The Italian economy has changed dramatically since the end of World War II from an agriculturally based to an industrial country. Despite an economic crisis in 2004, Italy has today recovered as a strong economy and is ranked as the fifth largest economy in terms of USD exchange rates and belongs to the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations. It has close trade ties with other EU member countries. Italy was a founder member of the EU and is a strong supporter in NATO. The Italian Government seeks to obtain agreements with other European countries on various defense and security issues within the EU as well as NATO. European integration and the development of common defense and security policies continue to be a main objective of Italy’s political agenda. In May 2006, the Italian parliament chose the Democratic Party’s, Giorgio Napolitano as the President of the Republic and his term will last until 2013.