ANDORRALOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENERGY AND POWER
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
Principality of Andorra
CAPITAL: Andorra la Vella
FLAG: The national flag is a tricolor of blue, yellow, and red vertical stripes. On the state flag (shown here) the yellow stripe bears the coat of arms.
ANTHEM: The Himne Andorra begins "El gran Carlemany mon pare" ("Great Charlemagne my father").
MONETARY UNIT: Andorra has no currency of its own; the euro, adopted by both Spain and France, is used. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 euro and 2 euros. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. €1 = $1.25475 (or $1 = €0.79697) as of 2005.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system and some old local standards are used.
HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; National Festival, 8 September; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday and Easter Monday.
TIME: 1 pm = noon GMT.
Landlocked Andorra lies in southwestern Europe on the southern slopes of the Pyrénées Mountains between the French departments of Ariège and Pyrénées-Orientales to the n and the Spanish provinces of Gerona and Lérida to the s, with a total boundary length of 120.3 km (74.6 mi).
Andorra is about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., with a total area of 468 sq km (180 sq mi), extending 30.1 km (18.7 mi) e–w and 25.4 km (15.8 mi) n–s.
Andorra's capital city, Andorra la Vella, is located in the south-western part of the country.
Andorra is situated in a single drainage basin, but its main stream, the Riu Valira, has two distinct branches and six open basins; hence the term "Valleys" (Les Valls) was traditionally employed as part of the name of the principality. The section of the river flowing through El Serrat by way of Ordino and La Massánan is the Valira del Nord, while that flowing through Canillo, Encamp, and Les Escaldes is the Valira d'Orient. Most of the country is rough and mountainous, and there is little level surface. All the valleys are at least 900 m (3,000 ft) high, and the mean altitude is over 1,800 m (6,000 ft). There are lofty peaks, of which the highest is Coma Pedrosa (2,946 m/9,665 ft).
Because of its high elevation, Andorra has severe winters. The northern valleys are completely snowed up for several months. Most rain falls in April and October. Humidity is very low. Summers are warm or mild, depending on the altitude. There are considerable variations between maximum day and night temperatures.
The plant and animal life is similar to that found in the neighboring areas of France and Spain. Chestnut and walnut trees grow only in the area around Sant Julía de Lòria, the lowest village. Elsewhere, evergreen oaks still are common. Higher regions and many valleys have pines, firs, and various forms of subalpine and alpine plant life. At the highest altitudes there are no trees, but grass is plentiful during the summer. There are carnations, violets, bellflowers, and daisies, as well as blackberries, wild strawberries, and moss. Bears, wolves, foxes, martens, Pyrenean chamois, rabbits, hares, eagles, vultures, wild ducks, and geese may be found in isolated areas. The mountain streams contain trout, brochet, and crayfish.
Andorra was once heavily forested. One explanation for the name of the country is that it came from the Moorish word aldarra, meaning "place thick with trees." Andorra's mountainous environment attracts 12 million tourists each year. In recent decades, however, the forested area has been decreasing steadily. Overgrazing of mountain meadows by sheep, with consequent soil erosion, is another environmental problem. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), threatened species included 1 type of mammal: the common otter. The Apollo butterfly and the lesser horseshoe bat are vulnerable species.
The population of Andorra in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 74,000, which placed it at number 183 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 13% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 15% of the population under 15 years of age. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 2005–10 was expected to be 0.7%, a rate the government viewed as satisfactory. The projected population for the year 2025 was 81,000. The population density was 164 per sq km (426 per sq mi).
The UN estimated that 92% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 2.35%. The capital city, Andorra la Vella, had a population of 21,000 in that year. Other leading towns are Les Escaldes, Sant Julía de Lòria, Encamp, and La Massánan.
The population is concentrated in the seven urbanized valleys that form Andorra's political districts.
Immigration consists mainly of Spanish, Portuguese, and French nationals who intend to work in Andorra; these groups make up some 70% of the population. Spanish nationals account for the largest group of foreign residents, comprising approximately 43% of the population in 1999. There is also a small but rapidly growing group of African immigrants, especially from North Africa, working mostly in agriculture and construction. Immigrant workers are supposed to hold temporary work authorization permits, which are valid only as long as the job exists for which the permit was obtained. However, more than 4,000 immigrants did not have work permits in 1999, due to the fact that the quota for immigration is not as high as the number of workers needed in the country. In 2005, the net migration rate was estimated as 6.53 migrants per 1,000 population. In 2004, approximately 63% of the population was not born in Andorra. The government views the migration levels as satisfactory.
Native Andorrans made up only about 33% of the total population in 1998; they are of Catalan stock. About 43% of the population was Spanish, 11% were Portuguese, and about 7% were French. About 6% are from other groups.
The official language is Catalan. French, Portuguese, and Castilian are also spoken.
Traditionally, over 90% of all Andorrans are Roman Catholic. Though it is not an official state religion, the constitution acknowledges a special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, offering some special privileges to that group. The Muslim community is primarily made up of North African immigrants. Other Christian denominations include the Anglican Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Reunification Church, the New Apostolic Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. There is a small community of Hindus.
A north-south highway links Andorra la Vella with the Spanish and French borders. Secondary roads and trails also cross the border but are sometimes closed in winter because of deep snows. There were 269 km (167 mi) of roads in 2001, of which 198 km (123 mi) were paved. As of 1995 there were 40,127 motor vehicles, of which 35,941 were passenger cars and 4,186 were trucks, taxis, and buses.
Buses, the principal means of mass transit, provide regular service to Seo de Urgel and Barcelona in Spain, and to Perpignan in France. Among several cable cars, the most important operates between Encamp and Engolasters Lake. Vehicles from neighboring countries transport most merchandise.
Andorra does not have railways or commercial airports, but the airport at Seo de Urgel is only 20 km (12.5 mi) from Andorra la Vella. The nearest international airports are at Barcelona, Spain, located 215 km (134 mi) from Andorra, and at Toulouse, France, 165 km (103 mi) away. There is daily bus service from the Barcelona and Toulouse airports to Andorra.
According to one tradition, Charlemagne gave the region the name Andorra for its supposed likeness to the biblical town of Endor. Tradition also asserts that Charlemagne granted the Andorran people a charter in return for their help in fighting the Moors, and that Charlemagne's son Louis I, king of France, confirmed the charter.
It is generally agreed that Charles the Bald, the son of Louis, appointed the count of Urgel (now Seo de Urgel) overlord of Andorra and gave him the right to collect the imperial tribute. The bishop of Urgel, however, also claimed Andorra as part of the endowment of his cathedral. In 1226, the lords of the countship of Foix, in presentday south-central France, by marriage became heirs to the counts of Urgel. The quarrels between the Spanish bishop and the French counts over rights in Andorra led in 1278 to their adoption of a paréage, a feudal institution recognizing equal rights of two lords to a seigniorage.
In 1505, Germaine of Foix married Ferdinand V of Castile, thereby bringing the lordship of Andorra under Spanish rule. On taking over the kingdom in 1519, Emperor Charles V granted the lordship of Les Valls, as it was then known, to Germaine of Foix's line in perpetuity. Henry III of Navarre, who was also count of Foix, in 1589 ascended the French throne as Henry IV, and by an edict of 1607 established the head of the French state, along with the bishop of Urgel, as coprinces of Andorra.
In 1793, the French revolutionary government refused the traditional Andorran tribute as smacking of feudalism and renounced its suzerainty, despite the wish of the Andorrans to enjoy French protection and avoid being under exclusively Spanish influence.
Andorra remained neutral in the Napoleonic wars with Spain. Napoleon restored the coprincipality in 1806 after the Andorrans petitioned him to do so. French title to the principality subsequently passed from the kings to the president of France.
Long an impoverished land having little contact with any nations other than adjoining France and Spain, Andorra after World War II achieved considerable prosperity through a developing tourist industry. This development, abetted by improvements in transport and communications, has tended to break down Andorra's isolation and to bring Andorrans into the mainstream of European history. Public demands for democratic reforms led to the extension of the franchise to women in the 1970s and to the creation of new and more fully autonomous organs of government in the early 1980s.
Andorra formally became a parliamentary democracy in May 1993 following approval of a new constitution by a popular referendum in March 1993. The new constitution retained the French and Spanish coprinces although with reduced, and narrowly defined, powers. Civil rights were greatly expanded including the legalization of political parties and trade unions, and provision was made for an independent judiciary. Andorra entered into a customs union with the European Communities (now the EU) in 1991 and was admitted to the UN on 28 July 1993. The country has been seeking ways to improve its export potential and increase its economic ties with its European neighbors. The financial services sector of the economy is highly important, given Andorra's status as a tax haven and its banking secrecy laws.
The governmental system of Andorra is unique. The constitution adopted in 1993 retained the French and Spanish coprinces but reduced their powers. The coprinces are the president of France and the bishop of Urgel, Spain. The coprinces are represented in Andorra by permanent delegates and veguers. Both the delegates and veguers reside in Andorra and acquire Andorran nationality ex officio, but they are not typically native Andorrans.
Legislation is enacted by the General Council, consisting of 28 members (14 members chosen from the national constituency and 14 representing the 7 parishes), elected for a four-year term since December 1981.
As of 2005, the president of the General Council was Marc Forné Molné. The General Council designates as its head a first syndic (syndic procureur général ) and a second syndic for the conduct of administration; upon election to their four-year terms, these syndics cease to be members of the council.
The right to vote, which at one time was limited to third-generation Andorran males of 25 years of age or over, by 1981 had been extended to include all native Andorrans of Andorran parentage (at age 21) and first-generation Andorrans of foreign parentage (at age 28). In October 1985, the voting age was lowered to 18 years. In October 1992, the suffrage was broadened to include spouses of Andorran citizens and long-term residents.
Prior to 1993, political parties were illegal in Andorra, though the Democratic Party of Andorra (formed in 1979) was tolerated. There have been two main factions in organized political life—conservatives and liberals. However, in the 2001 elections, three parties with distinct political tenets competed: the conservative Liberal Party of Andorra (PLA), the left-of-center Social Democratic Party (PS), and the Andorran Democratic Center Party (CDA).
The general election of December 1993, in which five parties gained representation, was the first under Andorra's new constitution. The results of the general election held April 2005 were as follows: the Liberal Party of Andorra (PLA), 14 seats; the Social Democratic Party (PS), 12; and the Andorran Democratic Center Party (CDA) 2.
Andorra is divided into seven parishes or districts: Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massána, Escaldes-Engordany, Ordino, and Sant Juliá de Lòria. Eligible voters in each of the districts elect members of its parish council (comú ).
Parish councils administer local affairs. Each council generally consists of 8 to 14 members elected by universal suffrage for four-year terms at the same time as general councilors. Councils elect a senior consul and a junior consul.
The 1993 constitution guarantees an independent judiciary and the judiciary has in fact been independent. A Superior Council of Justice oversees and administers the judicial system. The Superior Council of Justice has five members. One member each is appointed by the two coprinces, the head of government, the president of the General Council, and members of the lower courts. Members of the judiciary are appointed for six-year terms. The judicial process is fair and efficient.
The new constitution also calls for respect for the promotion of liberty, equality, justice, tolerance, defense of human rights, dignity of the person, and privacy, and guarantees against arbitrary arrest and detention.
Under the current system, civil cases in the first instance are heard by four judges (batlles ). Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeal. Final appeals in civil cases are brought before the Supreme Court of Andorra at Perpignan, France, or the Ecclesiastical Court of the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell, Spain.
Criminal cases are heard in Andorra la Vella by the Tribunal des Cortes, consisting of the veguers, and the judge of appeal, two judges, and two members of the General Council. Few criminal trials are held, and the principality's jail is used only for persons awaiting sentencing. Sentenced criminals have the choice of French or Spanish jails. The courts apply the customary law of Andorra, supplementing it where necessary with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Traditional laws are compiled in the Manual Digest of 1748 and the Politar of 1763; legal standards are found in the Instructions to Bailiffs of 1740.
Andorra has no defense force, and the police force is small. The sole military expenses are for ammunition used in salutes at official ceremonies, the lone responsibility of Andorra's small army. France and Spain are pledged to defend Andorra.
Andorra was admitted to the United Nations on 28 July 1993. It participates in the ECE, ICAO, ITU, UNESCO, UNCCD, ICCROM, WHO, WIPO, WToO, and is an observer at the WTO. It is also a member of the Council of Europe, the ICCt, and Interpol. Andorra joined the OSCE on 25 April 1996. As of 1991, Andorra has had a special agreement with the European Union. Andorra is part of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In cooperation on environmental issues, Andorra is part of the Basel Convention.
The Andorran economy is primarily based on trade and tourism, with the traffic between France and Spain providing most of the revenue. Andorra is attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes. However, Andorra's comparative advantage has recently eroded as the economies of France and Spain have been opened up, providing broader availability of goods and lower tariffs. Approximately 10 million tourists visit Andorra each year, drawn by Andorra's summer and winter resorts.
The Andorran banking system is of significant importance as a tax haven for foreign financial transactions and investments.
Prior to the creation of the European Union there was an active trade in consumer goods, which were duty-free in Andorra. With the creation of the EU, Andorran manufactured goods remain tariff free, but Andorran agricultural products are subject to EU tariffs. The production of agricultural goods is limited, though, as only 2% of the land is arable. Most food has to be imported.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Andorra's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $1.9 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $26,800. The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 2%. The average inflation rate in 2004 was 4.3%.
Total employment as of 2001 was estimated at 33,000. As of 2000, an estimated 1% were employed in the agricultural sector, with 21% employed in industry and 78% in the services sector. There is virtually no unemployment in Andorra.
Under the constitution passed in 1993, workers were granted the right to form and maintain trade union associations without prejudice, but implementation has not been provided. Associations must register with the government, and in 2002, there were 600 such associations. However, no unions existed as of that year. The right to strike is not covered under the law, nor does it specifically cover collective bargaining. With no business regulation or registration requirements, smuggling goods between France and Spain is a leading source of informal employment.
There are government-mandated health and safety standards, which are regularly enforced with routine inspections. There is a government-set minimum wage, which was $7.20 per hour in 2005. The minimum working age is 18, with some exceptions allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work. The workweek is limited to 40 hours, with an additional 66 hours per month of overtime allowed.
Because of Andorra's mountainous character, only about 2% of the land is suitable for crops. However, until the tourism sector in Andorra experienced an upsurge, agriculture had been the mainstay of the economy. Hay, tobacco, and vegetables must be irrigated; cereals, mainly rye and barley, are dry-cropped. Most of the cropped land is devoted to hay production for animal feed. Since there is insufficient sunlight on northward-facing slopes and the lands in shadow are too cold for most crops, some southward-facing fields high in the mountains must be used even though they are a considerable distance from the farmers' homes.
Tobacco, the most distinctive Andorran crop, is grown on the best lands. Andorran tobacco is usually mixed with eastern tobaccos, because of its strong quality. Other farm products include cereals, potatoes, and garden vegetables. Grapes are used mainly for raisins and for the making of anisette. The lack of modern methods on Andorra's family farms is causing the agricultural sector to decrease in importance. Most food is now imported.
For many centuries, until eclipsed by tourism and other service industries, sheep raising was the basis of Andorra's economy. Andorran mules are still greatly prized. Cattle, sheep, and goats are raised both in the valleys and in some of the higher areas. Cattle are raised mainly for their meat, and there are few dairy cows. When the cattle move upward in the spring, entire families move to temporary villages in the mountains to herd, mow, and plant. Large droves of sheep and goats from France and Spain feed in Andorra in the summer, and the Spanish-owned animals in particular are looked after by Andorran shepherds. On their way back to their native land, many of the animals are sold at annual fairs; the Spanish fairs are usually held in Andorra in September and the French in November. Andorra's own animal fairs are also held in the fall.
Livestock includes an estimated 9,000 sheep, 1,100 cattle, and 200 horses. Meat production has increased in recent years, but imports account for about 90% of total meat consumption. The milk produced is sufficient for domestic consumption, and some milk has been exported to Spain.
The streams are full of trout and other freshwater fish, but Andorra imports most fish for domestic consumption from Spain.
About 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres), or 22% of the total land area, is forested. Fuel wood may be freely gathered by anyone, but it may not be bought or sold. Wood needed for building purposes is cut in rotation from a different district each year. For centuries logs have been shipped to Spain. Most reforestation is in pines.
For hundreds of years, Andorran forges were famous in northern Spain. There are still iron ore deposits in the valley of Ordino and in many of the mountain areas, but access to them is difficult. In addition to iron, small amounts of lead are still mined, and alum and building stones are extracted. The sulfurous waters of Les Escaldes are used in washing wool.
The largest hydroelectric plant, at Encamp, has a capacity of 26.5 MW and provides about 40% of Andorra's electric power needs, with most of the remainder being imported from Spain. The total installed capacity in 1991 was 35,000 kW. Energy production in 1992 totaled 140 million kWh.
There are four gas companies, with Andor Gas supplying propane and the others butane.
Manufacturing accounted for approximately 5% of GDP in 2004. Andorra produces cigars, cigarettes, textiles, leather, building materials, and furniture, both for local use and for export. Woolen blankets and scarves are made at Les Escaldes.
Many enterprises produce frozen foods, pastry, and other commodities. There are distilleries for the production of anisette, vermouth, liqueurs, and brandy.
Several firms manufacture woolen goods. There are a number of construction companies, the largest producing building materials from iron.
Students wishing to pursue scientific and technical careers usually receive their training abroad. The Andorra Scientific Society in Andorra la Vella was founded in 1983. The National Motor Car Museum in Encamp, founded in 1988, exhibits cars, motorbikes, and bicycles dating from 1898 to 1950.
Andorra la Vella has many stores where commodities of all kinds and origins may be purchased. The larger villages have small general stores. The French, Spanish, and Andorran animal fairs that take place at Andorra la Vella, Encamp, Ordino, and elsewhere are attended by most Andorrans and by many French and Spanish farmers.
There is a high level of competition between the large department stores and the small shops. There are some 600 retail establishments in the country, of which the department and jewelry stores are the most numerous, followed by food and clothing outlets. Trade in consumer goods is very active, particularly with French and Spanish shoppers who are attracted by the lower tax rates on purchases. Handicrafts, cigars, cigarettes, and furniture are major products manufactured for both domestic and export markets.
There are over 270 hotels and 400 restaurants catering to the thriving tourist trade.
Owing to the large traffic of unaccounted goods across Andorra's borders, official statistics do not reflect the true volume of transactions. Of recorded trade, close to half is with Spain and over one-quarter with France. The majority of imports consist of consumer goods sold to visitors. Reported imports exceed recorded exports by some 26:1.
A customs union with the EC (now the EU) took effect in 1991, allowing industrial goods to pass between Andorra and EC members under a uniform customs tariff. The EU's external tariffs are to be applied by Andorra to its trade with non-EU members.
Most goods have to be imported, and there is a structural trade deficit. Owing to the large traffic of unaccounted goods across Andorra's borders, official statistics do not reflect the true volume of transactions.
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An unofficial Convention of Banks and Bankers periodically attends to financial affairs. The banking system attracts foreign financial transactions and investments because there are no direct taxes in Andorra.
There were six private banks in 1997: Banc Internácional d'Andorra, Banca Mora, Banca Privada d'Andorra, Credit Andorra, Banc Agricol i Comercial d'Andora, and Banca Reig. About half of all deposits are made in pesetas, with one-fourth in francs and the balance in other currencies.
There is no stock exchange, and therefore, stocks and bonds are not traded in Andorra.
The principal firm is the Andorra Insurance Co., established in 1951, which provides coverage that includes life, fire, accident, and plate glass. There are several other insurance companies, including Assegurances Bercia, Assegurances GAN, Assegurances Generali France, Assegurances Generals, Assegurances la Catalana, Assegurances La Equitativa, Assegurances Layetana, Assegurances Lepanto, Assegurances Riba, Assegurances Royal Insurance, Assegurances Santamaria Cosan, Assegurances Schweiz, Atlantis Compañía d'Assegurances, CMA, Commercial Union Assegurances, Compañía Andorrana d'Assegurances, Financera d'Assegurances, Generali, Grup Assegurador Catalana Occident, Multinacional Asseguradora, Patrimoine Assegurances, Santamaria Cosan Assegurances, Unio I Aliança de Previsio, and Zürich Delegacio.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 1997 Andorra's central government took in revenues of approximately $385 million and had expenditures of $342 million. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately $43 million.
There is no income tax on the individual or corporate level. Employees pay social security taxes at rates of 5-9%; employers pay 13%. As of October 1991, a value-added tax had been enacted and was expected to impose charges of 1-7% on the production and import of goods. Also scheduled for implementation under the 1992 budget law were a registration tax on certain activities, to provide 8.6% of government revenues, and a tax on electricity consumption and telephone services to contribute 1.6% of state revenues.
Andorra is a member of the EU Customs Union and generally abides by the EU trade regime. However, its agricultural exports are treated as of non-EU origin and, therefore, are subject to ordinary tariffs.
Andorra has no formal investment incentive programs, other than offering some financial support for the development of tourist facilities. Andorran banks attract foreign depositors and investors, in part due to the lack of taxes but also due to Andorra's bank secrecy laws. As such, this has long made Andorra a tax haven and a refuge for smugglers. In 2004, however, Andorra was obliged to accept the EU's Savings Tax Directive, and as of July 2005, imposes a withholding tax of 15% on return of savings paid to citizens of EU member states, of which 75% is remitted onwards to the states concerned. In 2001, a Department for the Prevention of Money Laundering was established, which is authorized to carry out unannounced inspections and hands information to the public prosecutor's office or to the government.
Government policy is to encourage local industries and to promote private investment. In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture. Tourism accounts for 80% of gross domestic product (GDP), and the banking sector significantly contributes to the economy.
In 2002, Andorra adopted the EU's common currency, the euro. In 2004, Andorra signed a series of accords with the EU in the fields of economic, social, and cultural cooperation.
There is a social welfare system that was first introduced in 1966. Programs include oldage, disability, and survivors' pensions, health and maternity coverage, and workers' compensation.
There is no legal discrimination against women, although they have only enjoyed full suffrage since 1970 and play only a very minimal role in the country's government. Women's rights advocates have reported that pregnant women frequently lose their jobs. On average, women earn 25% less than men. In 2004, violence against women declined, but there was an increase in child abuse. Children's welfare is promoted by the government.
The constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of birth, race, sex, origin, religion, or any other personal or social condition. Foreign nationals, primarily from Spain, France, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, account for over 40% of the population. While accorded the same rights and freedoms as citizens, foreigners lack access to some of the social benefits provided by law. Recent legislation has improved living conditions for immigrant workers, but many still have only temporary work permits and face deportation if they lose their jobs.
The rights of freedom of speech, press, peaceful assembly, religion, and movement are provided by the constitution and are respected in practice.
Infant mortality was estimated at 4.05 per 1,000 births in 2005. Life expectancy for that year was estimated at 83.5 years, the highest in the world. The 1999 birth rate was 10.27 and the overall mortality rate was 5.5 per 1,000 people. In the same year the fertility rate was 1.25. In 2004, Andorra had 259.4 physicians, 302.4 nurses, 1.8 midwives, and 62 dentists per 100,000 people.
Most Andorran houses are made of stone. Since the flat land is used for farm crops, the rural houses are frequently backed against the mountainsides. The high villages (cortals ) are situated on a line between the highest fields and the lowest limits of high-level pastures. Isolated houses (bordes ) are found at higher elevations. Many families maintain temporary dwellings in the highest pasture areas. All residents have access to safe water and sanitation systems.
By law, students must attend school between the ages of 6 and 16. There are essentially three coexisting school systems in the country: French, Spanish, and Andorran. The French government partially subsidizes education in Andorra's French-language schools; schools in the southern section, near Spain, are supported by the church. The local language, Catalan, has been introduced at a school under the control of the Roman Catholic Church. About 50% of Andorran children attend French primary schools, and the rest attend Spanish or Andorran school. In general, Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by Spain. Primary school enrollment in 2003 was estimated at about 89%; 88% for boys and 90% for girls. The same year, secondary school enrollment was about 71%; 69% for boys and 74% for girls. The pupil to teacher ratio for primary school was at about 12:1 in 2003; the ratio was about 7:1 for secondary classes.
The University of Andorra was established in July 1997. It has a small enrollment and mostly offers long-distance courses through universities in Spain and France. The majority of secondary graduates who continue their education attend schools in France or Spain. In 2003, about 8% of eligible adult students were enrolled in tertiary programs. Virtually the entire adult population is literate. Andorra also has a nursing school and a school of computer science.
The National Library and National Archives founded in 1974 and 1975 respectively are located in Andorra la Vella; the library holds over 45,000 volumes. Small museums reflect a variety of interests. The Museu Nacional de l'Automòbil (National Automobile Museum) is located in Encamp. Museu Postal (Postal Museum) is in Ordino. Also in Ordino is the Nikolaï Siadristy Museum—Museum of Miniatures, the first permanent museum of the artist Siadristy's miniatures.
Automatic telephone service was begun in 1967. In 2001, there were 35,000 mainline and 23,500 mobile cellular phones in use. Postal and telegraph services are handled by the Spanish and French administrations; a telex system was installed in 1970.
ORTA (public) and Radio Valira, are radio broadcast stations operated by Andorrans and supervised by the General Council. Andorrans also receive broadcasts from Spain and France. As of 1998, there were 15 FM radios stations. Andorra does not have its own television stations; television transmission is provided through technical accords with the Spanish and French government networks. In 1997 there were 16,000 radios and 27,000 television sets in use throughout the country.
The two main daily papers are the independent publications of Diari D'Andorra (Andorra Daily —2002 circulation 3,000) and El Peridico de Andorra. Poble Andorra is a major weekly publication with a circulation of about 3,000. Other newspapers, with smaller circulations, are the dailies Independent and Informacions Diari, and the weeklies Correu Andorra and Informacions. French and Spanish newspapers are also widely available.
As of 2001, there were an estimated 24,500 Internet users. In 2004, there were about 4,144 Internet hosts in the country.
The Andorran constitution ensures freedom of speech and press, and the government is said to respect these rights in practice.
There are about 10 human rights associations in the country, the most active being the Association of Immigrants in Andorra (AIA), which defends the rights of foreign residents. The Association of Andorran Women (AAW) focuses on women's rights.
The Andorra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services works to support commercial and economic growth in Andorra by promoting commercial and industrial instruction; collaborating with the educational government in the administration of practical training for companies; coordinating trade fairs, exhibitions, and conventions; and supporting research programs. There are networking and educational associations representing a variety of professions, such as the Andorran Medical Association, the Andorran College of Dentists, the Andorran Bar Association, and the Andorran College of Engineers.
The Youth Council of Andorra (Area de Jovent), founded in 1988, serves as a nongovernmental platform for major youth and student organizations. The General Union of Andorran Students (Agrupacio General dels Estudiants d'Andorra (AGEA), founded in 1990, is a union of university students. Other youth NGOs include: the Andorran Red Cross Youth, Andorran Catholic Student Movement, and youth associations of Andorran Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs. Andorra also sponsors an organization of the Special Olympics and a few national sports organizations, including groups for squash and sailing.
There are national chapters of the Red Cross Society, Caritas, and UNICEF.
Tourism has brought considerable prosperity to Andorra and now constitutes the principal source of income. Visitors, mostly from France and Spain, come to Andorra each summer to attend the fairs and festivals, to buy consumer items at lower prices than are obtainable in the neighboring countries, and to enjoy the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery. There is skiing at Pas de la Casa and Soldeu in winter.
Shrines and festivals are both key attractions to tourists. Romanesque churches and old houses of interest are located in Ordino, Encamp, Sant Julía de Lória, Les Escaldes, Santa Coloma, and other villages. The best known is the shrine of Our Lady of Meritxell, Andorra's patroness, between Canillo and Encamp.
Pilgrims come from France and Spain to pay homage on 8 September, the festival day of Andorra's patroness. Each of the larger villages has its own festival during which the sardana, Andorra's national dance, is performed.
There is an International Jazz Festival at Escaldes-Engordany in July and the International Music Festival of Ordino in September.
In 2003, about 3,138,000 tourists visited Andorra, of whom 72% came from Spain, a 3% decline from 2002. Visitors need a valid passport to enter Andorra. No visa is required.
In 2003, the US Department of State estimated the daily cost of a stay in Andorra at $226.
There are no internationally famous Andorrans.
Andorra has no territories or colonies.
Cameron, Peter. Andorra. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.
De Cugnac, Pascal. Pyrenees and Gascony: Including Andorra. London: Hachette UK, 2000.
Taylor, Barry. Andorra. Oxford, England, and Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1993.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Handbook of International Trade and Development Statistics. New York: United Nations, 1993.
World Bank. World Tables 1994. Baltimore and London, England: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
"Andorra." Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
Principality of Andorra
LOCATION AND SIZE.
Andorra, a tiny landlocked principality in southwestern Europe, is situated in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains, bordered on the north and east by France and on the south and west by Spain. It comprises a region of 7 narrow valleys and the adjacent peaks reaching heights of more than 2,700 meters (about 8,860 feet) above sea level. Also named the Valleys of Andorra, the country has an area of only 468 square kilometers (181 square miles), about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., or about half the size of New York City. The capital is Andorra la Vella (Andorra of the Valley), with a population of 21,985 in 1996.
The population of Andorra was estimated at 66,824 in July 2000, up from 64,716 in 1998. Although mountainous, the country is densely populated, with an overall density of 138 persons per square kilometer (358 per square mile). The population, however, is unevenly distributed, and is concentrated in the 7 urbanized valleys that form the country's parishes (political districts): Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Escaldes-Engordany, Ordino, and Sant Julia de Loria. Andorra has a slow population growth rate of 1.22 percent, fueled by a birth rate of 10.58 births per 1,000 population, a death rate of 5.27 deaths per 1,000 population, and a high net immigration rate of 6.9 migrants per 1,000 population (all according to 2000 estimates). The Andorrans have a very high life expectancy at birth, standing at 83.46 years for the total population (80.56 for men and 86.56 for women). This is attributed partly to the pleasant mountainous climate, and partly to the prosperous economy and sufficient health care provisions in the country. The population is aging, as in much of the rest of Europe, with 15 percent of the Andorrans younger than 15 years, 72 percent between 15 and 64 years, and 13 percent 65 years or older.
Native Andorrans, curiously enough, represent a minority (only about 33 percent of the population) in their own country; they are Catalan in their culture and language. The official language of the principality is also Catalan, a romance language, spoken also by more than 6 million people in the regions of French and Spanish Catalonia (in southwestern France and northeastern and eastern Spain and the Balearic islands in the Mediterranean). More people of Andorran descent live outside the country (particularly in France) than in their home country, because historically, as in many similar societies with very limited land supply, land ownership has been strictly passed on to the oldest heirs while the rest often have had to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Spanish, French, and Portuguese immigrants (both working people and entrepreneurs) make up the majority of the population of the principality, and the Spanish, French, and Portuguese languages are widely spoken. Spaniards (Catalan-speaking or not) form the largest single ethnic group in the country with 43 percent; Portuguese constitute 11 percent and French 7 percent. Roman Catholicism is not only the predominant religion but also the religion of the state, unlike most European countries that strictly separate the church from the state. For example, only Roman Catholics are permitted to marry in the country, and all public records pertaining to issues such as birth, death, and family status are still kept by the church. Pilgrimages to the shrine of the Andorran patron saint, the Lady of Meritxell, are very popular among believers. The education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16 and a system of French, Spanish, and Andorran lay (secular) schools provides education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by the Andorran government but salaries for teachers are paid for the most part by France or Spain. About half of the Andorran children attend the French primary schools, and the rest attend Spanish or Andorran ones, which suggests that the role of the French language in the country's culture, communication, and business life will grow in the future.
OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY
Due to its small size and isolated mountainous location, Andorra has preserved its political independence over the years. But these factors also contributed to its economic and developmental impoverishment before World War II. The economy historically has been based on pastoral farming, the processing of tobacco and timber, and the smuggling of goods (mainly tobacco) into the neighboring regions of France and Spain. Over the last 4 or 5 decades of the 20th century, however, the principality has achieved considerable prosperity. This has been mostly due to its status as a tax-free port, the rapid development of tourism in Europe, the dramatic economic progress of its large neighbors France and Spain, and the European integration processes. Many investors and immigrants, both legal and illegal, are now attracted to its thriving economy and its lack of income taxes .
Tourism has been developing at a high rate since the mid-1950s and now dominates the principality's economic life. The extensive winter ski facilities, the cool summer climate, and the availability of inexpensive goods in the stores attract numerous tourists to Andorra's humming summer and winter resorts. With about 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist industry provides a livelihood to a growing portion of the domestic and immigrant labor force .
Trade in consumer products is also very active, mostly in imported manufactured items, which, because of their duty -free prices, are considerably cheaper than in other European countries. Partly due to this, smuggling in the country, once a major livelihood, is still widespread. Duty-free status and the price differences between Andorra and its neighbor countries, however, are seen as a serious problem by the European Union (EU) and have had a very significant stake in the debate concerning the principality's relationship with the union. Andorra is a member of the EU customs union and is treated as an EU member for trade in manufactured goods (for which there are no tariffs ), yet its duty-free shopping status gives it an edge over EU member states. However, the country's comparative advantage in duty-free shopping has been negatively affected as the economies of neighboring France and Spain have been liberalized and opened up over the 1990s, resulting in lower tariffs and a wider choice of consumer items.
Negotiations on maintaining Andorra's duty-free status and developing its trade links with the EU began in 1987, soon after neighboring Spain was admitted to the union. A difficult agreement, in effect since July 1991, has set some duty-free quotas and placed limits on certain goods such as tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and dairy products. But as of 2001, Andorra was still allowed to maintain its price differences from other EU countries, and visitors could still enjoy limited duty-free allowances. By creating a modern legal framework, however, the 1993 constitution has allowed Andorra to begin the needed shift from an economic model substantially based on duty-free shopping to one relying largely on international banking and finance.
Andorra's gross domestic product (GDP) for 1998 was worth US$1.2 billion, with tourism providing by far the principal component (roughly 80 percent). GDP per capita was a healthy US$18,000 in 1996.
POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION
Independent since 1278, for more than 7 centuries Andorra has been ruled jointly by the leader (the king, later the president) of France and by Spain's Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese of Urgel, who were acknowledged as "co-princes." Andorra's government, however, had no clear-cut division of powers into executive, legislative, and judiciary, as in most other (and virtually all democratic) states, until the late 20th century. Only in 1993 did Andorran voters approve their first written constitution, transferring all power to the parliamentary principality and proclaiming a sovereign parliamentary democracy. The constitution defined for the first time the rights and obligations of the citizens and the functions and specific terms of the separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government.
The co-princes remained officially Andorra's heads of state, and they serve coequally, with limited powers and without the right to a veto over government acts. Presently, the co-princes are Jacques Chirac, the president of France, and Monseigneur Juan Marti, the bishop of Urgel. Naturally, they do not participate in person in the government's deliberations but are represented by delegates. As co-princes of Andorra, the president and the bishop maintain formally their supreme authority to approve international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those state acts that deal with important internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by many liberals as a medieval anachronism, the majority of the people of Andorra still regard them as an important symbolic element of their historical traditions and a practical way to mediate and balance the influence of both France and Spain. It is also worth mentioning that, until 1993, the principality of Andorra paid every other year, as the medieval treaties stipulated, a tribute worth US$2 to the French president and US$8 to the Spanish bishop. The bishop was additionally entitled to receive a contribution consisting of 6 hams, 6 cheeses, and a dozen live chickens.
The Andorran legislature is the General Council (founded in 1419), which has 28 members, elected to 4-year terms. There is universal suffrage in Andorra, with citizens over the age of 18 having the right to vote. At least one representative from each of the 7 parishes must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, 4 deputies from each of the 7 parishes have been included in the representation. This arrangement lets the smaller parishes, who have fewer than 400 voters, be represented by the same number of delegates as the larger ones that have more than 2,500 voters. To correct this imbalance, the new constitution included a provision that introduced a modification of the process of electing the Council members; under this new arrangement, half of the delegates were to be selected by the traditional system by parishes and the other half elected from nationwide lists.
The executive power is vested in the Executive Council, headed by a president (in Catalan, the cap de govern, or head of government) who is chosen by the General Council and then formally appointed by the co-princes. The president appoints the other executive members of the council.
In the judiciary, civil cases are heard in the first instance by batlles (4-judge courts), with 2 judges each appointed by a co-prince. Appeals are heard by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest judicial body is the 5-member Superior Council of Justice. The Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella hear all criminal cases. Andorra has no standing armed forces and only a small domestic professional police brigade. All able men possessing firearms serve without compensation in the reserve army, unique in treating all its men as officers. The army's principal responsibility is to carry the Andorran flag at official ceremonies; it has not fought a battle for more than 700 years.
Andorra's young democracy is in the process of redefining its political party system. In recent years, 3 out of the 5 parties that dominated the political scene have dissolved. The former Liberal Union (UL) is reshaping itself and changing its name to the Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), intending to offer a political umbrella to small parties and groups that have not yet consolidated. The currently ruling party is the PLA, led by the cap de govern, Marc Forne. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) attracts groups previously aligned with socialist ideals, and the third major party is the National Andorran Coalition (CAN). Given the number of parties and Andorra's size, no one party controls the General Council; therefore, legislative majorities arise through coalitions.
The fundamental impetus for the recent political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that if Andorra wished to attain full integration in the European Union (EU), it should adopt a modern constitution which guarantees the rights of those living and working there. A Tripartite Commission made up of representatives of the co-princes, the General Council, and the Executive Council drafted the 1993 constitution. Since its adoption, the government has continued to address many other long-awaited reforms. In addition to legalizing political parties and trade unions for the first time, freedom of religion and assembly also have been guaranteed.
Since its sovereignty was established with the 1993 constitution, Andorra has become an active member of the international community. In 1993, it established its first diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York, and in 1995, it established diplomatic relations with the United States. Andorra also has expanded relations with other nations and is a full member of many international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Since 1991, Andorra has a trade agreement with the EU.
The Andorran government collects revenue through the sale of postage stamps and a very small number of local taxes.
INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS
Landlocked, mountainous Andorra has no railroads, harbors, or airports, but possesses a good road system and three-fourths of its nearly 270 kilometers (169 miles) of roads are paved. The country is rich in hydroelectric power and the power plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 116 million kilowatt hours annually (1998), or about 40 percent of Andorra's electricity, while Spain and France provide the rest.
Andorra has a modern telecommunications system with microwave radio relay connections between the exchanges and land line circuits to France and Spain. There were 31,980 main telephone lines in use and 8,618 cellular phones in 1997. Andorra had 15 FM radio broadcast stations in 1998 but no local TV broadcasting stations, French and Spanish broadcasting and cable TV being widely available.
Andorra's natural resources include iron and lead deposits, marble quarries, forests of pine and birch, hydropower resources, strips of fertile land in the valleys, and extensive pastures on the mountain slopes. But the economy is mostly influenced by the excellent skiing areas, the pleasant climate, and the crossroads location of the country. Nearly four-fifths of the GDP in 1998 was generated in the tourist and other related service sectors; about one-fifth was generated in industry, including construction and mining; and just about 1 percent in agriculture. The labor force was distributed by occupation as follows: agriculture, 1 percent; industry, 21 percent; services, 72 percent; and other sectors, 6 percent (1998 estimates). The most important industries included tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, tobacco growing, banking, and retail . Before World War II, most families made their living off farming, tobacco and timber processing, and smuggling, but since the 1950s tourism has been the bulwark of economic progress. With the gradual dismantling of Andorra's duty-free shopping advantages in the course of EU liberalization, the economy will become gradually more dependent on banking and finance services.
Andorra's territory is ill-suited for agriculture, comprising mostly rugged mountains traversed by narrow valleys
|Country||Telephones a||Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a||Radio Stations b||Radios a||TV Stations a||Televisions a||Internet Service Providers c||Internet Users c|
|Andorra||32,946 (1998)||14,117 (1998)||AM 0; FM 15; shortwave 0||16,000||0||27,000||1||5,000|
|United States||194 M||69.209 M (1998)||AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18||575 M||1,500||219 M||7,800||148 M|
|France||34.86 M (1998)||11.078 M (1998)||AM 41; FM about 3,500; shortwave 2||55.3 M||584 (1995)||34.8 M||62||9 M|
|Spain||17.336 M (1999)||8.394 M (1999)||AM 208; FM 715; shortwave 1||13.1 M||224 (1995)||16.2 M||56||4.6 M|
|a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.|
|bData is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.|
|c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].|
with scarce arable land making up only 2-3 percent of the total area. Pasture lands suitable for sheep grazing cover about 45 percent of the territory, mostly the lower mountain slopes, and forests cover approximately 35 percent of the land. Agriculture, nevertheless, was the core of the Andorran economy until the boom in tourist activities in the 1950s. Sheep raising has usually been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing, although limited, has been more lucrative, especially given the long-time Andorran tradition of smuggling tobacco products into the neighboring regions of France and Spain. Apart from the timber-related activities, agriculture products currently include small quantities of tobacco, rye, wheat, barley, oats, vegetables, and sheep products. Most food has to be imported from France and Spain.
In addition to traditional local handicrafts, manufacturing in the principality includes cigars, cigarettes, timber processing, and furniture for the domestic and export markets. Raw materials such as timber and iron and lead ore are also produced, and mining and construction are important sources of revenue and employment. However, construction is still unable to provide adequate housing at affordable prices for many of the families that migrated to Andorra over the last several decades. Given its relative size, Andorran industry is not able to play a significant role in European markets; however, it provides livelihoods for the local people, additional income for the economy, and also caters to the needs of the larger tourist and retail sectors.
Tourism, the powerhouse of Andorra's tiny but prosperous economy, accounts for roughly 80 percent of GDP. An estimated 9 million tourists (more than one-fifth of the number of visitors to Spain) visit the principality annually, attracted by its resorts, good ski facilities, pleasant summer climate, mineral waters, and duty-free shops. The small but vital banking sector—integrated with both the French and Spanish banking systems but maintaining its tax haven status—contributes substantially to the economy. In the mid-to late-1990s, the Andorran government passed a series of laws to strengthen the banking sector and deter activities such as money laundering . Retail trade is thriving, particularly in imported manufactured goods, notwithstanding the problems issuing from current EU liberalization and the substantial lowering of tariffs in competing neighboring countries that have diminished Andorra's advantages as a duty-free shopping area. The retail sector is comprised mostly of small privately-held stores.
International commerce is crucial to Andorra's otherwise isolated economy. In 1998 the country exported US$58 million worth of goods and services, while importing US$1.077 billion. This massive trade deficit is made up for largely by the booming tourist economy. As is to be expected given its tight integration with France and Spain, these countries are its dominant trading partners. The majority of the country's exports, 58 percent, went to Spain in 1998, while France received 34 percent. Imports in that year originated mostly from Spain (48 percent) and France (35 percent).
Andorra has a traditional budget surplus , with revenues of US$385 million and expenditures of US$342 million, including capital expenditures, as estimated in
|Exchange rates: Andorra|
|euros per US$1|
|Note: Prior to 1999 currency was in French francs and Spanish pesetas perUS dollar.|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
1997. The units of currency are both the Spanish peseta and the French franc. Both Spain and France, along with 9 other members of the EU, are in the process of changing over from their national currencies to the single currency of the EU, the euro, for all transactions. The euro started to be used in 1999, initially only for electronic bank transfers and accounting purposes. Euro coins and bills are planned to be issued in 2002, when the peseta and the franc will cease to be legal currency. The EU members have established the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany, responsible for all EU monetary policies . Since 1999, control over Spanish and French monetary issues, including interest rates and regulating the money supply, has been transferred to the ECB.
POVERTY AND WEALTH
Before World War II, Andorra was still living to a large extent in the ways it had known since the Middle Ages. Most of its people were rather poor and lived off small-scale farming, sheep breeding, and smuggling. Even now, many families still continue to live in the old farmhouses, and life still focuses on the family and the Roman Catholic Church. International tourism and European integration since the 1950s thoroughly modernized the country within several decades and most Andorrans have turned from agriculture to family hotels and restaurants, store-keeping, and various other tourism-related services. Currently, with an affluent service-based economy and a low inflation rate of 1.62 percent in 1998, Andorrans enjoy very good and comparatively equitable living standards and very high life expectancy. No extreme cases of poverty or very large private fortunes are currently known. Due to the high number of working immigrants, attracted over the past several decades mostly by jobs in the services industry, housing in Andorra is now probably the most acute social issue. Although many locals still live in their traditional family houses, housing is currently scarce; the construction sector is not yet in a position to address the challenge adequately, and the tiny real estate market in Andorra remains highly speculative.
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Note: Data are estimates.|
|SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations, 17th,18th, 19th and 20th editions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.|
The labor force in Andorra included 30,787 salaried employees in 1998, and the unemployment rate was very close to zero. Trade unions were legalized for the first time only after 1993, and modern social institutions are still in the early phases of development. But the most significant labor-related issue recently has probably been the re-qualification for Andorran citizenship, a major challenge in a country where still only 13,000 people (20 percent of the population) are legal citizens. Citizenship issues are economically very important because the law allows non-citizens to own no more than a 33 percent share of a company, even if it is a small business. Citizenship problems generate major troubles for the enterprising immigrants forming by far the most dynamic economic group in the country. Only after residing in Andorra for 20 years are they entitled to possess full ownership of a business. A draft law aimed at reducing the required years from 20 to 10 is currently being debated. In 1995, a new, more liberal citizenship law was passed, but Andorran nationality nevertheless remains very hard to acquire. Only Andorrans can transmit it to their children, birth on Andorran soil does not confer it automatically, and dual citizenship is prohibited. Lawful permanent residents in Andorra may be naturalized only after 25 years of residency, and their children may opt for citizenship at 18 only if they have resided all of their lives in the country.
COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
803. Andorra is given independence by the emperor Charlemagne, who names it a "March state," or buffer state created to keep the Muslim Moors of Spain from advancing into Christian France.
1278. Andorra comes under the joint suzerainty of France and Spain through the Catalan bishops of Urgel and of the counts of Foix of France. Throughout the Middle Ages and modern times up to World War II, Andorra remains outside the mainstream of European history, with limited ties to countries other than France and Spain. The economy is limited to small farm agriculture and forestry and is helped by smuggling.
1607. The head of the French state and the bishop of Urgel are established as the co-princes of Andorra.
1950s. International tourism starts to grow with the emergence of post-World War II western European welfare societies, the growing income and leisure time of the Europeans, and the increasing attractiveness of both neighboring France and Spain as two of the world's top tourist destinations. Tourism revenues, foreign investment, and the rapid development of tourist infrastructure profoundly change the way of life in the course of a single generation and attract for the first time in the country's history many immigrants, lured by the opportunities for business and jobs offered by the economic boom.
1970. Women receive the right to vote.
1987. Andorra starts trade talks with the EU.
1993. Andorra adopts its first constitution and is admitted to the United Nations.
The Andorran economy is now very closely related to those of France and Spain and is dependent on the overall trends in the EU. Despite positive recent changes in the economy, related to the increasing role of modern services, it is likely that Andorra will, at least over the next few years, continue to confront a number of problems arising from the large influx of foreigners and the need to develop modern social institutions.
In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration, the country's priorities will include addressing housing scarcities and the tough real estate market, reinvigorating international tourism, and renegotiating its trade relationship with the EU.
The results of Andorra's polls so far have indicated that the people generally support reform initiatives and believe that the country has to integrate into the EU in order to preserve and develop its economic prosperity. It is likely that it will be successful in shifting from duty-free shopping to finance and other services as the second major economic sector and revenue source.
Andorra has no territories or colonies.
Andorra. <http://www.andorra.be/eng/index.html>. Accessed July 2001.
Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Andorra. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2001.
Global Investment Business Center, Inc. staff. Andorra: A Country Study Guide. International Business Publications, February 2001.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html>. Accessed August 2001.
U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State Background Notes: Europe: Andorra. <http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/eurbgnhp.html>. Accessed January 2001.
Andorra la Vella.
No local currency; French and Spanish currencies are both used in the country. Both Spain and France, along with 9 other members of the European Union (EU), are in the process of changing over from their national currencies to the single currency of the EU, the euro, for all transactions. This transition will be completed with the introduction of euro coins and bills in January 2002.
Tobacco products, furniture.
Consumer goods, food, electricity.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:
US$1.2 billion (purchasing power parity, 1996 est.).
BALANCE OF TRADE:
Exports: US$58 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.). Imports: US$1.077 billion (c.i.f., 1998 est.).
"Andorra." Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/economics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/economics/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
Principality of Andorra
Andorra la Vella
ANDORRA is the last of the independent March states—buffer states originally created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors out of Christian France. Tradition has it that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. A dispute between the Spanish bishop of Urgel and the French counts of Foix over the control of Andorra led to a paréage—a feudal institution recognizing equal rights of two rulers over a territory. On its secure mountain citadel, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. This condition remained until the 1930s, when improvements in transportation and communications helped create a foundation for the country's tourist industry after World War II.
Andorra la Vella
Andorra la Vella is the capital and the largest city, with a population of about 22,000. The city is located near the Riu Valira valley. A north-south highway links Andorra la Vella with the Spanish and French borders. Buses are the most common means of mass transit, providing regular service to Seo de Urgel and Barcelona in Spain, and to Perpignan in France. There are no railways or commercial airports, but the airport at Seo de Urgel is only about 12 miles from Andorra la Vella. Roads provide passenger and freight transport routes, and there are several cable cars in operation. Trade and tourism form the basis of the economy, with a growing financial services sector. Andorra is a tax haven because there are no direct taxes. Prior to the creation of the European Union, Andorra la Vella was an active commercial center for trade in consumer goods, which were duty-free. Andorran manufactured goods still remain tariff-free, but agricultural products are subject to EU tariffs.
Recreation and Entertainment
Andorra's location high in the Pyrenees makes it a prime ski area. There is snowcover for six months, usually with clear and sunny skies, and resorts attract skiers from France, Spain, and elsewhere around Europe. Once ski season is over, hikers, mountaineers, and rock climbers visit Andorra's mountains. Hunting, fishing, cycling, and horseback riding are also popular outdoor activities.
Folk dancing is a popular form of entertainment among Andorrans. The national dance is the sardana, but there are various regional dances, such as the contrapas in Andorra la Vella. Folk singing is a popular pastime, and traditional pantomimes are still performed as well.
Visitors, mostly from France and Spain, come for summer holidays to enjoy the pleasant climate and scenery. There is skiing at Pas de la Casa and Soldeu in the winter.
Romanesque churches and old houses of interest are located in Ordino, Encamp, Sant Julía de Lória Les Escaldes, Santa Coloma, and other villages. The best known is the shrine of Our Lady of Meritxell, Andorra's patroness, between Camilo and Encamp. The church houses a statue (the Virgin of Meritxell) that, according to legend, was found hundreds of years ago on a snowy hillside surrounded by blooming plants.
Many people from France and Spain make an annual trek to Andorra every September 8 for the festival day of Our Lady of Meritxell. Each of the larger villages has its own festival for the celebration.
The National Library and National Archives of Andorra are both located in Andorra la Vella. The country also has a general interest museum in Excaldes-Endgordany, a decorative arts museum, and a science and technical museum focusing on the history of transportation in Encomp.
Automobile enthusiasts will want to take a trip to ENCAMP , where you can see the Museu Nacional de l'Automòbil which exhibits about 100 cars dating from 1898 to 1950, as well as a number of antique motorcycles and bicycles.
The best skiing spots in the country are here, at the Soldeu-El Tarter and Pas de la Casa-Grau Roig resorts. Those who prefer a quiet afternoon of sightseeing can walk across town to see the beautiful Romanesque frescoes of the Esglé-sia Sant Romà de les Bons (12th century), or the art and architecture of Sant Miquel de la Mosquera, situated in the center of the town, and the church of Santa Eulàlia, with the highest bell tower in Andorra.
Encamp, with a population of about 10,600 (1999 est.), is located about 3 miles from Andorra la Vella.
Geography and Climate
Andorra is landlocked along the southern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains between the French departments of Ariège and Pyrénées-Orientales to the north and the Spanish provinces of Gerona and Lérida to the south. The country has a total area of 174 square miles, or about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C.
Andorra's main river basin is the Riu Valira, with two distinct branches and six open basins. Most of the country is rough and mountainous, and there is little level surface. The valleys have an elevation of at least 3,000 feet, and the average altitude is over 6,000 feet. The country's highest point is Coma Pedrosa (9,665 feet).
Andorra's high elevation causes severe winters, and the northern valleys have snow on the ground for several months. Rain falls mainly in April and October, and the humidity is generally low. Summer temperatures depend largely on the altitude.
Andorra's population is approximately 68,000, with a density of 374 persons per square mile. The population lives mainly in the seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts. About one-third of the population consists of ethnic Andorrans, whose origins are Catalan. Almost half the population is Spanish, and there are smaller numbers of French and Portuguese. Over 92% of the population in Roman Catholic, and Roman Catholicism is the official religion of the state. There are small numbers of Protestants and Jews.
The official language is Catalan, but French and Spanish are also spoken.
Andorra has a unique form of government. In 1607, an edict established the head of the French state and Spain's Bishop of Urgel as co-princes of Andorra. Andorra pays a token tribute of Fr960 to the president of France and P460 to the bishop. Each year the bishop also receives cheese, capons, partridges, and hams as part of the tribute.
In 1997, Marc Forné Molnéwon the general election to become president of the General Council. The council designates as its head a first syndic (syndic procureur général) and a second syndic for the conduct of administration.
The General Council consists of four councilors from each of the seven parishes, for a total of 28. Half of the seats are based on a national list and half are elected. In 1992, the voting age was lowered to 18 and broadened to include spouses of Andorran citizens and long-term residents. The Superior Council of Justice oversees and administers the legal system. Courts apply the customary law of Andorra and supplement it with Roman law and customary Catalan law.
The national flag is a tricolor of blue, yellow, and red vertical stripes. On the state flag the yellow stripe bears the coat of arms.
Arts, Science, Education
Education is provided by both French-and Spanish-language schools and is required of students until age 16. The French-language schools are partially subsidized by France, while some of the Spanish-language schools are supported by the church. Higher education for secondary school graduates is available in France and Spain.
Commerce and Industry
The government encourages private investment in local companies. In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars and cigarettes, distilled liquors, frozen food, and furniture.
Andorra's economy is based mainly on trade and tourism. There are over 240 hotels and 50 restaurants, making the tourist trade an important part of the economy. Andorra's government is trying to attract tourists from countries other than Spain and France. The banking industry is also important, because Andorra is a tax haven for foreign financial transactions and investments.
A north-south highway links Andorra la Vella with the Spanish and French borders. Secondary roads also cross the border, but many are closed during the winter. Buses are the main means of transportation and provide regular service to Seo de Urgel and Barcelona in Spain, and to Perpignan in France. From the airport at Barcelona, Spain, it takes 2-3 hours by bus or taxi to reach Andorra. There is daily bus service to Barcelona and to Toulouse, France. Andorra has no commercial airports or railways.
Postal and telecommunications services are handled by the Spanish and French administrations. There are two radio stations, and Andorra has the highest transmitter in Europe. Radio and television are also provided through agreements with the Spanish and French government networks. There are two daily newspapers, the Diari D'Andorra and Poble Andorra. There are also some smaller Andorran newspapers, and French and Spanish papers are widely available.
Andorra has over a 100 hospital beds and a few dozen physicians. Catholic priests and lay personnel take an active role in administering the country's medical facilities.
NOTES FOR TRAVELERS
A passport is necessary but a visa is not required for tourist or business stays of up to three months. For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers may contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037 tel.: (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Further information on Andorra can also be obtained from the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York NY 10018, tel. (212) 750-8064.
January 1 …New Year's Day
September 8 …National Festival
December 25 …Christmas
Carrick, Noel. Andorra. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.
"Andorra." Cities of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." Cities of the World. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
Official name: Principality of Andorra
Area: 468 square kilometers (180 square miles)
Highest point on mainland: Coma Pedrosa Peak (Pic de Coma Pedrosa) (2,946 meters/9,665 feet)
Lowest point on land: Runer River (Riu Runer) (840 meters/2,755 feet)
Hemispheres: Eastern and Northern
Time zone: 1 p.m. = noon GMT
Longest distances: 30.1 kilometers (18.7 miles) from east to west; 25.4 kilometers (15.8 miles) from north to south
Territorial sea limits : None
1 LOCATION AND SIZE
Andorra is one of the smallest independent countries on earth. It is a landlocked nation (does not have access to the sea) located on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France.
With a total land area of 468 square kilometers (180 square miles), Andorra is about two-and-one-half times the size of Washington, D.C. The country is divided into seven parishes.
2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES
Andorra has no territories or dependencies.
Andorra has a temperate (moderate) climate, but the winters are severe because of the high elevation. Snow completely fills the northern valleys for several months. Summers are generally warm and dry. Most of the country's rainfall occurs from October to May.
4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS
Andorra's terrain (land) is rough and mountainous. Surrounding the mountain peaks, which often rise higher than 2,900 meters (9,500 feet), there are many narrow gorges and valleys.
There is very little level ground. All the valleys are at least 900 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level, and the mean (midpoint between highest and lowest) elevation is over 1,800 meters (6,000 feet).
5 OCEANS AND SEAS
Andorra is a landlocked nation.
6 INLAND LAKES
Andorra has several small mountain lakes that are usually named after the highest nearby peak. For instance, the Tristaina Lakes are located near the Tristaina Peak (Pic de Tristaina) and Lake Estanyó (Estany de l'Estanyó) is located near the Estanyó Peak (Pic de l'Estanyó). The Circle of Pessons is a series of small glacial pools linked together and set in the largest glacial granite circle in Andorra. It is located near the Pessons Peak (Pic dels Pessons).
7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS
The Valira River (Riu Valira) is Andorra's main river. It has two branches and leads to six small open basins (areas drained by rivers).
The North Valira (Valira del Norte) is the northwest branch of the main river, flowing through the cities of La Massana, Ordino, and El Serrat. The East Valira (Valira d'Orient) is the northeast branch, flowing through Les Escaldes, Encamp, Canillo, Soldeu, and Pas de la Casa.
There are no desert regions in Andorra.
9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN
Since most of Andorra is mountainous, there are no significant areas of plains, or flat land.
10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES
Andorra is located in the chain of mountains known as the Pyrenees. Because of its mountainous terrain it is a very popular site for winter skiing.
The highest mountain peak is Coma Pedrosa Peak (Pic de Coma Pedrosa), which rises to 2,946 meters (9,665 feet). It is located near the western point where the borders between Andorra, France, and Spain meet.
Further north along the border with France are the Cataperdis Peak (Pic de Cataperdis), which rises to 2,805 meters (9,203 feet), and Tristaina Peak (Pic de Tristaina), which rises to 2,878 meters (9,442 feet). To the east are the Siguer Peak (Pic de Siguer), with an elevation of 2,903 meters (9,524 feet), Serrera Peak (Pic de Serrera), 2,814 meters (9,232 feet), and Nerassol Peak (Pic de Nerassol), 2,533 meters (8,310 feet).
Near the southern border is Cabaneta Peak (Pic de Cabaneta), with an elevation of 2,818 meters (9,245 feet).
11 CANYONS AND CAVES
Archeological excavations have shown that the first inhabitants of Andorra were cave dwellers. The oldest known cave site in Andorra is the Balma de La Margineda, a rock shelter found near Andorra la Vella on the Valira River.
Archeologists believe that groups of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers lived here between the 10,500 b.c. and 5,500 b.c. Arrow tips, flint stones, bone tools, ceramic fragments, and human remains have been found here.
12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS
There are no significant plateau regions in Andorra.
13 MAN-MADE FEATURES
There are no major man-made structures affecting the geography of Andorra.
14 FURTHER READING
De Cugnac, Pascal. Pyrenees & Gascony: Including Andorra. London: Hachette UK, 2000.
Morgan, Bryan. Andorra, the Country in Between. Nottingham: Palmer, 1964.
Taylor, Barry. Andorra. Santa Barbara, CA: Clio Press, 1993.
Andorra, the Pyrenean Country. http://www.andorra.ad/angles/index.htm (accessed June 17, 2003).
"Andorra." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of Physical Geography. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra-0
"Andorra." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of Physical Geography. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra-0
Andorra (ăndôr´ə), Fr. Andorre (äNdôr´), officially Principality of Andorra, autonomous parliamentary co-principality (2005 est. pop. 70,500), 179 sq mi (464 sq km), high in the E Pyrenees between France and Spain, under the joint suzerainty of the president of France and the bishop of Seo de Urgel, Spain. Andorra la Vella is its capital and only city. Drained by the Valira River, Andorra comprises several high mountain valleys. Highways link the country with Spain and France.
Andorra is administratively divided into seven districts. The people are made up of Andorrans of Catalan stock (about 33%), Spanish (43%), Portuguese (11%), and French (7%), the remaining being mostly recent immigrants from other countries. Catalan is the official language, although Spanish, French, and Portuguese are also spoken. Most of the population is Roman Catholic.
Until the 1950s, farming, woodcutting, and smuggling were the main occupations. Andorra now has a prosperous tourist industry; skiing is particularly popular. Trade is duty-free and lack of taxation is attractive to foreign investment. The banking sector is also important to the economy. Cattle and sheep are raised, and Andorra's farms produce grains, vegetables, tobacco, and grapes. Furniture and cigarettes are manufactured, and distilleries produce brandy and anisette. Iron and lead are mined. A hydroelectric facility near Encamp provides 40% of the country's power.
In the 9th cent., Holy Roman Emperor Charles II is reputed to have made the bishop of Seo de Urgel overlord of Andorra. The French counts of Foix contested this overlordship, and finally in 1278 an agreement was reached providing joint suzerainty. The rights of the count passed by inheritance through the house of Albret to Henry IV of France, and from the French kings to the French presidents.
Long a semifeudal state with an ancient communal agrarian organization, Andorra was traditionally governed by a syndic-led council elected by heads of families. In 1993, the country's first constitution established a parliamentary democracy with executive, legislative, and judicial branches; political parties and labor unions were legalized, and Andorra joined the United Nations. A 28-member legislature, elected by popular vote for four-year terms, now effectively governs the country. The president of France and the bishop of Seo de Urgel remain titular co-princes and serve to link the tiny country with both France and Spain.
"Andorra." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
|Official Country Name:||Principality of Andorra|
|Language(s):||Catalan, French, Castilian|
Andorra, located between France and Spain on the southern slope of the Pyrenees Mountains, is one of Europe's smallest countries. This landlocked country houses a population of approximately 66,000 in an area about two and one half times the size of Washington, DC. The population is 43 percent Spanish, 33 percent Andorran, and 24 percent other ethnic groups. The official language is Catalan, but French and Spanish are also spoken. The Roman Catholic Church is the predominant religious institution. Andorra has a 100 percent literacy rate, an average life expectancy of almost 84 years, a negligible unemployment rate, and no income tax. The country has become prosperous since World War II.
Formal education for Andorran students begins at age 6 and is free and compulsory until age 16. Students attend six years of primary school and four years of secondary school. Instruction is provided in Catalan-, French-, and Spanish-language schools. About 50 percent of the students attend the French-speaking schools and the other 50 percent attend the Spanish or Catalan schools.
Most teachers in Andorra are paid by Spain or France, but the schools are built and maintained by the Andorran government. In 1999, about 15.5 percent of the total government expenditure was allocated to education, youth, and sports.
In 1997-1998, an enrollment of 9,272 students attended Andorra's primary and secondary schools; an additional 1,217 students were enrolled in higher education. Although most higher education is completed in other countries, Andorra does have two graduate schools for nursing and computer science programs.
The number of schools and the percent of the budget spent on education seem to indicate Andorra's interest in the future of its children. With continued emphasis on educational development, Andorra will provide well for the education of its students.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Factbook 2000. Directorate of Intelligence, 1 January 2000. Available from http://www.cia.gov/.
The Europa World Year Book 2000. London: Europa Publications Limited, 2001.
—Linda K. Clemmer
"Andorra." World Education Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." World Education Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
|Official Country Name:||Principality of Andorra|
|Region (Map name):||Europe|
|Language(s):||Catalan, French, Castilian|
Located in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, the Principality of Andorra was the last feudal state in Europe until 1993, when it became a constitutional democracy. Its constitution transferred power from the two previously governing bodies, the French president and the Spanish bishop of Seu d'Urgel, to a popularly elected legislative body called the General Council of the Valleys. Although the President and the Bishop remain the titular heads of state, all governmental operations are now overseen by Andorran officials. Andorra's population is approximately 67,000, and the country boasts a literacy rate of 100 percent. Tourism accounts for approximately 80 percent of the economy, but international banking is also an important revenue source. Catalan is the official language, but Castilian and French are also spoken.
Andorran law fully guarantees freedom of the press. Although Andorra only encompasses 175 square miles, it supports two daily newspapers, El Periodic d'Andorra and Diari d'Andorra. Both are available online. There are also two major weekly newspapers, Informacions and 7 Dies. All four publications publish in Catalan from the country's capital, Andorra La Vella.
Two radio stations, one of which is state-owned, broadcast to approximately 16,000 radios, and six television stations reach approximately 27,000 televisions. Andorra has one Internet service provider.
"Andorra," Encyclopedia Britannica 2002. Available from http://www.britannica.com.
"Andorra," CIA World Fact Book 2001. Available from http://www.cia.gov.
"Andorra," TvRadioWorld 2002. Available from http://www.tvradioworld.com/.
Diari d'Andorra, 2002. Available from http://www.diariandorra.ad.
El Periodic d'Andorra, 2002. Available from http://www.elperiodico.com.
Jenny B. Davis
"Andorra." World Press Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." World Press Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/media/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/andorra
"Andorra." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/andorra
Principality of Andorra; Andorranos
Identification. The first reference to Andorra appears in the writings of the Greek historian Polybius (c. 200–118 b . c . e ), who tells of the military encounter between Andorrans and Carthaginian troops as Hannibal (247–183 b . c . e .) passed through the Pyrenees Mountains en route to Rome. Andorra, historically, was a rural microstate whose population oscillated between four thousand and six thousand inhabitants. In the second half of the twentieth century, as it became a large international commercial center, the nation received larger migratory populations and developed into a multicultural society.
Location and Geography. Andorra has a total land surface of 181 square miles (468 square kilometers) making it slightly less than five times the size of the city of Barcelona. It is situated in the Pyrenees Mountains, bordered by Spain and France. The capital of the nation, Andorra la Vella (Old Andorra), lies in the geographic center of the country, where the two tributaries of the Valira River merge.
Demography. According to the 1998 census, the population stands at 65,877 of whom only 21.7 percent have Andorran citizenship. The rest of the inhabitants are Spanish (42.9 percent), Portuguese (10.7 percent), French (6.7 percent) or other nationalities (6.5 percent). Moreover, more than 7,589 persons, generally children or youth of immigrant families, have no formal citizenship. According to current legislation, foreigners can acquire citizenship after twenty years of residence in the country. Their children, born in Andorra, acquire citizenship at age eighteen.
Linguistic Affiliation. Catalan is the official language of Andorra. It is used throughout public administration, is taught in all schools, and is the language of all road signs. It is also the dominant language in communications media and is the language spoken by the national elites. In commercial signage, Catalan alternates with Spanish and French. Nevertheless, the dominant language of the street is Spanish. The Spanish population represents the largest immigrant community in Andorra and, in addition, the majority of visitors and merchants who come to Andorra are also Spanish. The use of French is limited to populations in the extreme southwest of the country. Portuguese and other languages are limited to private settings.
Symbolism. The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Meritxell, patron of the nation, constitutes the most important religious symbol for Andorrans and is also an attractive spot for tourist visits in the summer. Its thirty Romanesque churches and other treasures of medieval art serve as historical referents as well as emblems of identity.
History and Ethnic Relations
Emergence of the Nation. The origins of Andorra can be situated between the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. The archaeological site of Balma Margineda dates back eight thousand years, although full territorial occupation was not achieved until 2000 b . c . e . During the Roman era, Andorra had a stable population. Until the epoch of Arab occupation in the eighth century, Iberian populations mixed with peoples arriving from central Europe. At the beginning of the ninth century, the area was repopulated. The first document that refers to Andorra is the Act of Consecration of the Cathedral of Urgel (839 c . e .). In the eighth and ninth centuries, Andorra belonged to the County of Barcelona, which ceded sovereignty over the valleys of Andorra in 988 to the Episcopal see of Urgel (Spain).
At the end of the thirteenth century, after conflicts between the bishop of Urgel and the count of Foix, a Judicial Decision ( Pareatge ) was signed in 1278 that established the regime of coprinces that remains today. Currently, the two coprinces of Andorra are the president of the French Republic and the bishop of Urgel. Medieval rights over Andorra passed from the count of Foix to the king of Navarre in the fifteenth century, and then to the king of France in the sixteenth century; in the nineteenth century, they passed to the president of the republic.
National Identity. Historically, Andorra has been a protectorate of France and Spain. This is manifest in several ways: (1) the currencies of the nation are the franc and the peseta; (2) the two systems of public education were, until 1982, the French and the Spanish; and (3) the two languages most commonly spoken are French and Spanish, in addition to Catalan. This dualism has been expressed in multiple ways in recent centuries; Andorran factionalism also always has a pro-Spanish front and a pro-French front.
Today, however, both state political powers and Andorran civil society have endeavored to consolidate a national identity that takes as its symbolic referents its medieval past, mythologizing the political peculiarity of the Pareatges. Andorrans also identify themselves as a mountain society and have a special interest in leading sociopolitical and economic movements of the Pyrenean regions. The third pillar of identity is "Catalanness" ( catalanitat ), which it shares with 11 million persons in the northeast of Spain and the southeast of France.
Ethnic Relations. As a culture shaped by transhumant (seasonally transient) shepherds in the past and international merchants in the present, Andorrans are open in character and interethnic relations are not conflictive. Moreover, almost all immigrants come from European nations; hence, cultural differences are not strident.
Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space
Urbanism in the nation reflects both its rural past and its commercial and urban present. While some municipalities such as Canillo and Ordino demonstrate an urbanism typical of any village of the Pyrenean or Alpine high mountains, the urban center formed by Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany has the face and structure of any typical Western urban commercial center. Other settlements, such as Sant Julia de Loria and Encamp, show a hybrid rural-urban style.
An urban rule also fixes the invented tradition of the "mountain style." This demands that 30 percent of any facade be constructed of stone masonry. Hence large commercial buildings and the majority of urban public buildings show an amalgam of invented tradition and modernity, combining stone with iron and large surfaces of glass. Nevertheless, the building of the national government is of modern design, constructed in concrete and glass. Meanwhile the seat of the Andorran parliament (the General Council) is a noteworthy sixteenth-century edifice, a kind of palace-fortress constructed totally of stone masonry.
The most notable elements of the Andorran patrimony are its thirty Romanesque churches, almost all of them small, built between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries. Some of them conserve frescoes and wood carvings of great value, such as the Virgin of Canolic (which dates to the twelfth century). There are also remains of old castles and medieval fortifications and magnificent examples of rural homesteads. The small Romanesque sanctuary of Santa Maria de Meritxell, patroness of Andorra, caught fire in 1972. While it was restored, the famous Barcelona architect Ricard Bofill was commissioned to build a new one. A large building, the new sanctuary uses traditional materials such as stone and black slate despite its modern, functional concepts.
Almost 60 percent of the Andorran population resides in the capital center. Here, the style of life and uses of space are similar to any other European city. Some immigrant communities (such as the Portuguese and Galicians) have taken over certain public spaces (such as cafés and restaurants) as centers for informal reunions, which convert the spaces into semipublic spaces. Yet, there is no pattern of spatial segregation on the basis of ethnicity, even if there exists a clear territorial division of social class: while workers live in small apartments in center city blocks, elites inhabit luxurious mansions on adjoining hills.
Food and Economy
Food in Daily Life. The diet in Andorra is based on consumption of meat, garden vegetables, and some fish. The most common winter dish, in rural and urban zones, is escudella, a soup of veal, chicken, potatoes, and vegetables. Some immigrant communities have different customs: Portuguese eat more cod and Indians, more vegetarian food. Normally, the midday meal is eaten near the workplace in a restaurant.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Many Catholic families still avoid eating meat on Fridays. At the feast of the Virgin of Meritxell, Andorran families often eat outdoors after the solemn midday mass: they consume cold cuts, chicken, and rabbit. The Christmas cycle is also an occasion for the organization of family meals.
Basic Economy. Until about the middle of the twentieth century, the Andorran economy was based on transhumant shepherding and the breeding of cattle and horses. Andorrans also grew some tobacco, while agriculture was oriented to the production of cereals, potatoes, and garden vegetables. Because of the climate, the rocky relief, and the small size of its territory, the country always ran a deficit in agricultural production. Today, due to the commercial orientation of its economy, agriculture has disappeared. Only tobacco survives, with its production tripling since the early 1970s. Coupled with enormous quantities of imported tobacco, this production feeds a strong tobacco industry serving visitors to the country (as well as smuggling). Almost all that Andorrans consume and sell to millions of visitors comes from importation, principally from Spain and France but also from Japan and other countries of the Far East. Yet another extremely important economic activity for the Andorran economy is the banking sector, because of the nation's condition as a "fiscal paradise."
Land Tenure and Property. Most Andorran land is of communal ownership, including the woods and alpine meadows that occupy more than 80 percent of the territory. This situation recurs throughout the Pyrenees, originating in medieval local codes. Private property is found near villages, constituted by homes, rural structures, cultivated fields, and gardens. The exploitation of goods is managed by local administrations ( comuns ) which, in addition, also exercise many functions typical of city halls. The benefits of the exploitation of these goods revert to citizens in the form of infrastructure, equipment, creation of work, scholarships for students, and social service endeavors. Today, four of the seven municipal units ( parroquies ) that form the country have one or more winter resorts, from which they also gain great benefits. The only properties of the state are the courses and banks of the rivers, and roads and highways.
Commercial Activities. Andorra has always had fluid commercial relations with France and Spain, including smuggling. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the World War II (1939–1945), the volume of exchanges increased, since Andorra was a platform through which to supply belligerent nations. In addition, the economic isolation of Spain during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, from 1939 to 1975, favored the commercial activity of Andorra, which supplied equipment, machine parts, vehicles, and other consumer goods. The foundation of the new Andorran economy, however, is retail commerce in major consumer goods, oriented toward buyers in nearby regions of Spain and France.
Major Industries. Andorra's industrial development is extremely limited. Apart from tobacco, the most important industry is construction along with its derivative industries, hospitality industries, and semi-artisanal activities such as jewelry.
Trade. Commerce and tourism are based on the importation of all goods and services from third countries. There are sixty import-export companies handling such goods as gasoline, automobiles, beverages, tobacco, machinery, optical and electronic products, food, clothing, and shoes. Electronic goods come from Japan and other Asian sources, while the rest come from Europe.
Division of Labor. Large Andorran firms belong almost exclusively to Andorran citizens, although there are also some enterprises founded by Spaniards and Frenchmen who have acquired citizenship through their years of residence. Foreigners, Spanish and French, dominated professional positions until recently; high enrollments of university students have fostered a process of nationalization in this occupational level. Employment in construction, transport, commerce, and public services (police and sanitation), like work in hotels, tend to employ resident alien workers depending on their ability and level of instruction.
Classes and Castes. Class differences in Andorra are quite clear and possess marked characteristics, such as residence. Practically all the original Andorran population belongs to the high or medium-high stratum of society as the first group to arrive in the nation. The rest of the Spanish population is basically salaried, although there are executive groups and small entrepreneurs among them. Most Portuguese are found in less-skilled labor positions, especially in hostelry and construction. The French population comprises bureaucrats and small-scale entrepreneurs in hostelry or commerce.
Symbols of Social Stratification. Apart from evocative differences of residence, other indicators of class difference include fashion. The Andorran elite sport well-known international brands, which contrast with the sobriety of the rest of the society. Automobiles are also a highly visible indicator of consumption. Even though the entire society is motorized, only a minority has access to such luxury cars as Rolls-Royce, Mercedes, Audi, and BMW.
Government. Following the 1993 constitution, Andorra is a parliamentary coprincipality, headed by the president of France and the bishop of Urgel. The Andorran parliament (the General Council) includes twenty-eight members, half elected by local constituencies and half by national votes. This system seeks an equilibrium between territory and demography. Elections are held every four years. The winning parliamentary group forms the government.
Leadership and Political Officials. For decades, access to political power in Andorra was linked to two great entrepreneurial families. In the last decade, however, important transformations have emerged from the application of the constitution. There are no real national parties differentiated by ideology and/or in the function of their program of government. Andorran politics are constructed on the basis of influence groups, who defend local and family interests. The elaboration of electoral lists is the result of a complex process of compromise and alliance among client groups. Given the small size of the electorate (some fifteen thousand voters), electoral processes presuppose a face-to-face relation between candidates and electors that is maintained after the election.
Social Problems and Control. The judicial system is constituted at three levels: the Tribunal de Batlles, the Tribunal de Corts, and the Tribunal Superior de Justicia d'Andorra. While all three handle civil and labor affairs, only the first two deal with criminal matters. One might also appeal to a fourth jurisdiction, the Tribunal Constitutional. A corps of judiciary police, distinct from ordinary police, also serves the government. Crime in Andorra is very low. Foreign defendants tend to be extradited to their country of origin. The most frequent crimes are robbery, fraud, and drug trafficking. Labor conflicts, for unjustified firing, are the most frequent incidents of judicial action.
Social Welfare and Change Programs
Since there is no direct taxation in Andorra, the state has limited resources to maintain the level of opulence that characterizes the country. This means its capacity to implement welfare programs is limited. The principal demands of foreign workers, the most fragile and needy social sector, focus on housing and child care in order to secure the position of female workers. Recently, the government attempted a low-interest credit system through Andorran banks to encourage home ownership, but the results were below expectations. The number of child care centers has grown, but still fails to meet demand.
Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations
Andorran organizations are undeveloped, despite the presence of associations in sports, culture, the arts, and business. Unions are not legally accepted, although they exist in clandestine form. All civil associations must be run, legally, by an Andorran citizen. Thus the foreign population has enormous difficulties in constituting associations. The Spanish Embassy helps the Council of Spanish Residents, an association that looks after the needs and interests of that group. Given Andorra's status as a developed nation, foreign nongovernmental organizations are absent.
Gender Roles and Statuses
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Andorran society, with its strong rural origins, maintained a marked segregation on the basis of gender roles until the late twentieth century. All public activity was exercised by men, representing the family. Rapid urbanization, changes in lifestyle, and the commercial orientation of the economy have forced a rapid modification in the economic and work roles of women. Today, their public visibility is total, even if their presence in political spheres remains inferior to that of men, despite consistent progress.
Marriage, Family, and Kinship
Marriage. Marriage is not controlled by any limits except class (and not always by that). Marriages between Andorrans and Spaniards or French are normal.
Domestic Unit. The family remains the basic social unit, more important than the individual, despite the accelerated evolution of Andorran society. Most enterprises and business are organized through the family, distributing functions according to capacities and the level of study of each member. These family groups, following the institution of the familia troncal (stem family), incorporate a married pair and their children.
Inheritance. Formerly, the inheritance system passed nearly all the patrimony to one of the sons: the hereu (heir). Today, this tendency is maintained only at a symbolic level through the transmission of the family home. In the case of rural holdings, only the inheriting son can marry and reside with his wife and children on the family land; however, current family businesses are different. Any child can remain tied to the family business after marriage, although there remains a tendency towards an heir who will follow the father in the operation of the business.
Kin Groups. Networks of kinship are only activated through rituals of sociability for reasons of alliance or political patronage.
Child Rearing and Education. Andorran children, as in many other European nations, are placed in child care settings before three years of age, and much of the care and instruction of these children thereafter is done by scholastic institutions. Insufficient relationships between parents and children are noticeable at times. The extended work hours of parents, who often do not return home until 8:30 p.m., aggravate this tendency. Cases of youth maladjustment, quite frequent in Andorra and affecting all social sectors, are explained by psychologists as stemming from this relationship deficit.
Until 1982, when an Andorran public school system was created, there were only French and Spanish schools. Each parroquia (municipal unit) had a primary school in each system. There were also seven intermediate educational institutions. According to official data, 63 percent of the juvenile population was enrolled in intermediate education in 1999–2000.
Higher Education. Roughly 11 percent of the population between eighteen and twenty-four attends university, especially in Spain and France.
Religious Beliefs. Even though Andorra lacks a formal religion, Roman Catholicism is hegemonic. One fundamental element of this presence rests on the role of the bishop of Urgel as coprince and, at the same time, head of the Andorran Church. Apart from the Jehovah's Witnesses, there are no public religious alternatives in Andorra.
Rituals and Holy Places. All public ceremonies, including some sessions of the parliament, are accompanied by a Catholic mass. The Andorran festive calendar adapts to the Catholic liturgical calendar, and the nation, like every parroquia, has a patron saint and a collection of religious and lay celebrations.
Medicine and Health Care
The Andorran medical system is guaranteed through a general hospital, situated in the capital, as well as various clinics and private medical centers. Every population center has a family medical service. Alongside official medicine, traditional curing practices based on herbal knowledge also survive. There are no shamanistic practices of curing ( curanderismo ) in Andorra.
In addition to the national festival of the Virgin of Meritxell (8 September), each parroquia has its own patronal festival. Given the commercial orientation of the nation (which remains open for business especially when neighboring nations have holidays), the only formal holidays are Christmas and New Year's Day.
The Arts and Humanities
Support for the Arts. Both the state and communal administrations support artistic formation and creativity. Conservatories of music and art schools are scattered around the nation.
Literature. Andorran literary production does not cross the frontiers of the small country, except in the case of writer A. Morell. There are nonetheless groups of historians and folklorists interested in recovering oral traditions and studying and teaching the nation's history.
Performance Arts. In music, the two great figures of classical music, the Claret brothers, who play violoncello and violin, have gained great prestige throughout Europe.
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—Joan J. Pujadas, translated by Gary W. McDonogh
"Andorra." Countries and Their Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra-0
"Andorra." Countries and Their Cultures. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra-0
Andorra■ ANDORRANS … 35
Andorrans make up only about 30 percent of the population of Andorra. More than half of the population is Spanish, and the remaining population is French (less than 10 percent). To learn more about the Spanish, refer to the chapter on Spain in Volume 8. Information on the French can be found in the chapter on France in Volume 3.
"Andorra." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/andorra
"Andorra." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/andorra-0
"Andorra." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/andorra-0