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Italian Federation

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The Italian Federation is a country in southern Europe and dominates the northern half of the Apennine Peninsula. It is bordered by Switzerland to the north, Austria to the northeast, the Socialist Republic of Italy to the south and the Commune of France to the west.

History

The unified Italy created in 1861 lasted little more than half a century. Her decision to side with the Entente powers rather than her traditional Central European allies during the Weltkrieg proved to be a mistake to the highest order. In 1919 Italy collapsed under a Central Powers' offensive, and the combination of anger at Italy's betrayal and the Austrian desire for a divided Italian peninsula led to the break-up of Italy as a nation. After three years of military occupation Austria decided to recreate several pre-Risorgimento states united in a loose, highly decentralized federation with strong regional powers. The Pope was chosen as nominal Head of State, as the glue to keep the Federation together. However, the Pope was supposed to be merely a spiritual guide and a figure head.

The Italian Federation federation was established in May 3 1922, merely three months after the election of Pius XI as the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. While in theory he had the power to appoint nobles and delegates from the various Italian regions as ministers of the Federation, in reality these positions held little power: at that time, being a minister of the Italian Federation was more an honorific position than one of true power. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was supposed to be one of the constituent entities of the Federation but in 1921 the peasantry revolted and, with the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement leading the revolution, the Socialist Republic of Italy was established and fought the strained Austrian forces to a stalemate, thereby gaining independence and recognition and dividing the Italian peninsula in two countries.

However, little by little the situation changed. The 1927 Ausgleich showed who fractured the Austro-Hungarian Empire really was and the decentralization it brought loosened the Austrian leash on the Federation. In the meantime Pope Pius XI, using the the motto Pax Christi in regno Christi ("the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ"), encouraged the Catholics to work together with the purpose of creating a christian society, where Christ and the Church would pervade every aspect of human life. He advocated a reconstruction of economic and political life on the basis of religious values and encouraged an economy based on cooperation and solidarity, based on the catholic principles of respect and assistance. Thanks to the spreading of this doctrine, the Vatican started getting more and more involved in the internal affairs of the various entities composing the federation.

In the early 1930's a group of radical cardinals gained political control of the Vatican. Aided by Pope Pius XI this group pushed for the centralization and expansion of Papal power and control over the federation. During this period Austria was distracted by internal affairs, and was reluctant to intervene in favour of the status quo and stir troubles among its own Catholic population. Playing on the massive popular support the Pope had and setting this in the context of needing a great leader to guard Italian Federation from the dangers of Syndicalism the Pope emerged as the formal leader of northern Italy in 1934.

Politics

The Italian Federation consists of several separated entities federated together. The Pope is the President of the Federation and the government is formed by cardinals and commoners alike. In the beginning the Pope was only a formal ruler who cyclically appointed the nobles and the representatives from the various entities of the Italian Federation as Heads of Government and ministers. However, following the changes brought by Pius XI in the early 1930's, the Pope is now in firm control of the government and, while nobles and representatives from the various entities of the Italian Federation are still appointed as ministers, the cardinals gained more power and the most important ministries are usually reserved to them.

The current Pope, Pius XI, appointed Count Stefano Jacini, a social conservative who always advocated a strong control of the Pope over the Italian Federation, as Prime Minister and entrusted the most important ministries to loyal cardinals: Alfredo Ottavini as Secretary for Relations with States, Eugenio Pacelli as Minister of Finance, Theodor Innitzer as Minister of Security and Domenico Tardini as Head of the Sodalitium Pianum. A representative from the Granduchy of Tuscany, Josef von Österreich-Toskana (related to the Austrian Royal Family) is the designed Chief of the Federal Staff. The military is in the hands of qualified officers: Vittorio Ambrosio is the Chief of the Holy Army, Arturo Riccardi is the Chief of the Holy Navy and the corsican Rino Corso Fougier is the Chief of the Holy Air Force.

Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and President of the Italian Federation: Pius XI

Prime Minister: Stefano Jacini

Secretary for Relations with States: Alfredo Ottavini

Camerlengo of the Roman Catholic Church and Minister of Finance: Eugenio Pacelli

Prefect of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and Minister of Interior: Theodor Innitzer

Head of the Sodalitium Pianum : Domenico Tardini

Chief of the Federal Staff: Josef von Österreich-Toskana

Chief of the Federal Army: Vittorio Ambrosio

Chief of the Federal Navy: Arturo Riccardi

Chief of the Federal Air Force: Rino Corso Fougier

Other important Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church include the french Achille Liènart, a left-leaning liberal voice, and Elia Dalla Costa, an austere and charitable man who refuse involving in politics.

Military

Army

Following the withdrawal of the armies of the Central Powers, each separated entity forming the newborn Italian Federation established its own militia. Since Germany guaranteed the independence of the federation and despite the presence of two hostile syndicalist nations at its borders, in the beginning the Italian Federation didn't create a united force, but each of its entities developed a small army and usually focused on a specific military branch, specializing for example in infantry, navy or air force. However, with the decrease of autonomy of the separated entities and the centralization of the federation in favor of the Vatican, a unified army was created, composed of the best divisions from each entity.

Navy

The Marina Federale is the larger of the two Italian navies. Namely the 7th largest navy in the world, the Federation has the largest naval presence in the Mediterranean, not counting the German Mediterranean fleet based at Port Said and the Austrian fleet based in Venice. Emphasis is placed on battlecruisers, though the navy also has two rather modern battleships in its disposal. A curiosity, considering the navy's largely defensive role, is the submarine fleet which is largely downplayed by official sources. Naval analysts consider the existence of such a fleet evidence that the Federation is willing to go on the offense with the Socialist Republic of Italy, a conflict where the submarines could be used to choke southern trade.

Air Force

With two interceptor divisions, the Federal Air Force isn't really a threat to anyone. Tasked with the defense of Rome and the large industrial areas in the north, the Air Force needs to expand if it is to have any impact in any future war.

Foreign Relations

Very good relations with National France, Austria-Hungary, Spain and Poland.

Friendly relations with Germany, Croatia, Albania, Canada and Brazil.

Unfriendly relations with Abyssinia, Union of Britain, United States of America and Japan.

Declared hostility against Socialist Republic of Italy and Commune of France.

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