Little is known of Italian history before the 5th cent. B.C., except for the regions (S Italy and Sicily) where the Greeks had established colonies. The earliest known inhabitants seem to have been of Ligurian stock. The Etruscans, coming probably from Asia Minor, established themselves in central Italy before 800 B.C. They reduced the indigenous population to servile status and established a prosperous empire with a complex culture. In the 4th cent. B.C., the Celts (called Gauls by Roman historians) invaded Italy and drove the Etruscans from the Po valley. In the south, the Etruscan advance was checked about the same time by the Samnites, who had adapted the civilization of their Greek neighbors and who in the 4th cent. B.C. drove the Etruscans out of Campania.
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK that attracted international population. As the MNC’s started deploying their employees to Italy or the locals started moving out international movers became active and movers from the other part of the world found a potential market.. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, welfare-dependent, agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Italy has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions. But the leadership faces a severe economic constraint: the budget deficit has breached the 3% EU ceiling. The economy experienced almost no growth in 2005, and unemployment remained at a high level.
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