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Italy

Government

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In Italy

In 1946 the Italian people democratically voted to change from a monarchy ruled by a king to a repubilc lead by a president. It was at this time that King Umberto II immediately left the throne. A constitution was then formed that established a governing system of a president, a cabinet called council of ministers headed by a prime minister, and a parliament made up of a senate and chamber of deputies. The senate had 315 elected members and the chamber of deputies had 630 members.  The two houses have equal power.  The constitution was approved in 1947, and was effective on January 1st, 1948.
 
The president of Italy must be over 50 years of age and must serve a seven year term. There is no vice president, so if the president becomes ill the president of the Italian senate takes over. The Italian president is voted in by the Italian people, but is not as important in the Italian government as the Prime Minister.  The Prime Minister determines national policy.  He or she has no set term in office and can be voted out at any time.

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Italy's new conserative Prime Pinister Slivio Berlusconi

To go to a Italian Government Site click here.

The country of Italy is divided into 20 political regions.  Each region is then divided into provinces and then into communes. The number of communes in each province varies depending on size. Each region, province and commune has an elected one-chamber council called a consiglio in addition to an exceutive body called a giunta.
 
In 1948 another constitution was created consisting of a system of regional governments and was not completed until the 1970's. The regions are governed by an elected president that serves a four year term.  The council members in the government are elected by the people. Each province of Italy takes it's name from it's principle city.  The provinces are governed by an elected council and an official called a prefect who also serves a four year term. Communes are the smallest units of local government.  Each commune has a major elected by the citizens. Majors, like regional presidents and prefects also serve a four year term.

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Silvio Berlusconi waving to the crowd

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Created by Christina Whelan