Andorra

Introduction For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel). In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. Long isolated and impoverished, mountainous Andorra achieved considerable prosperity since World War II through its tourist industry. Many immigrants (legal and illegal) are attracted to the thriving economy with its lack of income taxes.
History

Tradition holds that Charles the Great (Charlemagne) granted a charter to Andorran people in return for fighting against the Moors. Overlordship of the territory passed to the local count of Urgell and eventually to the bishop of the diocese of Urgell. In the eleventh century a dispute arose between the bishop and his northern neighbour over Andorra.

The conflict was resolved in 1278 by the signing of a paréage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the count of Foix (whose title would ultimately transfer to the French head of state) and the bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, in Catalonia, Spain. This gave the small principality its territory and political form.

Over the years the title passed to the kings of Navarre. After Henry of Navarre became King Henry IV of France, he issued an edict (1607) that established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.

In the period 1812–13, the First French Empire annexed Catalonia and divided it in four départements. Andorra was also annexed and made part of the district of Puigcerdà (département of Sègre).

Andorra declared war on Imperial Germany during World War I but did not actually take part in the fighting. It remained in an official state of belligerency until 1957 as it was not included in the Versailles Peace Treaty.

In 1933 France occupied Andorra as a result of social unrest before elections. On July 12, 1934, an adventurer named Boris Skossyreff issued a proclamation in Urgell, declaring himself Boris I, sovereign prince of Andorra, simultaneously declaring war on the bishop of Urgell. He was arrested by Spanish authorities on July 20 and ultimately expelled from Spain. From 1936 to 1940, a French detachment was garrisoned in Andorra to prevent influences of the Spanish Civil War and Franco's Spain. Francoist troops reached the Andorran border in the later stages of the war.

During World War II, Andorra remained neutral and was an important smuggling route between Vichy France and Spain.

Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transportation and communications have removed the country from its isolation. Its political system was thoroughly modernized in 1993, the year in which it became a member of the United Nations.

Geography Location: Southwestern Europe, between France and Spain
Geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 30 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 468 sq km
land: 468 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative: 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 120.3 km
border countries: France 56.6 km, Spain 63.7 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; snowy, cold winters and warm, dry summers
Terrain: rugged mountains dissected by narrow valleys
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Riu Runer 840 m
highest point: Coma Pedrosa 2,946 m
Natural resources: hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead
Land use: arable land: 2.13%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 97.87% (2005)
Irrigated land: NA
Natural hazards: avalanches
Environment - current issues: deforestation; overgrazing of mountain meadows contributes to soil erosion; air pollution; wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: landlocked; straddles a number of important crossroads in the Pyrenees
Politics

Andorra is a co-principality with the President of France and the Bishop of Urgell, Spain as co-princes, in a duumvirate. The politics of Andorra take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby the Prime Minister of Andorra is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Responsibility for defending Andorra rests with Spain and France. Andorra currently has no military force.

People Population: 71,822 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.5% (male 5,433/female 4,984)
15-64 years: 71.2% (male 26,775/female 24,354)
65 years and over: 14.3% (male 5,074/female 5,202) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 41.5 years
male: 41.8 years
female: 41.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.842% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 8.45 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 6.45 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 6.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.099 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.975 male(s)/female
total population: 1.079 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.03 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.37 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 83.52 years
male: 80.62 years
female: 86.62 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.31 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Andorran(s)
adjective: Andorran
Ethnic groups: Spanish 43%, Andorran 33%, Portuguese 11%, French 7%, other 6% (1998)
Religions: Roman Catholic (predominant)
Languages: Catalan (official), French, Castilian, Portuguese
Literacy: definition: NA
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%
Government Country name: conventional long form: Principality of Andorra
conventional short form: Andorra
local long form: Principat d'Andorra
local short form: Andorra
Government type: parliamentary democracy (since March 1993) that retains as its chiefs of state a coprincipality; the two princes are the president of France and bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain, who are represented locally by coprinces' representatives
Capital: name: Andorra la Vella
geographic coordinates: 42 30 N, 1 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 7 parishes (parroquies, singular - parroquia); Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, Escaldes-Engordany, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria
Independence: 1278 (formed under the joint suzerainty of the French Count of Foix and the Spanish Bishop of Urgel)
National holiday: Our Lady of Meritxell Day, 8 September (1278)
Constitution: Andorra's first written constitution was drafted in 1991, approved by referendum 14 March 1993, effective 28 April 1993
Legal system: based on French and Spanish civil codes; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: French Coprince Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007); represented by Philippe MASSONI (since 26 July 2002) and Spanish Coprince Bishop Joan Enric VIVES i SICILIA (since 12 May 2003); represented by Nemesi MARQUES i OSTE (since 30 July 2003)
head of government: Executive Council President Albert PINTAT SANTOLARIA (since 27 May 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council or Govern designated by the Executive Council president
elections: Executive Council president elected by the General Council and formally appointed by the coprinces for a four-year term; election last held 24 April 2005 (next to be held in April-May 2009)
election results: Albert PINTAT SANTOLARIA elected executive council president; percent of General Council vote - NA
Legislative branch: unicameral General Council of the Valleys or Consell General de las Valls (28 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote, 14 from a single national constituency and 14 to represent each of the seven parishes; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 24 April 2005 (next to be held in March-April 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PLA 41.2%, PS 38.1%, CDA-S21 11%, other 9.7%; seats by party - PLA 14, PS 12, CDA-S21 2
Judicial branch: Tribunal of Judges or Tribunal de Batlles; Tribunal of the Courts or Tribunal de Corts; Supreme Court of Justice of Andorra or Tribunal Superior de Justicia d'Andorra; Supreme Council of Justice or Consell Superior de la Justicia; Fiscal Ministry or Ministeri Fiscal; Constitutional Tribunal or Tribunal Constitucional
Political parties and leaders: Andorran Democratic Center Party or CDA (formerly Democratic Party or PD); Century 21 or S21 [Enric TARRADO]; Liberal Party of Andorra or PLA [Albert PINTAT SANTOLARIA] (formerly Liberal Union or UL); Social Democratic Party or PS [Jaume BARTUMEU CASSANY] (formerly part of National Democratic Group or AND)
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: CE, FAO, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFRCS, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Carles FONT
chancery: 2 United Nations Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10017
telephone: [1] (212) 750-8064
FAX: [1] (212) 750-6630
Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Andorra; the US Ambassador to Spain is accredited to Andorra; US interests in Andorra are represented by the Consulate General's office in Barcelona (Spain); mailing address: Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; telephone: [34] (3) 280-2227; FAX: [34] (3) 205-5206
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red with the national coat of arms centered in the yellow band; the coat of arms features a quartered shield
note: similar to the flags of Chad and Romania, which do not have a national coat of arms in the center, and the flag of Moldova, which does bear a national emblem
Culture

The official and historic language is Catalan. Other languages stemming from immigration, historical links and close geographic proximity, such as Spanish and French are also commonly spoken.

Andorra's long history has provided it with a rich folklore and an abundance of folk tales, with roots originating as far as Andalusia in the south and the Netherlands in the north.

Andorran culture is Catalan in essence. It has given a significant and easily identifiable contribution to the conglomerate of Catalan culture.

Two writers renowned in Catalonia and the region, Michèle Gazier and Ramon Villeró, both come from Andorra.

Andorra is home to folk dances like the contrapàs and marratxa, which survive in Sant Julià de Lòria especially. Andorran folk music has similarities to all of its neighbors, but is especially Catalan in character, especially in the presence of dances like the sardana. Other Andorran folk dances include contrapàs in Andorra la Vella and Saint Anne's dance in Escaldes-Engordany.

Andorra's national holiday is Our Lady of Meritxell Day, September 8.[2]

Economy Economy - overview: Tourism, the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, well-to-do economy, accounts for more than 80% of GDP. An estimated 11.6 million tourists visit annually, attracted by Andorra's duty-free status and by its summer and winter resorts. Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. The banking sector, with its partial "tax haven" status, also contributes substantially to the economy. Agricultural production is limited - only 2% of the land is arable - and most food has to be imported. The principal livestock activity is sheep raising. Manufacturing output consists mainly of cigarettes, cigars, and furniture. Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (no tariffs) and as a non-EU member for agricultural products.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $2.77 billion (2005)
GDP (official exchange rate): $NA
GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $38,800 (2005)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Labor force: 42,420 (2005)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 0.3%
industry: 20.3%
services: 79.4% (2005)
Unemployment rate: 0% (1996 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.2% (2005)
Budget: revenues: $333.5 million
expenditures: $386.6 million (2005)
Agriculture - products: small quantities of rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables; sheep
Industries: tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, banking, tobacco, furniture
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: NA kWh
Electricity - production by source: NA
Electricity - consumption: NA kWh
Electricity - exports: NA kWh
Electricity - imports: NA kWh; note - most electricity supplied by Spain and France; Andorra generates a small amount of hydropower
Exports: $148.7 million f.o.b. (2005)
Exports - commodities: tobacco products, furniture
Exports - partners: Spain 59.5%, France 17.0% (2006)
Imports: $1.879 billion (2005)
Imports - commodities: consumer goods, food, electricity
Imports - partners: Spain 53.2%, France 21.1% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $0
Debt - external: $NA
Currency (code): euro (EUR)
Currency code: EUR
Exchange rates: euros per US dollar - 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 35,400 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 64,600 (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: modern system with microwave radio relay connections between exchanges
international: country code - 376; landline circuits to France and Spain
Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 15, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 16,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 0 (1997)
Televisions: 27,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .ad
Internet hosts: 15,486 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2000)
Internet users: 23,200 (2006)
Transportation Roadways: total: 269 km
paved: 198 km
unpaved: 71 km
Military Military branches: no regular military forces, Police Service of Andorra
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 18,418 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 14,721 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 369 (2005 est.)
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France and Spain
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: none