Borders. – By virtue of the peace treaty (10 February 1947), Italy had to cede to France some areas along the Western Alps, namely a small area near the Piccolo San Bernardo pass with the famous Ospizio, the surrounding region at the Passo del Moncenisio, the so-called Valle Stretta which opens under Mount Tabor to the west of Bardonecchia, the territories at the head of the Tinea and Vesubia rivers, known as “hunting territories” and those of the upper and middle Val Roja (municipalities of Brig, Tenda and part of Olivetta S. Michele), around 710 sq km in all. Italy had to make more serious sacrifices on the eastern border by renouncing in favor of Yugoslavia all of Istria, with the Karst, apart from the upper and middle Isonzo valley and allowing the creation of the Free Territory of Trieste. The border with Yugoslavia is thus very irregular and irrational, with a series of salient points especially in the Gorizia region, where the urban center in the strict sense has remained in Italy, but the immediate eastern suburbs have passed into Yugoslav territory. The loss is 7390 sq km. in favor of Yugoslavia and 783 sq km. constituting the Free Territory of Trieste.
The area of the Italian republic within the current borders was therefore calculated in sq. Km. 301.020.
Territory and population (XIX, p. 740; App. I, p. 742). – The Central Statistical Institute held a demographic estimate as at 31 December 1947, at which date the Italian population, within the new borders, was 46.821.970 residents The basic statistical data are shown in the prospectus.
Regarding the movement of the population, it should be noted that the surplus of births over the dead – of 10.9 ‰ per year on the average 1926-30, reduced to 9.4 ‰ on the average 1936-40 – was 5.2 ‰ in the five-year war period 1941-45 (with a minimum of 3.4 ‰ in 1944), but it immediately rose to 10.5 ‰ in the years 1946-47.
Agriculture (XIX, p. 747). – On the total area of the Republic (301,020 sq. Km.), Only 23,446 sq. Km. approximately are considered unproductive. The remainder is divided as follows: arable land, 129,541; meadows and pastures 54,044; specialized wood crops 23,290; forests 55,032; uncultivated production 15,667 sq. km.
Agriculture actually employs just under 50% of the active population; more than 33% work in industries (including transport and communications), just under 12% in commerce (including banks, etc.), the rest carry out activities and free arts, are employed in public administrations, etc.
The Italian agricultural economy notoriously suffered serious blows following the last world war; but it is rapidly recovering as shown by the two tables at the bottom of this page.
It should be noted that the 1947 vintage was particularly unfavorable for almost all crops; the data available for 1948 indicate further progress for almost all products.
Woody crops underwent much fewer cuts due to the war; even the feared damage to the olive groves was actually limited; indeed, production is increasing.
The damage, very serious in some areas, to the livestock, is also diminishing with greater rapidity than perhaps it was legitimate to foresee. The following table compares the data from the 1930 (19 March) and 1941 (30 June) livestock censuses with those of a provisional but reliable assessment made in 1947.
As for fishing, the 1937 census gave a total of 34,548 vessels employed for a total tonnage of 104,561 t. and 79,574 employees (of which 339 between steamships, motor ships and motor sails for a tonnage of 21,680 tons and 2176 employees). There is still no data on the size of the fishing vessels active after the war. On the other hand, there are some data on fishery products in 1947. From them it appears that about 23,300 tuna were caught for a total weight of q. 21,776 (compared to q. 27,230 in 1936) and q. 1,215,805. of other fish (including over 503,000 represented by anchovies, sardines and mackerel).
Industry. – From the industrial census of 1937-39 there were 1,071,272 businesses with 4,469,502 people employed, including entrepreneurs and employees (27%) and workers (73%). Among the prevailing classes, the food industries were 299,719 (with 574,473 employees), those of clothing 169,098 (with 308,723 employees), those of leather and hides 124,183 (with 215,528 employees), those of wood 123,663 (with 283,576 employees), mechanical 104,430 (with 846,750 employees), construction 68,110 and textiles 37,449. But among the data now reported, the figures for personnel employed are not very significant, and in any case they are completely outdated as a result of the world conflict. It has seriously affected the Italian industry, not only in the extent of production, but in its very characteristics;
For some mineral products the table on p. following it compares the data of 1940 with those of 1946 and 1947. It appears that the production of metal ores is most affected, while for others a recovery can be signaled; this is notable for fuels, and the upward movement of the production of methane and other hydrocarbons is significant.
For electricity, the production, which in 1940 was about 19.5 billion kWh (of which 17.9 of hydroelectric origin), was about 17.5 in 1946 (16.6 hydroel.) And is rose to over 20.5 in 1947 (18.9 hydroel.). The increase in the productivity of the plants, largely hydroelectric, should reach, according to the new construction program established since 1946, about 32 billion kWh in 1951. New large hydroelectric basins are under construction in northern and central Italy.
As regards industries in the strict sense, in the metallurgical field we can report a significant recovery in the manufacture of steel and similar products, and of ferroalloys, in the mechanical field the lively recovery of the manufacture of motor vehicles, airplanes, railway materials, etc.. Many branches of the textile industries, for which statistics are lacking, are also in vigorous recovery; on the other hand, the chemical industries have not yet emerged, for the most part, from post-war stasis (see also industry, in this App.).
Transportation. – With regard to transport, the very serious damage caused by the war to the railway communications network and related equipment is well known; but the reconstruction effort was truly powerful (see railway, in this App.). The network of state railways, which in 1942 totaled 17,028 km. (of which 5174 electrified), had been restored at the end of 1947 on 15,791 km. (of which 4,727 electrified); now 16,000 km have been exceeded. For railways and suburban tramways operated by private companies, the reconstruction now exceeds four-fifths of the lines. The temporary interruption of many important railway services was initially provided with automobile services; now these, despite the restoration of the railways, have largely survived (over 87,000 km. of extra-urban public services at the end of 1945, over 100,000 at the end of 1947, compared to 73,000 in 1941 and 116,600 in 1938), indeed they tend to increase, because there are still favorable opportunities for competition with the railways, especially on routes that are not very long and with moderate traffic. See alsomerchant navy, in this App.
Political and administrative order. – The institutional referendum of 2 June 1946 gave Italy a republican regime definitively codified in the constitution which entered into force on 1 January 1948 (see below). The referendum, out of a total of 23,437,143 valid votes (93.9% of voters) gave 12,718,641 votes (54.3%) in favor of the republican regime: the percentage was 64.8% in northern Italy, 63, 5% in the central, 32.6% in the south and 36% in the insular.
The constitution establishes the division of the territory of the republic into regions, provinces and municipalities (art. 114); the regions are indicated in art. 131 and correspond to those listed in the prospectus on p. 73; they are constituted in autonomous bodies with their own powers and functions and can issue legislative norms, within the limits of the fundamental principles established by the laws of the state, on a series of matters specified in articles 117-19 of the constitution. Special forms and conditions of autonomy are attributed to Sicily, Sardinia, Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Valle d’Aosta according to special statutes adopted by constitutional laws (Article 116).
With legislative decree no. 535 of the President of the Republic, the emblem of the Italian Republic was approved on the basis of the relative resolution of the Constituent Assembly on January 31, 1948. The emblem is composed of a star with five rays of white, edged in red, attached to the axes of a toothed steel wheel, between two olive and oak branches, linked by a red ribbon, with the writing in white in capital font “Italian Republic”. The design of the emblem is the work of Paolo Paschetto.
Article 12 of the constitution promulgated on 1 January 1948 establishes that “the flag of the Republic is the Italian tricolor: green, white and red, with three vertical bands of equal size”. On November 4, 1947, all the corps and departments of the army and air force received the new flags in a solemn form; to them all the rewards to the VM that already had the old ones were transferred. The latter are currently kept in the Museum of the Italian Risorgimento in Rome. For the navy it was established that the coat of arms consists of a shield, formed with the ancient emblems (quartered) of the maritime republics of Venice, Genoa, Amalfi and Pisa, surmounted by a turreted crown with an anchor in the middle. The sizes of the new regulatory flags for the navy vary by unit. The flags are reproduced in the table illustrating the itemflag in this App. The coat of arms of the merchant navy flag still remains to be defined, necessary to avoid the possibility of misunderstandings with flags of foreign states similar (Mexico) or similar (Ireland) to the Italian one, but which cannot be identified with the flag of the navy.