U.S. Department of State
Background Notes:  Italy, July 1995
Bureau of Public Affairs

July 1995
Official Name:  Republic of Italy

PROFILE

Geography

Area:  301,225 sq. km. (116,303 sq. mi.); about the size of Georgia 
and Florida combined.
Cities:  Capital--Rome (pop.  2.7 million).  Other cities--Milan, 
Naples, Turin.
Terrain:  Mostly rugged and mountainous.
Climate:  Generally mild Mediterranean; cold northern winters.

People

Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Italian(s).
Population:  57 million.
Annual growth rate:  0.2%.
Ethnic groups:  Primarily Italian, but small groups of German-, 
French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Religion:  Roman Catholic (majority).
Language:  Italian (official).
Education:  Years compulsory--14.  Literacy--98%.
Health:  Infant mortality rate--8/1,000 live births.  Life 
expectancy--74 yrs.
Work force:  24 million; unemployment 11%.  Services--60%.  Industry 
and commerce--33%.  Agriculture--7%.

Government

Type:  Republic since June 2, 1946.  Constitution:  January 1, 1948.
Branches:  Executive--president (chief of state), Council of 
Ministers (cabinet), headed by the president of the council (prime 
minister).  Legislative--bicameral parliament:  630-member Chamber of 
Deputies, 326-member Senate.  Judicial--independent constitutional 
court and lower magistracy.
Subdivisions:  94 provinces, 20 regions.
Political parties:  Forza Italia, Northern League, National Alliance, 
Democratic Party of the Left, Italian People's Party, Christian 
Democratic Center, Socialist, 
La Rete, Communist Renewal, Social Democratic, Republican, Liberal, 
Greens.
Suffrage:  Universal over 18.

Economy

GDP (1994):  $1.02 trillion.
Per capita income (1994):  $21,300.
GDP growth (1994):  2.2%.
Natural resources:  Fish, natural gas.
Agriculture:  Products--wheat, rice, grapes, olives, citrus fruits.
Industry:  Types--automobiles, machinery, chemicals, textiles, shoes.
Trade (1994):  Exports--$189 billion; partners--EU 54%, U.S. 8%, OPEC 
4%; mechanical products, textiles and apparel, transportation 
equipment, metal products, chemical products, food and agricultural 
products, energy products.  Imports--$167 billion; partners--EU 56%, 
OPEC 5%, U.S. 5%; machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, 
ferrous and nonferrous metals, wool, cotton, energy products.

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Italy is largely homogeneous linguistically and religiously but is 
diverse culturally, economically, and politically.  Italy has the 
fifth-highest population density in Europe--about 200 persons per 
square kilometer (490/sq. mi.).  Minority groups are small, the 
largest being the German-speaking people of Bolzano Province and the 
Slovenes around Trieste.  Other groups comprise small communities of 
Albanian, Greek, Ladino, and French origin.  Although Roman 
Catholicism is the majority religion--99% of the people are nominally 
Catholic--all religious faiths are provided equal freedom before the 
law by the constitution.

Greeks settled in the southern tip of the Italian peninsula in the 
eighth and seventh centuries B.C.; Etruscans, Romans, and others 
inhabited the central and northern mainland.  The peninsula 
subsequently was unified under the Roman Republic.  The neighboring  
islands also came under Roman control by the third century B.C.; by 
the first century A.D., the Roman Empire effectively dominated the 
Mediterranean world.  After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 
West in the fifth century A.D., the peninsula and islands were 
subjected to a series of invasions, and political unity was lost.  
Italy became an oft-changing succession of small states, 
principalities, and kingdoms which fought among themselves and were 
subject to ambitions of foreign powers.  Popes of Rome ruled central 
Italy; rivalries between the popes and the Holy Roman Emperors, who 
claimed Italy as their domain, often made the peninsula a 
battleground.

Commercial prosperity of northern and central Italian cities, 
beginning in the 11th century, and the influence of the Renaissance 
mitigated somewhat the effects of these medieval political rivalries.  
Although Italy declined after the 16th century, the Renaissance had 
strengthened the idea of a single Italian nationality.  By the early 
19th century, a nationalist movement developed and led to the 
reunification of Italy--except for Rome--in the 1860s.  In 1861, 
Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy was proclaimed King of 
Italy.  Rome was incorporated in 1870.  From 1870 until 1922, Italy 
was a constitutional monarchy with a parliament elected under limited 
suffrage.

============================================
Italy's Cultural Contributions

Europe's Renaissance period began in Italy during the 14th and 15th 
centuries.  Literary achievements--such as the poetry of Petrarch, 
Tasso, and Ariosto and the prose of Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and 
Castiglione--exerted a tremendous and lasting influence on the 
subsequent development of Western civilization, as did the painting, 
sculpture, and architecture contributed by giants such as da Vinci, 
Raphael, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and Michelangelo.

The musical influence of Italian composers Monteverdi, Palestrina, 
and Vivaldi proved epochal; in the 19th century, Italian romantic 
opera flourished under composers Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, 
and Giacomo Puccini.  Contemporary Italian artists, writers, 
filmmakers, architects, composers, and designers contribute 
significantly to Western culture.
============================================

20th-Century History

During World War I, Italy renounced its standing alliance with 
Germany and Austria-Hungary and, in 1915, entered the war on the side 
of the Allies.  Under the postwar settlement, Italy received some 
former Austrian territory along the northeast frontier.  In 1922, 
Benito Mussolini came to power and, over the next few years, 
eliminated political parties, curtailed personal liberties, and 
installed a fascist dictatorship termed the Corporate State.  The 
king, with little or no effective power, remained titular head of 
state.

Italy allied with Germany and declared war on the United Kingdom and 
France in 1940.  In 1941, Italy--with the other Axis powers, Germany 
and Japan--declared war on the United States and the Soviet Union.  
Following the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, the King dismissed 
Mussolini and appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as Premier.  The 
Badoglio government declared war on Germany, which quickly occupied 
most of the country and freed Mussolini, who led a brief-lived regime 
in the north.  An anti-fascist popular resistance movement grew 
during the last two years of the war, harassing German forces before 
they were driven out in April 1945.  The monarchy was ended by a 1946 
plebiscite, and a constituent assembly was elected to draw up plans 
for the republic.

Under the 1947 peace treaty, minor adjustments were made in Italy's 
frontier with France, the eastern border area was transferred to 
Yugoslavia, and the area around the city of Trieste was designated a 
free territory.  In 1954, the free territory, which had remained 
under the administration of U.S.-U.K. forces (Zone A, including the 
city of Trieste) and Yugoslav forces (Zone B), was divided between 
Italy and Yugoslavia, principally along the zonal boundary.  This 
arrangement was made permanent by the Italian-Yugoslav Treaty of 
Osimo, ratified in 1977 (currently being discussed by Italy, 
Slovenia, and Croatia).  Under the 1947 peace treaty, Italy also gave 
up its overseas territories and certain Mediterranean islands.

The Roman Catholic Church's status in Italy has been determined, 
since its temporal powers ended in 1870, by a series of accords with 
the Italian Government.  Under the Lateran Pacts of 1929, which were 
confirmed by the present constitution, the state of Vatican City is 
recognized by Italy as an independent, sovereign entity.  While 
preserving that recognition, in 1984, Italy and the Vatican updated 
several provisions of the 1929 accords.  Included was the end of 
Roman Catholicism as Italy's formal state religion.

GOVERNMENT

Italy has been a democratic republic since June 2, 1946, when the 
monarchy was abolished by popular referendum.  The constitution was 
promulgated on January 1, 1948.

The Italian state is highly centralized.  The prefect of each of the 
provinces is appointed by and answerable to the central government.  
In addition to the provinces, the constitution provides for 20 
regions with limited governing powers.  Five regions--Sardinia, 
Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d'Aosta, and Friuli-Venezia 
Giulia--function with special autonomy statutes.  The other 15 
regions were established in 1970 and vote for regional "councils".  
The establishment of regional governments throughout Italy has 
brought some decentralization to the national governmental machinery.

The 1948 constitution established a bicameral parliament (Chamber of 
Deputies and Senate), a separate judiciary, and an executive branch 
composed of a Council of Ministers (cabinet) which is headed by the 
president of the council (prime minister).  The president of the 
republic is elected for seven years by the parliament sitting jointly 
with a small number of regional delegates.  The president nominates 
the prime minister, who chooses the other ministers.  The Council of 
Ministers--in practice composed mostly of members of parliament--must 
retain the confidence of both houses.

The houses of parliament are popularly and directly elected by a 
mixed majoritarian and proportional representation system.  Under 
1993 legislation, Italy has single-member districts for 75% of the 
seats in parliament; the remaining 25% of seats are allotted on a 
proportional basis.  The Chamber of Deputies has 630 members.  In 
addition to 315 elected members, the Senate includes former 
presidents and several other persons appointed for life according to 
special constitutional provisions.  Both houses are elected for a 
maximum of five years, but either may be dissolved before the 
expiration of its normal term.  Legislative bills may originate in 
either house and must be passed by a majority in both.

The Italian judicial system is based on Roman law modified by the 
Napoleonic code and subsequent statutes.  There is only partial 
judicial review of legislation in the American sense.  A 
constitutional court, which passes on the constitutionality of laws, 
is a post-World War II innovation.  Its powers, volume, and frequency 
of decisions are not as extensive as those of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials

President--Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Prime Minister--Lamberto Dini
Foreign Minister--Susanna Agnelli
Ambassador to the United States--Boris Biancheri

Italy maintains an embassy in the United States at 1601 Fuller Street 
NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-328-5500).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

There have been frequent government turnovers since 1945.  The 
dominance of the Christian Democratic (DC) party during much of the 
postwar period lent continuity and comparative stability to Italy's 
political situation.

From 1992 to 1995, Italy faced significant challenges as voters--
disenchanted with past political paralysis, massive government debt, 
extensive corruption, and organized crime's considerable influence--
demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms.  In 1993 
referendums, voters approved substantial changes, including moving 
from a proportional to majoritarian electoral system and the 
abolishment of some ministries.

Major political parties, beset by scandal and loss of voter 
confidence, underwent far-reaching changes.  New political forces and 
new alignments of power emerged in March 1994 national elections--
there was a major turnover in the new parliament, with 452 out of 630 
deputies and 213 out of 315 senators elected for the first time.  The 
1994 elections also swept media magnate Silvio Berlusconi--and his 
"Freedom Alliance" coalition--into office as Prime Minister.  
However, Berlusconi was forced to step down in January 1995 when one 
member of his coalition withdrew support.

Italy's current Prime Minister, Lamberto Dini, is a respected 
economist who also heads the finance ministry.  His government of 
technocrats has already implemented much of its ambitious reform 
program.  Once the reforms are completed, Italy is expected to hold 
new national elections.

In April 1995 regional elections, Italians confounded pollsters, who 
had predicted a big lead for former Prime Minister Berlusconi's 
"Forza Italia" movement.  Instead, voters split almost evenly between 
center-right and center-left coalitions, making it difficult to 
predict the outcome of the next national elections.

Political Parties

Italy's dramatic self-renewal transformed the political landscape 
between 1992 and 1995.  Scandal investigations touched thousands of 
politicians, administrators, and businessmen; the shift from a 
proportional to majoritarian voting system (with the requirement to 
obtain a minimum of 4% of the national vote to obtain representation) 
also altered political ground rules.

Party changes were sweeping.  The Christian Democratic party 
dissolved; the Italian People's Party and the Christian Democratic 
Center emerged.  Other major parties, such as the Socialists, saw 
support plummet.  New movements such as Forza Italia, led by former 
Prime Minister Berlusconi, gained wide support.  The National 
Alliance broke from the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement.  A trend 
toward two large coalitions--one on the center-left and the other on 
the center-right--emerged from the April 1995 regional elections.  
Should this trend continue, it would represent a major break from the 
fragmented, multi-party political landscape of the Italian postwar 
era.

The largest parties in the Chamber are:  Forza Italia (21%); 
Democratic Party of the Left--moderate successor to the Italian 
Communist Party--(20%); National Alliance (14%); Italian People's 
Party--primary successor to the DC--(11%); Northern League (8%); and 
Communist Renewal--hard-line successor to the Italian Communist 
Party--(6%).  In the Senate, the largest groups are:  Forza Italia-
Northern League (20%); Forza Italia-National Alliance (14%); 
Progressive Alliance--PDS and others--(33%); Pact for Italy (17%); 
National Alliance (6%).

ECONOMY

The Italian economy has changed dramatically since the end of World 
War II.  From an agriculturally based economy, it has developed into 
an industrial state that ranks as the world's fifth-largest 
industrial economy.  Italy belongs to the Group of Seven (G-7) 
industrialized nations; it is a member of the European Union and the 
OECD.

Italy has few natural resources.  With much of the land unsuited for 
farming, it is a net food importer.  There are no substantial 
deposits of iron, coal, or oil.  Proven natural gas reserves, mainly 
in the Po Valley and offshore Adriatic, have grown in recent years 
and constitute the country's most important mineral resource.  Most 
raw materials needed for manufacturing and more than 80% of the 
country's energy sources are imported.  Italy's economic strength is 
in the processing and the manufacturing of goods, primarily in small 
and medium-sized family-owned firms.  Its major industries are 
precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, 
electrical goods, and fashion and clothing.

Italy's economic performance improved in 1994 and early 1995.  GDP 
rose 2.2% in 1994, and for 1995, GDP is forecast to improve by more 
than 3%.  Italy's 1994 trade surplus was $22 billion, and its current 
account surplus was $16 billion.  Continued competitive lira exchange 
rates should assist further export-led growth.  Inflation was 4% in 
1994, rising above 5% in early 1995.

In coordination with the EU's planning for an eventual single market, 
Italy seeks to align its economic policies with those of the other 
major continental economies and to privatize large state-owned 
holding companies in a number of sectors.  Italy faces several 
economic and political hurdles in achieving both goals while 
maintaining social cohesion.  Moreover, under terms of the Maastricht 
Treaty, a convergence target of 3% has been set for public sector 
deficit as percentage of GDP--far below Italy's present rate.  Also, 
Italy's public debt/GDP ratio does not put it realistically within 
reach of the treaty' s target of 60%.

Italian Government efforts to reduce the relative sustained size of 
the public sector budget deficit have met some success.  The public 
sector deficit dropped to about 9% of GDP in 1994 and should drop 
again to a forecast 8% of GDP in 1995, assuming continued reform.  
Italy's government debt was 124% of GDP in 1994.   These deficit/GDP 
and debt/GDP ratios remain well above the rest of the group of major 
industrial economies and complicate efforts to coordinate Italy's 
economic policies with those of its major European partners.

Italy's closest trade ties are with the other countries of the 
European Union, with whom it conducts about 55% of its total trade.  
Italy's largest EU trade partners, in order of market share, are 
Germany (19%), France (14%), and the United Kingdom (6%).

U.S.-Italy Economic Relations

The U.S.-Italian bilateral relationship is strong and growing.  The 
U.S. and Italy cooperate closely on major economic issues, including 
within the G-7, which Italy chaired in 1994.  With a large population 
and a high per capita income, Italy is one of the United States' most 
important trading partners.  In 1994, the United States was the 
fifth-largest single foreign supplier of the Italian market (with a 
market share of 5%) and the largest outside the EU.  Total trade 
between the United States and Italy exceeded $22 billion in 1994; the 
U.S. ran more than a $7 billion deficit with Italy.

Significant changes are occurring in the composition of this trade 
which could narrow the gap.  More value-added products such as office 
machinery and aircraft are becoming the principal U.S. exports to 
Italy.  The change reveals the growing sophistication of the Italian 
market, and bilateral trade will expand further.  During 1994, the 
United States imported about $15 billion in Italian goods while 
exporting about $8 billion in U.S. goods to Italy.  U.S. foreign 
direct investment in Italy exceeds $14 billion; Italian investment in 
the U.S. is growing fast.

Labor

A rigid labor market and protective legislation for employed workers 
have compounded Italy's major problem of unemployment, which held at 
about 11% in 1994--with most job losses occurring in the industrial 
sector.  For structural economic reasons, unemployment should 
continue to be a problem even with economic recovery and modest wage 
gains.  Although skilled labor is in short supply in some categories, 
inefficient use of labor, structural unemployment, and 
underemployment persist, as does labor unreported for tax purposes.  
Adult and youth unemployment are more acute in southern than in 
northern Italy.

Official estimates place the unionization rate of the labor force at 
15%; this does not reflect union statistics, since it accounts only 
for dues-paying, active workers, omitting retiree/pensioner figures.  
Most Italian unions are grouped in three confederations, each of 
which has had traditional ties with a particular political party.  
With the collapse and near disappearance of the traditional ruling 
parties, these informal ties have ended, and the confederations now 
emphasize their autonomy from political parties.  The three major 
confederations are the Italian Confederation of Labor Unions (CISL), 
the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), and the Union of 
Italian Labor (UIL).  The approximate labor shares for the three 
confederations are:  CGIL, 42%; CISL, 37%; and UIL, 20%.

Agriculture

Italy's agriculture is typical of the division between the 
agricultures of the northern and southern countries of the European 
Union.  The northern part of Italy produces primarily grains, sugar 
beets, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the southern section 
specializes in producing fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and 
durum wheat.

Even though much of its mountainous terrain is unsuitable for 
farming, Italy has a large work force (1.6 million) employed in 
farming.  Most farms are small, with the average farm only seven 
hectares.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Italy was a founding member of the European Community--now the 
European Union (EU).  Italy was admitted to the United Nations in 
1955 and is a member and strong supporter of the North Atlantic 
Treaty Organization (NATO); the Organization for Economic Cooperation 
and Development (OECD); the General Agreement on Tariffs and 
Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO); the Organization for 
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Western European Union 
(WEU); and the Council of Europe.  It chaired the CSCE and the G-7 in 
1994 and will chair the EU in 1996.

Italy firmly supports the United Nations and its international 
security activities.  Italy actively participated in and deployed 
troops in support of UN  peacekeeping missions in Somalia, 
Mozambique, and Cambodia and provides critical support for NATO and 
UN operations in Bosnia.

The Italian Government seeks to obtain consensus with other European 
countries on various defense and security issues within the WEU as 
well as NATO.  European integration and the development of common 
defense and security policies will continue to be of primary interest 
to Italy.

DEFENSE

A strong NATO ally, Italy occupies an important strategic position in 
the Mediterranean, critical to regional security and for enhancing 
stability in the Balkans, North Africa, and the Middle East.  To meet 
challenges of the post-Cold War era, Italy has proposed a "New 
Defense Model" that calls for the creation of more mobile and highly 
trained units staffed by career professionals.  The Italian military 
is subordinate to civilian authority, which is vested in the Ministry 
of Defense.  Under the authority of the Defense Minister, the armed 
forces have also been used in Italy for emergency relief and 
combating organized crime.  For 1995, Italy's defense budget will 
equal 1% to 2% of GDP.

U.S.-ITALY RELATIONS

The United States enjoys warm and friendly relations with Italy.  The 
two are NATO allies and cooperate in the United Nations, in various 
regional organizations, and bilaterally for peace, prosperity, and 
defense.  Italy has worked closely with the United States and others 
on such issues as NATO and UN operation in Bosnia; sanctions against 
the former Yugoslavia; assistance to Russia and the New Independent 
States (NIS); Middle East peace process multilateral talks; Somalia 
and Mozambique peacekeeping; and combating drug trafficking and 
terrorism.

Under long-standing bilateral agreements flowing from NATO 
membership, Italy hosts important U.S.  military forces at Vincenza 
and Livorno (Army); Aviano (Air Force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and 
Naples--home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet.  The United States 
has about 17,000 military personnel stationed in Italy.  Italy hosts 
the NATO War College in Rome.

Italy remains a strong and active trans-Atlantic partner which, along 
with the United States, has sought to foster democratic ideals and 
international cooperation in areas of strife and civil conflict.  
Toward this end, the Italian Government has cooperated with the U.S. 
in the formulation of defense, security, and peacekeeping policies.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Reginald Bartholomew
Deputy Chief of Mission--James Creagan
Political Affairs--Shaun Byrnes
Economic Affairs--Robert Smolik
Public Affairs--Cynthia Miller
Commercial Affairs--Keith Bovetti
Agricultural Section--Frank Padovano
Defense Attache--Capt.  Philip Bozzelli, USN

Consular Posts

Consul General, Florence--Sue Patterson
Consul General, Milan--George Griffin
Consul General, Naples--Clarke Ellis

The U.S. embassy in Italy is located at Via Veneto 119, Rome (tel. 
(39)(6) 46741).

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are 
issued when the Department of State recommends that Americans avoid 
travel to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for 
all countries and include information on immigration practices, 
currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime 
and security information, political disturbances, and the addresses 
of the U.S. embassies and consulates in the subject country. They can 
be obtained by telephone at (202) 647-5225 or by fax at (202) 647-
3000. To access the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board by computer, dial 
(202) 647-9225, via a modem with standard settings. Bureau of 
Consular Affairs' publications on obtaining passports and planning a 
safe trip abroad are available from the Superintendent of Documents, 
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 (202) 783-
3238.

Emergency information concerning  Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. 

While planning a trip, travelers can check the latest information on 
health requirements and conditions with the U.S. Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at (404) 332-
4559 provides telephonic or fax information on the most recent health 
advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and advice 
on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A 
booklet entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS 
publication number CDC-94-8280, price $7.00) is available from the 
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to 
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's 
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see 
"Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).
 
Upon their arrival in a country, U.S. citizens are encouraged to 
register with the U.S. embassy (see "Principal U.S. Embassy 
Officials" listing in this publication). Such information might 
assist family members in making contact en route in case of an 
emergency.

Further Electronic Information:

Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). Available by modem, the CABB 
provides Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and helpful 
information for travelers. Access at (202) 647-9225 is free of charge 
to anyone with a personal computer, modem, telecommunications 
software, and telephone line.

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the 
Internet, DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. 
foreign policy information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background 
Notes; Dispatch, the official weekly magazine of U.S. foreign policy; 
daily press briefings; directories of key officers of foreign service 
posts; etc. DOSFAN is accessible three ways on the Internet:

Gopher:  dosfan.lib.uic.edu

URL:  gopher://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/

WWW:  http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/dosfan.html

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on a quarterly 
basis by the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on 
the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an 
array of official foreign policy information from 1990 to the 
present. Priced at $80 ($100 foreign), one-year subscriptions include 
four discs (MSDOS and Macintosh compatible) and are available from 
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
P.O. Box 37194, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-
1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.

Federal Bulletin Board (BBS). A broad range of foreign policy 
information also is carried on the BBS, operated by the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO). By modem, dial (202) 512-1387. For 
general BBS information, call (202) 512-1530.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information, 
including Country Commercial Guides. It is available on the Internet 
(gopher. stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at 
(202) 482-1986 for more information.

Published by the United States Department of State  --  Bureau of 
Public Affairs  --  Office of Public Communication  --  Washington, 
DC  --  July 1995  --  Managing Editor:  Peter A. Knecht  --  Editor:  
Marilyn J. Bremner

Department of State Publication 9542  --  Background Notes series  --  
This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without 
permission; citation of this source is appreciated.

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing 
Office, Washington, DC  20402.  

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