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ITALY

Italy , officially the Italian Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe. To the north, it borders France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia along the Alps. To the south, it consists of the entirety of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia–the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea–and many other smaller islands. The independent states of San Marino and the Vatican City are enclaves within Italy, while Campione d'Italia is an Italian exclave in Switzerland. The territory of Italy covers some 301,338 km2 (116,347 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 60.8 million inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous country in Europe, and the 23rd most populous in the world.Modern Italy is a parliamentary republic. It has been ranked as the world's 25th most-developed country and its Quality-of-life Index was ranked in the world's top ten in 2005. Italy enjoys a very high standard of living partially because of a high GDP per capita and has a high public education level. Italy is also one of the world's most globalised nations. It is a founding member of what is now the European Union and part of the Eurozone. Italy is also a member of the G7, G8, G20 and NATO, adheres to the UN. It has the world's third-largest gold reserves, ninth-largest nominal GDP, tenth highest GDP (PPP) and the sixth highest government budget in the world. It is also a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.Italy currently maintains the world's tenth-largest nominal defence budget and is a participant in the NATO nuclear sharing policy. With Italy's political, military, social and economic influence in Europe, it is considered a main middle power and referred to as a regional power.[

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