Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia.
Persistent problems include illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of south compared with the prosperous north.
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.
Regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, land subsidence.
Strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe.
Land boundaries: Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km