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 23%
other: 21% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 27,100 sq km (1993 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile
Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean
as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe


Population: 57,634,327 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14% (male 4,220,973; female 3,977,962)
15-64 years: 68% (male 19,413,219; female 19,596,668)
65 years and over: 18% (male 4,297,962; female 6,127,543) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.09% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 9.13 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 9.99 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.74 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.03 years
male: 75.85 years
female: 82.41 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.18 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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: predominately Roman Catholic with 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 d'Aosta region), Slovene
(Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98% (1998)
male: NA%
female: NA%


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; Italy was
not finally unified until 1870)

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

Constitution: 1 January 1948

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)
head of government: Prime Minister (referred to in Italy as the
president of the Council of Ministers) Massimo D'ALEMA (since 21
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 13 May 1999 (next to be held NA
May 2006); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by
election results: Carlo Azeglio CIAMPI elected president; percent of
electoral college vote - 70%

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 plus, 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 21 April 1996 (next scheduled for NA
April 2001); Chamber of Deputies - last held 21 April 1996 (next
scheduled for NA April 2001)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by
party - Olive Tree 157, Freedom Alliance 116, Northern League-Padania
27, Communist Renewal 10, regional lists 3, Social Movement-Tricolored
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, Communist Renewal 35, Southern Tyrol People's
Party 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: Bonino List or LB (used to be the
Autonomous List, a group of minor parties) ; Center-Left
Coalition (used to be the Olive Tree) - Democrats,
DS, FdV, PdCI, PPI, RI, UDEUR; Christian Democratic Center or CCD
; Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Rocco
BUTTIGLIONE]; Communist Renewal or RC ; Democratic
Party ; Democratic Party of the Left or DS [Walter
VELTRONI]; Forza Italia or FI ; Freedom Alliance (a
center-right coalition) - FI, AN, CCD;
Green Federation or FdV ; Italian Communist Party
or PdCI ; Italian Democratic Socialists or SDI
; Italian Popular Party or PPI [Pierluigi
CASTAGNETTI]; Italian Renewal or RI ; Italian Social
Movement-Tricolored Flame or MSI-FT ; National Alliance or
AN ; Northern League-Padania or NL-Padania [Umberto
BOSSI]; Radical Party (formerly Panella Reformers) ;
Republican Party or PR ; Southern Tyrols People's
Party or SVP (German speakers) ; Union of Democrats
for Europe or UDEUR ; Union for the Republic or UPR
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 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 which is lay centrist)

International organization participation: AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
BIS, BSEC (observer), CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC,
IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA
(observer), MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS

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: (202) 328-5500
FAX: (202) 483-2187
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: (06) 46741
FAX: (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
note: inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797


Economy - overview: Italy has a diversified industrial economy with
approximately 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
agricultural south, with more than 20% unemployment. Most raw
materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements
are imported. For several years Italy has adopted budgets compliant
with the requirements of the European Monetary Union (EMU);
representatives of government, labor, and employers also agreed to an
update of the 1993 "social pact," which has been widely credited with
having brought Italy's inflation into conformity with EMU
requirements. Italy must work to stimulate employment, promote wage
flexibility, hold down the growth in pensions, and tackle the informal
economy. Growth was 1.3% in 1999 and should edge up to 2.6% in 2000,
led by investment and exports.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.212 trillion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.3% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $21,400 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 31.6%
services: 65.8% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 23.7% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.7% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 23.193 million

Labor force - by occupation: services 61%, industry 32%, agriculture
7% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 11.5% (1999 est.)

revenues: $530 billion
expenditures: $522 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1999 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 1.9% (1998 est.)

Electricity - production: 243.027 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 80.22%
hydro: 17.3%

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