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Switzerland vs. Italy

Introduction

SwitzerlandItaly
BackgroundThe Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. In succeeding years, other localities joined the original three. The Swiss Confederation secured its independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499. A constitution of 1848, subsequently modified in 1874, replaced the confederation with a centralized federal government. Switzerland's sovereignty and neutrality have long been honored by the major European powers, and the country was not involved in either of the two world wars. The political and economic integration of Europe over the past half century, as well as Switzerland's role in many UN and international organizations, has strengthened Switzerland's ties with its neighbors. However, the country did not officially become a UN member until 2002. Switzerland remains active in many UN and international organizations but retains a strong commitment to neutrality.
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy is a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent successors the EC and the EU. It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include sluggish economic growth, high youth and female unemployment, organized crime, corruption, and economic disparities between southern Italy and the more prosperous north.

Geography

SwitzerlandItaly
LocationCentral Europe, east of France, north of Italy
Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Geographic coordinates47 00 N, 8 00 E
42 50 N, 12 50 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 41,277 sq km
land: 39,997 sq km
water: 1,280 sq km
total: 301,340 sq km
land: 294,140 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
almost twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundariestotal: 1,770 km
border countries (5): Austria 158 km, France 525 km, Italy 698 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 348 km
total: 1,836.4 km
border countries (6): Austria 404 km, France 476 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.4 km, San Marino 37 km, Slovenia 218 km, Switzerland 698 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
7,600 km
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetemperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers
predominantly Mediterranean; alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes
mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,350 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m
mean elevation: 538 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)
Natural resourceshydropower potential, timber, salt
coal, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 38.7%
arable land 10.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 27.9%
forest: 31.5%
other: 29.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 47.1%
arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 8.6%; permanent pasture 15.7%
forest: 31.4%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land630 sq km (2012)
39,500 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsavalanches, landslides; flash floods
regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (3,330 m), which is in eruption as of 2010, is Europe's most active volcano; flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages; Etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the Bay of Naples area, have both been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity; other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini
Environment - current issuesair pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity
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 agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France, northern Italy, and southwestern Austria, has the highest elevations in the Alps
strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe
Population distributionpopulation distribution corresponds to elevation with the northern and western areas far more heavily populated; the higher Alps of the south limit settlement
despite a distinctive pattern with an industrial north and an agrarian south, a fairly even population distribution exists throughout most of the country, with coastal areas, the Po River Valley, and urban centers (particularly Milan, Rome, and Naples), attracting larger and denser populations

Demographics

SwitzerlandItaly
Population8,236,303 (July 2017 est.)
62,137,802 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 15.16% (male 642,814/female 605,689)
15-24 years: 10.88% (male 458,044/female 438,373)
25-54 years: 43.21% (male 1,784,051/female 1,774,494)
55-64 years: 12.6% (male 519,709/female 518,421)
65 years and over: 18.15% (male 658,673/female 836,035) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 13.65% (male 4,334,457/female 4,146,726)
15-24 years: 9.66% (male 3,008,228/female 2,996,854)
25-54 years: 42.16% (male 12,933,634/female 13,265,541)
55-64 years: 12.99% (male 3,914,061/female 4,159,859)
65 years and over: 21.53% (male 5,758,197/female 7,620,245) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 42.4 years
male: 41.4 years
female: 43.4 years (2017 est.)
total: 45.5 years
male: 44.4 years
female: 46.5 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate0.69% (2017 est.)
0.19% (2017 est.)
Birth rate10.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
8.6 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate8.3 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
10.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate4.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
3.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 82.6 years
male: 80.3 years
female: 85.1 years (2017 est.)
total population: 82.3 years
male: 79.6 years
female: 85.1 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.56 children born/woman (2017 est.)
1.44 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.3% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Swiss (singular and plural)
adjective: Swiss
noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian
Ethnic groupsGerman 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other 6%
Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
130,000 (2016 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 37.3%, Protestant 24.9%, other Christian 5.8%, Muslim 5.1%, other 1.4%, Jewish 0.2%, none 23.9%, unspecified 1.3% (2015 est.)
Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and agnostic 20%
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA

LanguagesGerman (or Swiss German) (official) 63%, French (official) 22.7%, Italian (official) 8.1%, English 4.9%, Portuguese 3.7%, Albanian 3%, Serbo-Croatian 2.4%, Spanish 2.2%, Romansch (official) 0.5%, other 7.1%
note: German, French, Italian, and Romansch are all national and official languages; totals more than 100% because some respondents indicated more than one main language (2015 est.)
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)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 16 years (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
Education expenditures5.1% of GDP (2013)
4.2% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 74.1% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 1.1% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 69.3% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.32% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.8% of population
total: 99.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.2% of population
total: 0.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.5% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.5% of population
unimproved::
urban: 0.5% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationZurich 1.246 million; BERN (capital) 358,000 (2015)
ROME (capital) 3.718 million; Milan 3.099 million; Naples 2.202 million; Turin 1.765 million; Palermo 853,000; Bergamo 840,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate5 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.7% of GDP (2014)
9.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density4.11 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
3.95 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
3.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate19.5% (2016)
19.9% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth30.7 years (2014 est.)
30.7 years (2014 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 48.8
youth dependency ratio: 22
elderly dependency ratio: 26.8
potential support ratio: 3.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 56.5
youth dependency ratio: 21.5
elderly dependency ratio: 35
potential support ratio: 2.9 (2015 est.)

Government

SwitzerlandItaly
Country nameconventional long form: Swiss Confederation
conventional short form: Switzerland
local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)
local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)
etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century
"conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
local short form: Italia
former: Kingdom of Italy
etymology: derivation is unclear, but the Latin ""Italia"" may come from the Oscan ""Viteliu"" meaning ""[Land] of Young Cattle"" (the bull was a symbol of southern Italic tribes)
"
Government typefederal republic (formally a confederation)
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Bern
geographic coordinates: 46 55 N, 7 28 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Rome
geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 29 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Berne/Bern, Fribourg/Freiburg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubuenden/Grigioni/Grischun, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais/Wallis, Vaud, Zug, Zuerich
note: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these 6 cantons only have a half vote
15 regions (regioni, singular - regione) and 5 autonomous regions (regioni autonome, singular - regione autonoma)
regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio (Latium), Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte (Piedmont), Puglia (Apulia), Toscana (Tuscany), Umbria, Veneto
autonomous regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Sardegna (Sardinia); Sicilia (Sicily); Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol) or Trentino-Suedtirol (German); Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) or Vallee d'Aoste (French)
Independence1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1871)
National holidayFounding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
Republic Day, 2 June (1946)
Constitution"history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000
amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one million voters (called the ""federal popular initiative""); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2016 (2016)
"
history: previous 1848 (originally for the Kingdom of Sardinia and adopted by the Kingdom of Italy in 1861); latest enacted 22 December 1947, adopted 27 December 1947, entered into force 1 January 1948
amendments: proposed by both houses of Parliament; passage requires two successive debates and approval by absolute majority of each house on the second vote; a referendum is only required when requested by one-fifth of the members of either house, by voter petition, or by five Regional Councils (elected legislative assemblies of the 15 first-level administrative regions and 5 autonomous regions of Italy); referendum not required if an amendment has been approved by a two-thirds majority in each house in the second vote; amended many times, last in 2012; note - a referendum held on 4 December 2016 on constitutional amendments was defeated (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character
civil law system; judicial review of legislation under certain conditions in Constitutional Court
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25
Executive branchchief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2018); Vice President Ueli MAURER (since 1 January 2018); note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate in a 1-year term as federal president (chief of state and head of government)
head of government: President of the Swiss Confederation Alain BERSET (since 1 January 2018); Vice President Ueli MAURER (since 1 January 2018)
cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected usually from among its members by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term
elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on December 2017 (next to be held in December 2018)
election results: Alain BERSET elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 190 of 210; Ueli MAURER elected vice president; Federal Assembly vote - 178 of 192
chief of state: President Sergio MATTARELLA (since 3 February 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Paolo GENTILONI (since 12 December 2016); the prime minister's official title is President of the Council of Ministers
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, known officially as the President of the Council of Ministers and locally as the Premier; nominated by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of Parliament and 58 regional representatives for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 January 2015 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president, confirmed by parliament
election results: Sergio MATTARELLA (PD) elected president; electoral college vote count in fourth round - 665 out of 1,009 (505-vote threshold)
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblee Federale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of the Council of States or Staenderat (in German), Conseil des Etats (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 6 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Council of States - last held in most cantons on 18 October 2015 (each canton determines when the next election will be held); National Council - last held on 18 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
election results: Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party as of 18 October 2015 - CVP 13, FDP 13, SDP 12, SVP 5, other 3; National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 29.4%, SPS 18.8%, FDP 16.4%, CVP 11.6%, Green Party 7.1%, GLP 4.6%, BDP 4.1%, other 8.0%; seats by party - SVP 68, SPS 43, FDP 33, CVP 30, Green Party 12, GLP 7, BDP 7
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (322 seats; 315 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 7 ex-officio members appointed by the president of the Republic to serve for life) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; 629 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 1 member from Valle d'Aosta elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 24-25 February 2013 (next to be held by 20 May 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 24-25 February 2013 (next to be held by 4 March 2018); President MATTARELLA dissolved parliament on 28 December 2017, triggering an early election
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - center-left coalition 123 (PD 111, SEL 7, SVP 2, other 3), center-right coalition 117 (PdL 98, LN 18, other 1), M5S 54, centrist coalition 19, other 2
Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - center-left coalition 345 (PD 297, SEL 37, CD 6 SVP 5), center-right coalition 125 (PdL 98, LN 18, FdI-AN 9), M5S 109, centrist coalition 47, other 3
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)
judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assembly
subordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (began in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (began in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation or Corte Suprema di Cassazione consists of the first president (chief justice), deputy president, 54 justices presiding over 6 civil and 7 criminal divisions, and 288 judges; an additional 30 judges of lower courts serve as supporting judges; cases normally heard by 5-judge panels; more complex cases heard by 9-judge panels; Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (consists of the court president and 14 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Council of the Judiciary, headed by the president of the republic; judges may serve for life; Constitutional Court judges - 5 appointed by the president, 5 elected by parliament, 5 elected by select higher courts; judges serve up to 9 years
subordinate courts: various lower civil and criminal courts (primary and secondary tribunals, courts, and courts of appeal)
Political parties and leadersChristian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Gerhard PFISTER]
Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]
Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]
Green Liberal Party (Grunliberale or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Jurge GROSSEN]
Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Regula RYTZ]
Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]
Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Albert ROESTI]
other minor parties
Ruling left-center-right coalition: Civic Choice or SC [Enrico ZANETTI]
Democratic Centre or CD [Bruno TABACCI]
Democratic Party or PD [Matteo RENZI]
Popular Alliance or AP [Angelino ALFANO] (formerly New Center-Right or NCD)
Union of the Center or UdC [Pier Fernando CASSINI]
Center-right opposition: Brothers of Italy-National Alliance or FdI-AN [Giorgia MELONI, Ignazio LA RUSSA, and Guido CROSETTO]
Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI] (formerly People of Freedom or PdL)
Northern League or LN [Matteo SALVINI]
Other parties and parliamentary groups: Five Star Movement or M5S [Luigi DI MAIO]
Liberal Popular Alliance or ALA [Denis VERDINI]
Democratic and Progressive Movement or MDP [Roberto SPERANZA]
Sinistra Italiani or SI [Nicola FRATOIANNI] (formerly Sinistra Ecologia Liberta or SEL)
South Tyrolean People's Party or SVP [Philipp ACHAMMER]
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
manufacturers and merchants associations: Confcommercio
Confindustria
organized farm groups: Confcoltivatori
Confagricoltura
major trade union confederations: Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Susanna CAMUSSO] (left wing)
Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Raffaele BONANNI] (Roman Catholic centrist)
Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Luigi ANGELETTI] (lay centrist)
other: Roman Catholic Church
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Martin Werner DAHINDEN (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900
FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Armando VARRICCHIO (since 2 March 2016)
chancery: 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco
consulate(s): Charlotte (NC), Cleveland (OH), Detroit (MI), Hattiesburg (MS), Honolulu (HI), New Orleans, Newark (NJ), Norfolk (VA), Pittsburgh (PA), Portland (OR), Seattle
Diplomatic representation from the US"chief of mission: Ambassador Edward ""Ed"" MCMULLEN (since 21 November 2017) note - also accredited to Liechtenstein
embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11
FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-20
"
chief of mission: Ambassador Lewis EISENBERG (since 4 October 2017); note - also accredited to San Marino
embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 121, 00187-Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
telephone: (+39)06.46741
FAX: [39] (06) 4674-2244
consulate(s) general: Florence, Milan, Naples
Flag descriptionred square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag; various medieval legends purport to describe the origin of the flag; a white cross used as identification for troops of the Swiss Confederation is first attested at the Battle of Laupen (1339)
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; design inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797; colors are those of Milan (red and white) combined with the green uniform color of the Milanese civic guard
note: similar to the flag of Mexico, which is longer, uses darker shades of red and green, and has its coat of arms centered on the white band; 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
National anthem"the Swiss anthem has four names: ""Schweizerpsalm"" [German] ""Cantique Suisse"" [French] ""Salmo svizzero,"" [Italian] ""Psalm svizzer"" [Romansch] (Swiss Psalm)
lyrics/music: Leonhard WIDMER [German], Charles CHATELANAT [French], Camillo VALSANGIACOMO [Italian], and Flurin CAMATHIAS [Romansch]/Alberik ZWYSSIG
note: unofficially adopted 1961, officially 1981; the anthem has been popular in a number of Swiss cantons since its composition (in German) in 1841; translated into the other three official languages of the country (French, Italian, and Romansch), it is official in each of those languages
"
"name: ""Il Canto degli Italiani"" (The Song of the Italians)
lyrics/music: Goffredo MAMELI/Michele NOVARO
note: adopted 1946; the anthem, originally written in 1847, is also known as ""L'Inno di Mameli"" (Mameli's Hymn), and ""Fratelli D'Italia"" (Brothers of Italy)
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Swiss cross (white cross on red field, arms equal length); national colors: red, white
white, five-pointed star (Stella d'Italia); national colors: red, white, green
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Switzerland
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Italy
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years for EU nationals, 5 years for refugees and specified exceptions, 10 years for all others

Economy

SwitzerlandItaly
Economy - overviewSwitzerland, a country that espouses neutrality, is a prosperous and modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services, and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production. Its economic and political stability, transparent legal system, exceptional infrastructure, efficient capital markets, and low corporate tax rates also make Switzerland one of the world's most competitive economies.

The Swiss have brought their economic practices largely into conformity with the EU's to enhance their international competitiveness, but some trade protectionism remains, particularly for its small agricultural sector. The fate of the Swiss economy is tightly linked to that of its neighbors in the euro zone, which purchases half of Swiss exports. The global financial crisis of 2008 and resulting economic downturn in 2009 stalled demand for Swiss exports and put Switzerland into a recession. During this period, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) implemented a zero-interest rate policy to boost the economy, as well as to prevent appreciation of the franc, and Switzerland's economy began to recover in 2010.

The sovereign debt crises unfolding in neighboring euro-zone countries, however, coupled with ongoing economic instability in Russia and other eastern European economies continue to pose a significant risk to the Swiss economy, driving up demand for the Swiss franc by investors seeking a safe-haven currency. In January 2015, the SNB abandoned the Swiss franc’s peg to the euro, roiling global currency markets and making active SNB intervention a necessary hallmark of present-day Swiss monetary policy. The independent SNB has upheld its zero interest rate policy and conducted major market interventions to prevent further appreciation of the Swiss franc, but parliamentarians have urged it to do more to weaken the currency. The franc's strength has made Swiss exports less competitive and weakened the country's growth outlook; GDP growth fell below 2% per year from 2011-17.

In recent years, Switzerland has responded to increasing pressure from neighboring countries and trading partners to reform its banking secrecy laws, by agreeing to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. The Swiss government has also renegotiated its double taxation agreements with numerous countries, including the US, to incorporate OECD standards, and is openly considering the possibility of imposing taxes on bank deposits held by foreigners.
Italy has a diversified economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, where unemployment is higher. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 17% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors.

Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro zone, but its exceptionally high public debt and structural impediments to growth have rendered it vulnerable to scrutiny by financial markets. Public debt has increased steadily since 2007, reaching 131% of GDP in 2017. Investor concerns about Italy and the broader euro-zone crisis eased in 2013, bringing down Italy's borrowing costs on sovereign government debt from euro-era records. The government still faces pressure from investors and European partners to sustain its efforts to address Italy's longstanding structural impediments to growth, such as labor market inefficiencies, a sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector. Italy’s economy returned to modest growth in late 2014 for the first time since late 2011. In 2015-16, Italy’s economy grew more than 0.8% each year, but picked up in 2017. In 2017, overall unemployment was 11.4%, but youth unemployment remained high at 37.1%.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$516.7 billion (2017 est.)
$511.5 billion (2016 est.)
$504.5 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$2.307 trillion (2017 est.)
$2.273 trillion (2016 est.)
$2.253 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1% (2017 est.)
1.4% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
1.5% (2017 est.)
0.9% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$61,400 (2017 est.)
$61,400 (2016 est.)
$61,200 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$38,000 (2017 est.)
$37,500 (2016 est.)
$37,100 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.7%
industry: 25.6%
services: 73.7% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 24%
services: 73.9% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line6.6% (2014 est.)
29.9% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 7.5%
highest 10%: 19% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 26.8% (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.5% (2017 est.)
-0.4% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2017 est.)
-0.1% (2016 est.)
Labor force5.159 million (2017 est.)
25.94 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.3%
industry: 19.8%
services: 76.9% (2015)
agriculture: 3.9%
industry: 28.3%
services: 67.8% (2011)
Unemployment rate3% (2017 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
11.4% (2017 est.)
11.7% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index29.5 (2014 est.)
33.1 (1992)
31.9 (2012 est.)
27.3 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: $223.5 billion
expenditures: $222.1 billion
note: includes federal, cantonal, and municipal budgets (2017 est.)
revenues: $884.4 billion
expenditures: $927.7 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, watches, textiles, precision instruments, tourism, banking, insurance, pharmaceuticals
tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
Industrial production growth rate2% (2017 est.)
0.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrains, fruits, vegetables; meat, eggs, dairy products
fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish
Exports$336.8 billion (2017 est.)
$318.1 billion (2016 est.)
note: trade data exclude trade with Switzerland
$499.1 billion (2017 est.)
$454.1 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, metals, watches, agricultural products
engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals
Exports - partnersGermany 14.4%, US 12.1%, UK 10.7%, China 9%, Hong Kong 6.1%, France 5.8%, Italy 4.9%, India 4.8% (2016)
Germany 12.6%, France 10.5%, US 8.9%, UK 5.4%, Spain 5%, Switzerland 4.6% (2016)
Imports$286.7 billion (2017 est.)
$264.9 billion (2016 est.)
$426.7 billion (2017 est.)
$387.1 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, vehicles, metals; agricultural products, textiles
engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages, tobacco
Imports - partnersGermany 19.4%, US 9%, Italy 7.4%, UK 7.1%, UAE 6.2%, France 6.1%, China 4.7% (2016)
Germany 16.3%, France 8.9%, China 7.5%, Netherlands 5.5%, Spain 5.3%, Belgium 4.9% (2016)
Debt - external$1.664 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$1.663 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$2.444 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$2.3 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSwiss francs (CHF) per US dollar -
0.9875 (2017 est.)
0.9852 (2016 est.)
0.9852 (2015 est.)
0.9627 (2014 est.)
0.9152 (2013 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt32.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
32.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: general government gross debt; gross debt consists of all liabilities that require payment or payments of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor at a date or dates in the future; includes debt liabilities in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), currency and deposits, debt securities, loans, insurance, pensions and standardized guarantee schemes, and other accounts payable; all liabilities in the GFSM 2001 system are debt, except for equity and investment fund shares and financial derivatives and employee stock options
131.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
132.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: Italy reports its data on public debt according to guidelines set out in the Maastricht Treaty; general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year, in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the central government, state government, local government and social security funds
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$679.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$136 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$130.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$67.33 billion (2017 est.)
$70.54 billion (2016 est.)
$52.83 billion (2017 est.)
$47.31 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$680.6 billion (2016 est.)
$1.921 trillion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.23 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.217 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$495.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$471.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.556 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.528 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$607.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$584.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.519 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.495 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.541 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$587.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$615.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$480.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.5% (31 December 2016)
0.75% (31 December 2009)
0.25% (31 December 2013)
0.75% (31 December 2012)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
Commercial bank prime lending rate2.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
2.65% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.3% (31 December 2017 est.)
3.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.267 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.166 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.264 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.024 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$619.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$555.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.238 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.101 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
Stock of broad money$1.335 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.232 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.694 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.519 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues32.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
46% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.4%
male: 8.7%
female: 8.1% (2016 est.)
total: 40.3%
male: 38.8%
female: 42.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 11.5%
investment in fixed capital: 24%
investment in inventories: -0.7%
exports of goods and services: 67.5%
imports of goods and services: -56% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 60.2%
government consumption: 18.7%
investment in fixed capital: 17.2%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 31.8%
imports of goods and services: -28% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving33.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
33.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

SwitzerlandItaly
Electricity - production64.06 billion kWh (2015 est.)
269.3 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption58.45 billion kWh (2015 est.)
296 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports30.17 billion kWh (2016 est.)
6.155 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports34.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
43.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
70,670 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports58,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1.231 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports319.1 bbl/day (2016 est.)
11,610 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
556.7 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - proved reservesNA cu m (1 January 2011 es)
49.13 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production25 million cu m (2015 est.)
5.785 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - consumption4.639 billion cu m (2015 est.)
70.91 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2016 est.)
21.2 million cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports3.484 billion cu m (2015 est.)
65.28 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity19.62 million kW (2015 est.)
117 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels2.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
52.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants61% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
12.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels17% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources11.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
28.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production63,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1.567 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption217,400 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1.253 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports8,894 bbl/day (2016 est.)
572,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports166,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
449,600 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy45 million Mt (2013 est.)
362 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

SwitzerlandItaly
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 4.029 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 49 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 20,267,172
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 11,283,400
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138 (July 2016 est.)
total: 85,955,905
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 139 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: highly developed telecommunications infrastructure with excellent domestic and international services
domestic: ranked among leading countries for fixed-line teledensity and infrastructure; mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 140 per 100 persons; extensive cable and microwave radio relay networks
international: country code - 41; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean) (2016)
general assessment: modern, well-developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services
domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks
international: country code - 39; a series of submarine cables provide links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and US; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (with a total of 5 antennas - 3 for Atlantic Ocean and 2 for Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and NA Eutelsat (2015)
Internet country code.ch
.it
Internet userstotal: 7,312,744
percent of population: 89.4% (July 2016 est.)
total: 38,025,661
percent of population: 61.3% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediathe publicly owned radio and TV broadcaster, Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG/SSR), operates 7 national TV networks, 3 broadcasting in German, 2 in Italian, and 2 in French; private commercial TV stations broadcast regionally and locally; TV broadcasts from stations in Germany, Italy, and France are widely available via multi-channel cable and satellite TV services; SRG/SSR operates 17 radio stations that, along with private broadcasters, provide national to local coverage (2015)
two Italian media giants dominate - the publicly owned Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) with 3 national terrestrial stations and privately owned Mediaset with 3 national terrestrial stations; a large number of private stations and Sky Italia - a satellite TV network; RAI operates 3 AM/FM nationwide radio stations; about 1,300 commercial radio stations (2007)

Transportation

SwitzerlandItaly
Railwaystotal: 5,651.5 km
standard gauge: 4,424.8 km 1.435-m gauge (3,634.1 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 2 km 1.200-m gauge (2 km electrified); 1,188.3 km 1.000-m gauge (1,167.3 km electrified); 36.4 km 0.800-m gauge (36.4 km electrified) (2014)
total: 20,181.7 km
standard gauge: 18,770.1 km 1.435-m gauge (12,893.6 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 122.3 km 1.000-m gauge (122.3 km electrified); 1,289.3 km 0.950-m gauge (151.3 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 71,464 km
paved: 71,464 km (includes 1,415 of expressways) (2011)
total: 487,700 km
paved: 487,700 km (includes 6,700 km of expressways) (2007)
Waterways1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport) (2010)
2,400 km (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail) (2012)
Pipelinesgas 1,800 km; oil 94 km; refined products 7 km (2013)
gas 20,223 km; oil 1,393 km; refined products 1,574 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsriver port(s): Basel (Rhine)
major seaport(s): Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Taranto, Trieste, Venice
oil terminal(s): Melilli (Santa Panagia) oil terminal, Sarroch oil terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Genoa (2,243,000), Gioia Tauro (3,512,000), La Spezia (1,300,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): La Spezia, Panigaglia, Porto Levante
Merchant marinetotal: 51
by type: bulk carrier 30, general cargo 12, oil tanker 1, other 8 (2017)
total: 1,430
by type: bulk carrier 65, container ship 10, general cargo 145, oil tanker 135, other 1,075 (2017)
Airports63 (2013)
129 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 40
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
total: 98
over 3,047 m: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 29
under 914 m: 11 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 23
under 914 m: 23 (2013)
total: 31
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 20 (2013)
Heliports2 (2013)
5 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 12
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 163
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 26,843,991
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,322,379,468 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 9
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 382
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 26,036,010
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 945,433,732 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixHB (2016)
I (2016)

Military

SwitzerlandItaly
Military branchesSwiss Armed Forces: Land Forces, Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) (2013)
Italian Armed Forces: Army (Esercito Italiano, EI), Navy (Marina Militare Italiana, MMI), Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana, AMI), Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri, CC), Financial Guard (Guardia di Finanza) (2015)
Military service age and obligation19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)
18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 1-year service obligation (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.71% of GDP (2016)
0.67% of GDP (2015)
0.66% of GDP (2014)
0.73% of GDP (2013)
0.69% of GDP (2012)
1.51% of GDP (2016)
1.39% of GDP (2015)
1.47% of GDP (2014)
1.59% of GDP (2013)
1.63% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

SwitzerlandItaly
Disputes - internationalnone
Italy's long coastline and developed economy entices tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from southeastern Europe and northern Africa
Illicit drugsa major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries; transit country for and consumer of South American cocaine, Southwest Asian heroin, and Western European synthetics; domestic cannabis cultivation and limited ecstasy production
important gateway for and consumer of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin entering the European market; money laundering by organized crime and from smuggling
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 26,264 (Eritrea); 11,159 (Syria); 5,675 (Afghanistan); 5,458 (Sri Lanka) (2016)
stateless persons: 66 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 16,033 (Afghanistan); 14,336 (Somalia); 14,247 (Nigeria); 13,412 (Pakistan); 11,327 (Mali); 10,049 (Eritrea); 7,723 (Gambia); 5,805 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2016); 10,410 (Ukraine) (2017); note: estimate represents asylum applicants since Ukraine crisis began in 2014 until September 2017
stateless persons: 701 (2016)
note: 455,429 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals by sea (January 2015 - January 2018)

Source: CIA Factbook