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Andorra

ANDORRA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS ANDORRANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Principality of Andorra

Principat d'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.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

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) ew and 25.4 km (15.8 mi) ns.

Andorra's capital city, Andorra la Vella, is located in the south-western part of the country.

TOPOGRAPHY

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).

CLIMATE

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.

FLORA AND FAUNA

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.

ENVIRONMENT

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.

POPULATION

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 200510 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.

MIGRATION

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.

ETHNIC GROUPS

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.

LANGUAGES

The official language is Catalan. French, Portuguese, and Castilian are also spoken.

RELIGIONS

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.

TRANSPORTATION

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.

HISTORY

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.

GOVERNMENT

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.

POLITICAL PARTIES

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 lifeconservatives 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.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

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.

ARMED FORCES

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.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

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.

ECONOMY

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.

INCOME

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%.

LABOR

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.

AGRICULTURE

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.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

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.

FISHING

The streams are full of trout and other freshwater fish, but Andorra imports most fish for domestic consumption from Spain.

FORESTRY

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.

MINING

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.

ENERGY AND POWER

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.

INDUSTRY

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.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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.

DOMESTIC TRADE

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.

FOREIGN 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.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

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.

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 63.2 1,198.1 -1,134.9
Spain 33.6 599.5 -565.9
France-Monaco 18.6 293.8 -275.2
Germany 6.0 61.4 -55.4
Norway 0.8 0.8
United States 0.6 15.5 -14.9
Italy-San Marino-Holy See 0.4 38.4 -38.0
Netherlands 0.4 11.7 -11.3
Switzerland-Liechtenstein 0.3 18.9 -18.6
United Arab Emirates 0.3 0.3
Portugal 0.2 3.6 -3.4
() data not available or not significant.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

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.

INSURANCE

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.

PUBLIC FINANCE

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.

TAXATION

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.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

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.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

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.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

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.

HEALTH

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.

HOUSING

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.

EDUCATION

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.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

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 MuseumMuseum of Miniatures, the first permanent museum of the artist Siadristy's miniatures.

MEDIA

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.

ORGANIZATIONS

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, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

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.

FAMOUS ANDORRANS

There are no internationally famous Andorrans.

DEPENDENCIES

Andorra has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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.

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Andorra

ANDORRA

Principality of Andorra

Principat d'Andorra

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

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.

POPULATION.

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.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

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.

AGRICULTURE

Andorra's territory is ill-suited for agriculture, comprising mostly rugged mountains traversed by narrow valleys

Communications
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.

INDUSTRY

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.

SERVICES

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 sectorintegrated with both the French and Spanish banking systems but maintaining its tax haven statuscontributes 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 TRADE

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).

MONEY

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
Jan 2001 1.0659
2000 1.0854
1999 0.9386
1998 N/A
1997 N/A
1996 N/A
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$)
Country 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Andorra 18,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
United States 28,600 30,200 31,500 33,900 36,200
France 20,900 22,700 22,600 23,300 24,400
Spain 15,300 16,400 16,500 17,300 18,000
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.

WORKING CONDITIONS

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.

FUTURE TRENDS

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.

DEPENDENCIES

Andorra has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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.

Valentin Hadjiyski

CAPITAL:

Andorra la Vella.

MONETARY UNIT:

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.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Tobacco products, furniture.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

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.).

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Andorra

ANDORRA

Principality of Andorra

Major City:
Andorra la Vella

Other Cities:
Encamp

INTRODUCTION

ANDORRA is the last of the independent March statesbuffer 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 paréagea 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.

MAJOR CITY

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.

OTHER CITIES

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.

COUNTRY PROFILE

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.

Population

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.

Government

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.

Transportation

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.

Communications

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.

Health

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.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

January 1 New Year's Day

*Good Friday

*Easter Monday

September 8 National Festival

December 25 Christmas

*Variable.

RECOMMENDED READING

Carrick, Noel. Andorra. New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.

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Andorra

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

Land boundaries: 120.3 kilometers (74.6 miles) total boundary length; France, 56.6 kilometers (35.1 miles); Spain, 63.7 kilometers (39.5 miles)

Coastline: None

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.

3 CLIMATE

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.

8 DESERTS

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

Books

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.

Web Sites

Andorra, the Pyrenean Country. http://www.andorra.ad/angles/index.htm (accessed June 17, 2003).

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Andorra

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.

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Andorra

Andorra

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Principality of Andorra
Region: Europe
Population: 66,824
Language(s): Catalan, French, Castilian
Literacy Rate: 100%

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.


Bibliography

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

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Andorra

Andorra

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Principality of Andorra
Region (Map name): Europe
Population: 66,824
Language(s): Catalan, French, Castilian
Literacy rate: 100%

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.

Bibliography

"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

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Andorra

Andorra Small, independent state situated high in the e Pyrenees between France and Spain. Andorra consists mainly of six valleys that drain to the River Valira. These deep glaciated valleys lie at altitudes of 1000–2900m (3300–9500ft). In the n, a lofty watershed forms the frontier with France, and to the s the land falls away to the Segre Valley in Spain. It is a rare surviving example of a medieval principality. In 1993 a new democratic constitution was adopted. The main sources of income include livestock rearing and agriculture, especially tobacco; the sale of water and hydroelectricity to Catalonia; tourism, particularly skiing; and the sale of duty-free goods. Area: 453sq km (175sq mi). Pop. (1999) 65,971.

http://www.andorra.ad; http://www.turisme.ad

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Andorra

Andorra a small autonomous principality in the southern Pyrenees, between France and Spain, whose independence dates from the late 8th century, when Charlemagne is said to have granted the Andorrans self-government for their help in defeating the Moors. Andorra retained a feudal system, and was governed jointly by the French head of state and the Spanish bishop of Urgel, until 1993, when a revised constitution was adopted.

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Andorra

Andorra

Culture Name

Andorran

Alternative Names

Principality of Andorra; Andorranos

Orientation

Identification. The first reference to Andorra appears in the writings of the Greek historian Polybius (c. 200118 b . c . e ), who tells of the military encounter between Andorrans and Carthaginian troops as Hannibal (247183 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 (19361939) and the World War II (19391945), 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.

Social Stratification

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.

Political Life

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.

Socialization

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 19992000.

Higher Education. Roughly 11 percent of the population between eighteen and twenty-four attends university, especially in Spain and France.

Religion

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.

Secular Celebrations

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.

Bibliography

Armengol, Lídia. Approach to the History of Andorra , 1989.

Baudon de Mony, Charles. "La Vallée d'Andorre et les Êveques d'Urgel au Moyen Age". Revue des Pyrenees et de la France Meridionale , 4: 551571, 1892.

Bladé, Jean François. The Valley of Andorr , 1882.

Bricall, Josep M., et al. Estructura i perspectives de l'economia andorrana , 1974.

Comas d'Argemir, Dolors, Joan J. Pujadas. Aladradas y guellas; Trabajo, sociedad, y cultura en el Pirineo Aragonés , 1985.

. Andorra; Un país de frontera , 1997.

De los Ríos, Fernando. Vida e instituciones del pueblo de Andorra. Una supervivencia señorial, 1920.

Deverell, F. H. All Round Spain by Road and Train, with a Short Account of a Visit to Andorra , 1884.

Eyre, Mary. Over the Pyrenees into Spain , 1865.

Llobet, Salvador. El medi i la vida a Andorra , 1986.

Lluelles, M0 Jesús. La transformació econòmica d'Andorra , 1991.

López, E.J., Peruga, and C. Tudel. L'Andorra del segle XIX , 1998.

Newman, B. Round about Andorra , 1928.

Riberaygua, B. Les Valls d'Andorra:. Recull documental , 1946.

Riera, Manel. La llengua catalana a Andorra. Estudi dialectolo`gic dels seus parlars rurals , 1992.

Sacotte, Jean-Charles. "Les Vallées d'Andorre." Notes et Etudes Documentaires , 4087, 2-V-1974.

Sáez, Xavier. "Informe sobre l'economia andorrana, 1995." Andorra, anuari socio-economic, 1996 , 1067, 1996.

Sandy, Isabelle. Andorre: ou les hommes d'airain , 1923.

Sermet, Jean. Problemas de la frontera hispano-francesa en los Pirineos , 1985.

Taillefer, François. L'Ariège et l'Andorre , 1985.

Viñas, Ramón. Nacionalitat i drets polítics al Principat d'Andorra , 1989.

Violant i Simorra, Ramón. El Pirineo Español , 1949.

Joan J. Pujadas, translated by Gary W. McDonogh

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Andorra

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.

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Andorra

Andorraabhorrer, adorer, Andorra, angora, aura, aurora, bora, Bora-Bora, borer, Camorra, Cora, corer, Dora, Eleonora, Eudora, explorer, fedora, flora, fora, ignorer, Isadora, Kia-Ora, Laura, Leonora, Maura, menorah, Nora, pakora, Pandora, pourer, roarer, scorer, senhora, señora, signora, snorer, soarer, Sonora, sora, storer, Theodora, Torah, Tuscarora, Vlorë •goalscorer • cobra • okra • Oprah •Socotra • Moira • Sudra •chaulmoogra • supra •Brahmaputra, sutra •Zarathustra • Louvre • fulcra •Tripura •borough, burgh, Burra, curragh, demurrer, thorough •Rubbra •penumbra, umbra •tundra • chakra • ultra • kookaburra

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Andorra

Andorra

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the November 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Principality of Andorra

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 468 sq. km. (180 sq. mi.); about half the size of New York City.

Cities: Capital-Andorra la Vella.

Terrain: Mountainous.

Climate: Temperate, cool, dry.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective-Andorran(s).

Population: (2006) 81,222.

Annual growth rate: 2.4%.

Ethnic groups: Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Religions: Roman Catholic.

Languages: Catalan (official), Spanish, French.

Education: Years compulsory—to age 16. Attendance—100%. Literacy—100%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—3/1,000. Life expectancy—76 yrs. male, 81 yrs. female.

Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

Constitution: Ratified in March 1993.

Independence: 1278.

Government branches: Heads of State—Two co-princes (President of France, Bishop of Seu d’Urgell in Spain). Executive—Head of Government (Cap de Govern) and eleven ministers (Executive Council). Legislative—Parliament (General Council), founded 1419, consisting of 28 members. Judicial—Civil cases heard in first instance by four judges (batlles) and in appeals by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice. Criminal cases are heard by the Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella.

Political subdivisions: Seven parishes (parroquies)—Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Lòria, and Escaldes make up the districts represented in the General Council.

Political parties: Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), CDA (Democratic Center of Andorra), and the Social Democratic Party (PS).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $2.77 billion.

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead.

Agriculture: Products—tobacco, sheep.

Industry: Types—tourism, (mainstay of the economy), tobacco products, furniture.

Trade: Major activities are commerce and banking; no official figures are available. Duty-free status.

Currency: Euro.

PEOPLE

Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; they make up only approximately 36% of the population or about 28,000 native Andorrans. Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make up the other 64% of the population.

The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Provençal groups. French and Spanish are also spoken.

Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish, and Andorran public schools provides education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, who pay also for Andorran teachers. French and Spanish schools pay for their own teachers. About 35% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, 35% attend Spanish, and 29 % attend Andorran schools. Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by the Spanish education system. In July 1997, the University of Andorra was established. The number of students makes it impossible for the University of Andorra to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.

HISTORY

Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, made Count of Urgell overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the count later gave the lands to the diocese of Urgell, headed by Bishop of Seu d’Urgell.

In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.

In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell of Spain. The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.

Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French King Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.

Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transportation and communications have removed the country from its isolation.

GOVERNMENT

Until recently, Andorra's political system had no clear division of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A constitution was ratified and approved in 1993. The constitution establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration into 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—was formed in 1990 and finalized the draft constitution in April 1991.

Under the 1993 constitution, the co-princes continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve co-equally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. As co-princes of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those, which deal with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by some as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra's traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra's two much larger neighbors.

Andorra's main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic, and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections held every four years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required. The most recent general elections took place on April 24, 2005.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies from each of the seven individual parishes provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, which have as few as 562 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes, which have up to 4,014 voters. To correct this imbalance, a provision in the 1993 constitution introduced a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this format, half of the representatives are chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.

A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve four-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole.

Every four years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council. The current council has eleven ministers.

The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the batlles court -a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice.

Andorra has no defense forces and only a small internal police force. All able-bodied men who own firearms must serve, without remuneration, in the small army, which is unique in that all of its men are treated as officers. The army has not fought for more than 700 years, and its main responsibility is to present the Andorran flag at official ceremonies.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Andorra held national elections on April 24, 2005. The ruling Andorran Liberal Party (PLA) won the elections but lost the absolute majority it had attained in the 2001 elections. After 10 years in power, Cap de Govern and PLA leader Marc Forné stepped down as Cap de Govern. His replacement is Former Foreign Minister Albert Pintat, who comes from the same party. The center-right PLA went from 15 to 14 seats in the 28-seat Parliament, while the center-left Social Democratic Party (PS) doubled its representation from 6 to 12 seats. The remaining 2 seats are held by CDA-Segle-21, a union of two center-right parties which are likely to join in a coalition with PLA. Since the ratification of the constitution in 1993, four coalition governments have been formed. The Pintat government's principal goals are to address housing scarcity, modernize the country's taxation system, and press forward with reforms required to remove Andorra from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) list of tax haven countries.

There has been a redefinition of the qualifications for Andorran citizenship, a major issue in a country where only about 36% are legal citizens. In 1995, a law to broaden citizenship was passed but citizenship remains hard to acquire, with only Andorran nationals being able to transmit citizenship automatically to their children. Lawful residents in Andorra may obtain citizenship after 25 years of residence. Children of residents may opt for Andorran citizenship after 18 if they have resided virtually all of their lives in Andorra. Mere birth on Andorran soil does not confer citizenship. Dual nationality is not permitted. Non-citizens are allowed to own only a 33% share of a company. Only after they have resided in the country for 20 years, will they be entitled to own 100% of a company. A proposed law to reduce the necessary years from 20 to 10 is pending approval in Parliament.

By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 constitution has allowed Andorra to begin a shift from an economy based largely on tax-free shopping to one based on tourism and international banking and finance. Despite promising new changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for the short term, continue to confront a number of difficult issues arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include dealing with housing scarcities and speculation in real estate, developing the tourist industry, defining its relationship with the European Union, and reforming the investment law to allow up to 100% foreign ownership in activities and sectors considered strategic.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Head of Govt.: Albert PINTAT

Head of State (Co-Prince): Joan Enric VIVES i SICILIA, Bishop

Head of State (Co-Prince): Nicolas SARKOZY

Min. of Culture & Higher Education & Spokesman: Juli MINOVES

Min. of Economy & Agriculture: Joel FONT

Min. of Education, Professional Training, Youth, & Sports: Roser BASTIDA

Min. of Finance & of the Presidency: Ferran MIRAPEIX

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Meritxell MATEU

Min. of Health, Welfare, Family, & Housing: Montserrat GIL

Min. of Justice & Interior: Antoni RIBERAYGUA

Min. of Territorial & Town Planning: Xavier JORDANA

Min. of Tourism & Environment: Antoni PUIGDELLIVOL

Ambassador to the US:

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Julia VILA COMA

ECONOMY

Andorra's national income in 2005 was approximately $2.77 billion, with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labor force.

There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are taxed at lower rates, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra's tax-free status has also had a significant effect on its relationship with the European Union. Its negotiations with the Union began in 1987. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items—mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Andorra is permitted to maintain price differences from other EU countries, and visitors enjoy limited duty-free allowances.

In June 2004 Andorra signed a series of accords with the EU in the fields of economic, social, and cultural cooperation. Tax legislation was also approved that taxes interest from monetary products and fixed-interest investments belonging to non-residents while maintaining bank secrecy.

The results of Andorra's elections thus far indicate that many support the government's reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy until the upsurge in tourism. Sheep rising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing is lucrative. Most of Andorra's food is imported.

In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra's electricity; Spain provides the rest.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since the establishment of sovereignty with the ratification of the constitution in 1993, Andorra has moved to become an active member of the international community. In July 1993, Andorra established its first diplomatic mission in the world, to the United Nations. In early 1995, the United States and Andorra established formal diplomatic relations. Andorra has also expanded relations with other nations.

Andorra is a full member of the United Nations (UN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development (UNCCD), International Center of Studies for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM), Telecommunications International Union (UIT), International Red Cross, Universal Copyright Convention, European Council, EUTELSAT, World Tourism Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), Interpol, and International Monetary Fund among others. Since 1991, Andorra has had a special agreement with the European Union.

U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS

As noted, the United States established diplomatic relations with Andorra in February 21, 1995. The two countries are on excellent terms. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain is also accredited as Ambassador to Andorra. United States Consulate General officials based in Barcelona are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of relations with Andorra. The Andorran Permanent Representative to the United Nations is expected to be accredited as Andorra's first Ambassador to the United States in early 2008.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

MADRID (E) C/ Serrano 75, APO/ FPO PSC 61 Box, APO/AE 09642, (34) 91-587-2200, Fax (34) 91-587-2303, INMARSAT Tel 8816-763-10973, Workweek: 9:00 to 6:00, Web-site: http://madrid.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Sharron Amis
AMB OMS:Irene Buentello
DHS/CIS:Vacant
DHS/ICE:Luis Alvarez
ECO:James Dudley
FCS:Jim Wilson
FM:James M. Wilt
HRO:A.W. (Bill) Michael
MGT:Gary Bagley
AMB:Eduardo Aguirre, Jr..
CG:Daniel Keller
DCM:Hugo Llorens
PAO:Josie Shumake
GSO:Omar Bsaies
RSO:John Young
AFSA:Carl Schonander
AGR:Stephen Hammond
CLO:Katerina Marrano/Mimi Rhodes
DAO:Capt. Kevin Little
DEA:Joe Bond
EST:C. Darren Perdue

FAA/CASLO:
Vacant
FMO:R. Chance Sullivan
IMO:Lorraine Morris
IPO:Robert Hong
IRS:Kathy J. Beck (Resident In Paris
ISO:William Jamerson
ISSO:Robert Hong/William Jamerson
LEGATT:Marc L. Varri
POL:William Duncan

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet—Spain and Andorra

December 13, 2007

Country Description: Spain and Andorra are both highly developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Spain is a member of NATO and the European Union.

Entry Requirements: A passport is required for both countries. U.S. citizens can stay without a visa for a tourist/business stay of up to 90 days. That period begins when you enter any of the Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals who enter Spain or Andorra without a visa are not authorized to work. American citizens planning to study in Spain should be aware that Spanish immigration regulations require applications for student visas to be submitted 60 days before anticipated travel to Spain.

Note: Although European Union regulations require that non-EU visitors obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry to a Schengen country, many borders are not staffed with officers carrying out this function. If an American citizen wishes to ensure that his or her entry is properly documented, it may be necessary to request a stamp at an official point of entry.

Under local law, travelers without a stamp in their passport may be questioned and asked to document the length of their stay in Schengen countries at the time of departure or at any other point during their visit, and could face possible fines or other repercussions if unable to do so.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037, telephone (202) 452-0100, or the nearest Spanish Consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Spanish government web sites with information about entry requirements (in Spanish) can be found at http://www.mae.es and http://www.mir.es. Additional information may be obtained from the Tourist Office of Spain in New York, telephone (212) 265-8822, or via the Internet at www.spain.info.

For further information on entry requirements to Andorra, travelers should contact the Andorran Mission to the UN, 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th floor, New York, NY 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad. Visit the Embassy of Spain and Andorra web sites for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain's open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, on March 11, 2004, Islamic extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries. Spanish authorities tried the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators in February 2007 and convicted 21 in October.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain. ETA has historically avoided, albeit unsuccessfully, targeting foreigners, directing their attacks against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets as well as attempts to disrupt transportation and daily life. In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. However, the risk of being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” in event of an ETA action is a concern for foreign visitors and tourists. U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's web site, where the current Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, Travel Warnings and other Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: While most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime and most of the estimated one million American tourists have trouble free visits to Spain each year, street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of mugging and violent attacks, some of which require that the victim to seek medical attention. Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk. Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATMs.

In Madrid, incidents have been reported in all major tourist areas, including the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including near the Royal Palace and in Plaza Mayor. There has been an increase in the number of passport and bag thefts reported at Madrid's Barajas Airport, as well as in El Rastro, Madrid's flea market and in the Metro.

In Barcelona, the largest number of incidents reported also occurred in major tourist areas, on Las Ramblas, Barcelona's El Prat airport, Sants train station, and Metro stations, in the Sagrada Familia Area, in the Gothic Quarter, in Parc Güell, in Plaza Real, and along Barcelona's beaches. There has been a rise in the number of thefts reported at the Port Olimpic Area and nearby beaches.

Travelers should remain alert to their personal security and exercise caution. Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, only one credit card, and a copy of their passport; leaving extra cash, extra credit cards, passports and personal documents in a safe location. When carrying documents, credit cards or cash, you are encouraged to secure them in a hard-to-reach place and not to carry all valuables together in a purse or backpack.

Thieves often work in teams or pairs. In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplice performs the robbery. For example, someone might wave a map in your face and ask for directions, “inadvertently” spill something on you, or help you clean-up “bird droppings” thrown on by a third unseen accomplice. While your attention is diverted, an accomplice makes off with the valuables. Thieves may drop coins or keys at your feet to distract you and try to take your belongings while you are trying to help. Attacks are sometimes initiated from behind, with the victim being grabbed around the neck and choked by one assailant while others rifle through or grab the belongings. A group of assailants may surround the victim in a crowded popular tourist area or on public transportation, and only after the group has departed does the person discover he/she has been robbed. Purse-snatchers may grab purses or wallets and run away, or immediately pass the stolen item to an accomplice. A passenger on a passing motorcycle sometimes robs pedestrians.

There have been increasing reports of thieves posing as plainclothes police officers, beckoning to pedestrians from cars and sometimes confronting them on the street and asking for documents or to inspect their cash for counterfeit bills, which they ultimately “confiscate” as evidence. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid has received several reports of cars on limited access motorways being pulled over by supposed unmarked police cars. The Spanish police do not operate in this fashion. American citizens are encouraged to ask for a uniformed law enforcement officer if approached.

Theft from vehicles is also common. “Good Samaritan” scams are unfortunately common, where a passing car or “helpful” stranger will attempt to divert the driver's attention by indicating there is a flat tire or mechanical problem. When the driver stops to check the vehicle, the “Good Samaritan” will appear to help the driver and passengers while the accomplice steals from the unlocked car. Drivers should be cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard. Items high in value like luggage, cameras, laptop computers, or briefcases are often stolen from cars. Travelers are advised not to leave valuables in parked cars, and to keep doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight when driving.

While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically very low, attacks do occur. Spanish authorities have warned of availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy. Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

A number of American citizens have been victims of lottery or advance fee scams in which a person is lured to Spain to finalize a financial transaction. Often the victims are initially contacted via internet or fax and informed they have won the Spanish Lottery (El Gordo), inherited money from a distant relative, or are needed to assist in a major financial transaction from one country to another. For more information, please see the Bureau of Consular Affairs website International Financial Scams. Andorra has a low rate of crime.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, Consular Officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Consular staff are prepared to assist victims of crime in anyway they can.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Good medical care is available in both Spain and Andorra. Regulations regarding medications may vary from those in the U.S.; Americans with need for specific medications are encouraged to bring a supply sufficient for their anticipated period of stay as the medication may not be available and customs regulations may prohibit certain medications to be mailed from the United States to Spain or Andorra. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans may not cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. You should contact your insurance provider before departure so appropriate arrangements can be made. Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's web site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Spain and Andorra is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster-paced than in U.S. cities and can be unnerving due to unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes. Drivers should always obey the closest traffic light, as there are separate pedestrian lights in the city. Drivers should be alert when driving at night in urban areas, due to the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangeroous, because of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Traffic regulations in effect in Spain include the prohibition on the use of a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving a car. There is a fine of 300 euros for violation of this regulation and loss of driving privileges. In addition, all drivers and passengers are required to carry a reflective vest and put it on if they need to stop on the roadside. A reflective triangle warning sign for a vehicle stopped on the side of the road is also mandatory. Those renting vehicles are encouraged to check with the rental company about traffic regulations and safety equipment. U.S. citizens using U.S. issued drivers licenses must obtain International Driving Permits prior to their arrival if they plan to drive in Spain. Pedestrians should use designated crossing areas when crossing streets and obey traffic lights.

Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent. All major cities have metered taxis, and extra charges must be posted in the vehicle. Travelers are advised to use only clearly identified cabs and to ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter. A green light on the roof indicates that the taxi is available. Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Intercity buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive. For specific information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Spanish National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org. For information about driving in Andorra refer to the Andorran website at http://www.andorra.ad.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain's air carrier operations.

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Andorra, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Andorra's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC or one of Spain's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Spain's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/ or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit http://www.uscib.org for details.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Spain or Andorra's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Spain and Andorra are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The cities of Madrid and Barcelona and The Balearics Regional Government have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars. Visitors to Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Ibiza, and Menorca should be aware that failure to respect this law might result in the imposition of fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration web site to obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34) (91) 587-2200, and fax (34) (91) 587-2303. U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or one of the Consular Agencies listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is available through the U.S. Embassy's home page at http://madrid.usembassy.gov.

The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206. Visitors to Barcelona can access additional information from the Consulate General's web page at http://madrid.usembassy.gov/barcelonaen.html.

There are six consular agencies in Spain, which provide limited services to American citizens, but are not authorized to issue passports. Anyone requesting service at one of the consular agencies should call ahead to verify that the service requested will be available on the day you expect to visit the agency.

Fuengirola (in Malaga Province ), at Avenida Juan Gomez Juanito #8, Edificio Lucia 1C, Fuengirola 29640 Spain. Telephone (34)(952) 474-891 and fax (34)(952) 465-189. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

La Coruna, at Canton Grande 6, La Coruna 15003 Spain. Telephone (34) (981) 213-233 and fax (34)(981 22 28 08). Hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria 35007 Spain. Telephone (34)(928) 222-552 and fax (34)(928) 225-863. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Palma de Mallorca, Edificio Reina Constanza, Porto Pi, 8, 9-D, 07015 Palma de Mallorca 07015 Spain. Telephone (34)(971) 40-3707 or 40-3905 and fax (34)(971) 40-3971. Hours 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Seville, at Plaza Nueva 8-8 duplicado, 2nd Floor, Office E-2 No.4, Sevilla, 41101 Spain. Telephone: (34)(65) 422-8751 and fax (34)(91) 422-0791. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Valencia, at Doctor Romagosa #1, 2-J, 46002, Valencia 46002 Spain. Telephone (34)(96)-351-6973 and fax (34)(96) 352-9565. Hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.

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Andorra

ANDORRA

Compiled from the June 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Principality of Andorra


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

468 sq. km. (180 sq. mi.); about half the size of New York City.

Cities:

Capital–Andorra la Vella.

Terrain:

Mountainous.

Climate:

Temperate, cool, dry.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective–Andorran(s).

Population:

76,875 (as of 2004).

Annual growth rate:

1.4%.

Ethnic groups:

Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Religion:

Roman Catholic.

Language:

Catalan (official), Spanish, French.

Education:

Years compulsory—to age 16. Attendance—100%. Literacy—100%.

Health:

Infant mortality rate—3/1,000. Life expectancy—76 yrs. male, 81 yrs. female.

Government

Type:

Parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two coprinces.

Constitution:

Ratified in March 1993.

Independence:

1278.

Branches:

Heads of State—Two coprinces (President of France, Bishop of Seu d'Urgell in Spain). Executive—Head of Government (Cap de Govern) and twelve ministers. Legislative—Parliament (founded 1419) consisting of 28 members. Judicial—Civil cases heard in first instance by four judges (batlles) and in appeals by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice. Criminal cases are heard by the Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella.

Subdivisions:

Seven parishes (parroquies)—Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Lòria, and Escaldes make up the districts represented in the General Council.

Political parties/groups:

Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), CDA (Democratic Center of Andorra), and the Social Democratic Party (PS).

Suffrage:

Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP:

$2.3 billion (2002).

Natural resources:

Hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead.

Agriculture:

Products—tobacco, sheep.

Industry:

Types—tourism, (mainstay of the economy), tobacco products, furniture.

Trade:

Major activities are commerce and banking; no official figures are available. Duty-free status.

Official currency:

Euro.


PEOPLE

Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make up 60% of the population.

The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Provençal groups. French and Spanish are also spoken.

Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish, and Andorran public schools provides education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, but teachers are paid primarily by France or Spain. About 50% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schools. Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by the Spanish education system. In July 1997, the University of Andorra was established. The number of students makes it impossible for the University of Andorra to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.


HISTORY

Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, made Count of Urgell overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the count later gave the lands to the diocese of Urgell, headed by Bishop of Seu d'Urgell.

In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.

In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell of Spain. The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.

Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French King Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.

Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transportation and communications have removed the country from its isolation.


GOVERNMENT

Until recently, Andorra's political system had no clear division of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A constitution was ratified and approved in 1993. The constitution establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration into 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—was formed in 1990 and finalized the draft constitution in April 1991.

Under the 1993 constitution, the coprinces continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve co-equally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. As co-princes of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those, which deal with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by some as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra's traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra's two much larger neighbors.

Andorra's main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic, and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections held every four years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required. The most recent general elections took place on April 24, 2005.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies from each of the seven individual parishes provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, which have as few as 562 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes, which have up to 4,014 voters. To correct this imbalance, a provision in the 1993 constitution introduced a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this format, half of the representatives are chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.

A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve four-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole. Every four years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council. The current council has twelve ministers.

The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the batlles court–a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice.

Andorra has no defense forces and only a small internal police force. All able-bodied men who own firearms must serve, without remuneration, in the small army, which is unique in that all of its men are treated as officers. The army has not fought for more

than 700 years, and its main responsibility is to present the Andorran flag at official ceremonies.


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Andorra held national elections on April 24, 2005. The ruling Andorran Liberal Party (PLA) won the elections but lost the absolute majority it had attained in the 2001 elections. After 10 years in power, Cap de Govern and PLA leader Marc Forné stepped down as Cap de Govern. His replacement is Former Foreign Minister Albert Pintat, who comes from the same party. The center-right PLA went from 15 to 14 seats in the 28-seat Parliament, while the center-left Social Democratic Party (PS) doubled its representation from 6 to 12 seats. The remaining 2 seats are held by CDASegle-21, a union of two center-right parties which are likely to join in a coalition with PLA. Since the ratification of the constitution in 1993, three coalition governments have been formed. The Pintat government's principal goals are to address housing scarcity, modernize the country's taxation system, and press forward with reforms required to remove Andorra from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) list of tax haven countries.

There has been a redefinition of the qualifications for Andorran citizenship, a major issue in a country where only 26,500 of 76,875 are legal citizens. In 1995, a law to broaden citizenship was passed but citizenship remains hard to acquire, with only Andorran nationals being able to transmit citizenship automatically to their children. Lawful residents in Andorra may obtain citizenship after 25 years of residence. Children of residents may opt for Andorran citizenship after 18 if they have resided virtually all of their lives in Andorra. Mere birth on Andorran soil does not confer citizenship. Dual nationality is not permitted. Non-citizens are allowed to own only a 33% share of a company. Only after they have resided in the country for 20 years, will they be entitled to own 100% of a company. A proposed law to reduce the necessary years from 20 to 10 is pending approval in Parliament.

By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 constitution has allowed Andorra to begin a shift from an economy based largely on tax-free shopping to one based on tourism and international banking and finance. Despite promising new changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for the short term, continue to confront a number of difficult issues arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include dealing with housing scarcities and speculation in real state, developing the tourist industry, and defining their relationship with the European Union.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 6/27/2005

Head of Government: Albert PINTAT
Head of State (Co-Prince): Joan Enric VIVES i SICILIA, Bishop
Head of State (Co-Prince): Jacques CHIRAC
Min. of Agriculture & Natural Heritage: Pere TORRES
Min. of Economy: Joel FONT
Min. of Education & Professional Training: Roser BASTIDA
Min. of Finance: Ferran MIRAPEIX
Min. of Foreign Affairs, Culture, & Cooperation: Juli MINOVES
Min. of Health, Welfare, & Family: Montserrat GIL
Min. of Housing, Youth, Higher Education, & Research: Meritxell MATEU
Min. of Justice & Interior: Josep Maria CABANES
Min. of Sports & Volunteering: Carles FONT
Min. of Territorial Planning: Manel PONS
Min. of Tourism & Environment: Antoni PUIGDELLIVOL
Ambassador to the US:
Charge d'Affaires, UN, New York: Jelena PIA-COMELLA


ECONOMY

Andorra's national income in 2003 was approximately $1.9 billion, with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labor force.

There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are taxed at lower rates, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra's tax-free status has also had a significant effect on its relationship with the European Union. Its negotiations with the Union began in 1987. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items—mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Andorra is permitted to maintain price differences from other EU countries, and visitors enjoy limited duty-free allowances. In June 2004 Andorra signed a series of accords with the EU in the fields of economic, social, and cultural cooperation.

The results of Andorra's elections thus far indicate that many support the government's reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy until the upsurge in tourism. Sheep rising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing is lucrative. Most of Andorra's food is imported.

In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra's electricity; Spain provides the rest.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since the establishment of sovereignty with the ratification of the constitution in 1993, Andorra has moved to become an active member of the international community. In July 1993, Andorra established its first diplomatic mission in the world, to the United Nations. In early 1995, the United States and Andorra established formal diplomatic relations. Andorra has also expanded relations with other nations.

Andorra is a full member of the United Nations (UN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development (UNCCD), International Center of Studies for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM), Telecommunications International Union (UIT), International Red Cross, Universal Copyright Convention, European Council, EUTELSAT, World Tourism Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), Interpol, and International Monetary Fund among others. Since 1991, Andorra has had a special agreement with the European Union.


U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS

As noted, the United States established diplomatic relations with Andorra in February 21, 1995. The two countries are on excellent terms. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain is also accredited as Ambassador to Andorra. United States Consulate General officials based in Barcelona are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of relations with Andorra.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

MADRID (E) Address: C/Serrano 75; APO/FPO: PSC 61 Box, APO AE 09642; Phone: (34) 91-587-2200; Fax: (34) 91-587-2303; INMARSAT Tel: 8816-763-10973; Workweek: 09:00 to 18:00; Website: www.embusa.es

AMB:Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.
DCM:J. Robert Manzanares
DCM OMS:Sharron Amis
CG:Laura A. Clerici
POL:Kathleen Fitzpatrick
MGT:Michael S. Hoza
AGR:Stephen Hammond
CLO:Katerina Marrano/Karen Sprakties
DAO:Capt. Kevin Little
DEA:Joe Bond
ECO:Whitney Baird
FAA/CASLO:Stephen Perez
FCS:Jim Wilson
FMO:Leticia Macapinlac
GSO:Margaret Kurtz-Randall
ICASS Chair:Whitney Baird
IMO:Stephen M Widenhouse
INS:Theodore D'Alessio
IPO:William T. Bonnett, II
ISO:Jerry W. Robertson
ISSO:Jerry W. Robertson
LEGATT:Marc L. Varri
PAO:Josie Shumake
RSO:Randall Bennett
Last Updated: 9/14/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

Spain and Andorra August 2, 2005

Country Description:

Spain and Andorra are both highly developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Spain is a member of NATO and the European Union. Additional information on Spain may be obtained from the Tourist Office of Spain, telephone (212) 265-8822, or via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org. The website of the Spanish Embassy in the United States is http://www.spainemb.org. Additional information on Andorra may be obtained from the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.

Entry/Exit Requirements:

A passport is required for both countries. U.S. citizens can stay without a visa for a tourist/business stay of up to 90 days. That period begins when you enter any of the Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals who enter Spain or Andorra without a visa are not authorized to work. American citizens planning to study in Spain should be aware that Spanish immigration regulations require applications for student visas to be submitted 60 days before anticipated travel to Spain.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, telephone (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Spanish government websites with information about entry requirements (in Spanish) can be found at www.mae.es and www.mir.es. For further information on entry requirements to Andorra, travelers should contact the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th floor, New York, NY 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.

Safety and Security:

Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain's open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, on March 11, 2004, Islamic extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries. The government continues to investigate the attacks and to arrest suspects. The Spanish government is prosecuting several Islamist extremists in Madrid on charges of involvement in the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain. Historically, ETA attacks have been directed against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets. However, for the past several years, ETA has also conducted a limited "summer campaign" consisting of a small number low-potency bombs targeting Spanish tourist areas and causing minor injuries to bystanders, including a limited number of Americans. ETA attacks in 2005 included small bombs placed in trash containers at gas stations around Madrid, car bombs near a convention center in Madrid and on a busy street in northeastern Madrid, and a limited number of small bombings in cities around Spain. U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

While most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime and most of the estimated one million American tourists have trouble free visits to Spain each year, street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of muggings and violent attacks, some of which have been so violent that victims have needed medical attention. Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk. Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATM machines. There has been an increase in the number of passport thefts reported at Madrid's Barajas Airport.

In Barcelona, a number of attacks have been reported on Las Ramblas, near the Picasso Museum, in the Gothic Quarter, in Parc Güell, in Plaza Real and on Montjuic. In Madrid, incidents have been reported in major tourist areas, including the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including Sol and El Rastro flea market, near the Royal Palace and in Plaza Mayor.

Travelers should remain alert to their personal security and exercise caution. Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, only one credit card, and a copy of their passport; leaving extra cash, extra credit cards, passports and personal documents in a safe location. When carrying documents, credit cards or cash, you are encouraged to secure them in a hard-to-reach place and not to carry all valuables together in a purse or backpack.

Thieves often work in teams or pairs. In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplice performs the robbery. For example, someone might wave a map in your face and ask for directions or "inadvertently" spill something on you. While your attention is diverted, an accomplice makes off with the valuables. Thieves may drop coins or keys at your feet to distract you and try to take your belongings while you are trying to help. Attacks are sometimes initiated from behind, with the victim being grabbed around the neck and choked by one assailant while others rifle through or grab the belongings. A group of assailants may surround the victim in a crowded popular tourist area or on public transportation, and only after the group has departed does the person discover he/she has been robbed. Purse-snatchers may grab purses or wallets and run away, or immediately pass the stolen item to an accomplice. A passenger on a passing motorcycle sometimes robs pedestrians. There have been several reports of thieves posing as plain-clothes police officers, beckoning to pedestrians from cars and sometimes confronting them on the street and asking for documents. American citizens are encouraged to deal with uniformed law enforcement personnel only.

Theft from vehicles is also common. "Good Samaritan" scams are unfortunately common, where a passing car or "helpful" stranger will attempt to divert the driver's attention by indicating there is a flat tire or mechanical problem. When the driver stops to check the vehicle, the "Good Samaritan" will appear to help the driver and passengers while the accomplice steals from the unlocked car. Drivers should be cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard. Items high in value like luggage, cameras, laptop computers, or briefcases are often stolen from cars. Travelers are advised not to leave valuables in parked cars, and to keep doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight when driving.

While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically very low, attacks do occur. Spanish authorities have warned of availability of so-called "date-rape" drugs and other drugs, including "GBH" and liquid ecstasy. Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

A number of American citizens have been victims of lottery or advance fee scams in which a person is lured to Spain to finalize a financial transaction. Often the victims are initially contacted via internet or fax and informed they have won the Spanish Lottery (El Gordo), inherited money from a distant relative, or are needed to assist in a major financial transaction from one country to another.

Andorra has a low rate of crime.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Consular Staff are prepared to assist victims of crime in anyway they can.

Medical Facilities and Health Information:

Good medical care is available in both Spain and Andorra. Regulations regarding medications may vary from those in the U.S. Americans with need for specific medications are encouraged to bring a supply sufficient for their anticipated period of stay as the medication may not be available and customs regulations do apply to medications mailed to Spain or Andorra. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans may not cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Spain and Andorra is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is fasterpaced than in U.S. cities and can be unnerving due to unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes. Drivers should always obey the closest traffic light, as there are separate pedestrian lights in the city. Drivers should be alert when driving at night in urban areas, due to the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous, because of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Traffic regulations in effect in Spain include the prohibition on the use of a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving a car. There is a fine of 150 euros for violation of this regulation and loss of driving privileges. In addition, all drivers are required to carry a reflective vest and to put it on if they need to stop on the roadside and to use a reflective triangle warning sign for a vehicle stopped on the side of the road. Those renting vehicles are encouraged to check with the rental company about traffic regulations and safety equipment. US. Citizens are encouraged to obtain International Driving Permits if they plan to drive in Spain. Pedestrians should use designated crossing areas when crossing streets and obey traffic lights.

Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent. All major cities have metered taxis, and extra charges must be posted in the vehicle. Travelers are advised to use only clearly identified cabs and to ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter. A green light on the roof indicates that the taxi is available. Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Intercity buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive.

For specific information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Spanish National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at www.okspain.org. For information about driving in Andorra refer to the Andorran website at http://www.andorra.ad.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain as being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa. As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Andorra, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Andorra's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards.

Special Circumstances:

It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., or one of Spain's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. This is especially important if you are attempting to send any medications to Spain through postal channels. Spain's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Spain or Andorra's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Spain and Andorra are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Madrid City and Balearics Regional Governments have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars. Visitors to Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca should be aware that failure to respect this law might result in the imposition of fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34)(91) 587-2200, and fax (34)(91) 587-2303.

U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or one of the Consular Agencies listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is available through the U.S. Embassy's Internet homepage at http://www.embusa.es/indexbis.html.

The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206. Visitors to Barcelona can access additional information from the Consulate General's web page at http://www.embusa.es/barcelonaen.html

There are six Consular Agencies in Spain, which provide limited services to American Citizens, but are not authorized to issue passports.

Fuengirola (in Malaga Province), at Avenida Juan Gomez Juanito #8, Edificio Lucia 1C, 29640, Fuengirola, telephone (34)(952) 474-891 and fax (34)(952) 465-189, hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

La Coruna, at Canton Grande 6, telephone (34)(981) 213-233 and fax (34)(981 22 28 08), hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7, telephone (34)(928) 222-552 and fax (34)(928) 225-863, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Palma de Mallorca, Edificio Reina Constanza, Porto Pi, 8, 9-D, 07015 Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Telephone (34)(971) 40-3707 or 40-3905 and fax (34)(971) 40-3971. Hours 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Seville, at Paseo de Las Delicias 7, telephone (34)(954) 231-885 and fax (34)(954) 232-040, hours 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Valencia, at Doctor Romagosa #1, 2-J, 46002, Valencia telephone (34)(96)-351-6973 and fax (34)(96) 352-9565, hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.

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Andorra

Andorra

1 Location and Size

2 Topography

3 Climate

4 Plants and Animals

5 Environment

6 Population

7 Migration

8 Ethnic Groups

9 Languages

10 Religions

11 Transportation

12 History

13 Government

14 Political Parties

15 Judicial System

16 Armed Forces

17 Economy

18 Income

19 Industry

20 Labor

21 Agriculture

22 Domesticated Animals

23 Fishing

24 Forestry

25 Mining

26 Foreign Trade

27 Energy and Power

28 Social Development

29 Health

30 Housing

31 Education

32 Media

33 Tourism and Recreation

34 Famous Andorrans

35 Bibliography

Principality of Andorra
Principat d′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.

1 Location and Size

The landlocked nation of Andorra lies in southwestern Europe on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees between France and Spain, with a total boundary length of 125 kilometers (77.7 miles).

Andorra is slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., with a total area of 468 square kilometers (181 square miles).

Andorra’s capital city, Andorra la Vella, is located in the southwestern part of the country.

2 Topography

Most of the country’s terrain is rough and mountainous, and there is little level surface. All the valleys are at least 900 meters (3,000 feet) high, and the mean altitude is over 1,800 meters (6,000 feet).

The highest point is the mountain peak, Coma Pedrosa (2,946 meters/9,665 feet). The lowest point is on the Riu Valira (Valira River) at 840 meters (2,755 feet), located near the intersection of the Runer and Valira Rivers.

GEOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Geographic Features

Area: 468 sq km (181 sq mi)

Size ranking: 179 of 194

Highest elevation: 2,946 meters (9,665 feet) at Coma Pedrosa

Lowest elevation: 840 meters (2,755 feet) at Riu Valira

Land Use*

Arable land: 2%

Permanent crops: 0%

Other: 98%

Weather**

Average annual precipitation: 97 centimeters (38 inches)

Average temperature in January: 0°c (32° F)

Average temperature in July: 16°c (61.5°f)

* Arable Land: Land used for temporary crops, like meadows for mowing or pasture, gardens, and greenhouses.

Permanent crops: Land cultivated with crops that occupy its use for long periods, such as cocoa, coffee, rubber, fruit and nut orchards, and vineyards.

Other: Any land not specified, including built-on areas, roads, and barren land.

** The measurements for precipitation and average temperatures were taken at weather stations closest to the country’s largest city.

Precipitation and average temperature can vary significantly within a country, due to factors such as latitude, altitude, coastal proximity, and wind patterns.

3 Climate

Because of its high elevation, Andorra has severe winters. The northern valleys are completely filled with snow for several months. Most rain falls in April and October. Summers are warm or mild, depending on the altitude. There are wide variations between the maximum day and night temperatures.

4 Plants and Animals

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.

5 Environment

Andorra was once heavily forested, but the forested area has been decreasing steadily. Overgrazing of mountain meadows by sheep, with consequent soil erosion, is another environmental problem. The Apollo butterfly, the European otter, and the lesser horseshoe bat are vulnerable species.

6 Population

The population in 2005 was estimated at 74,000, with a density of 140 persons per square kilometer (363 persons per square mile). The population is concentrated in the seven urbanized valleys that form Andorra’s political districts. Andorran citizens are outnumbered three to one by other ethnic groups, the majority of whom are of Spanish descent. The capital, Andorra la Vella, had a population of 21,000 in 2005.

7 Migration

Immigration consists mainly of Spanish, Portuguese, and French people who intend to work in Andorra. Spanish nationals account for the largest group of foreign residents. 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 at 6.53 migrants per 1,000 population. In 2004, approximately 63% of the population were not born in Andorra.

8 Ethnic Groups

Native Andorrans make up just over one-third of the total population. They are of Catalan stock. About 43% of the population was Spanish, 11% were Portuguese, and about 7% were French. About 6% were from other groups.

9 Languages

The official language is Catalan. French and Spanish also are spoken.

10 Religions

Traditionally, over 90% of all Andorrans are Roman Catholic. Though Catholicism is not an official state religion, the constitution acknowledges a special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. The Muslim community (about 2,000 people) consists primarily of North African immigrants. Other Christian denominations include the Anglican Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Reunification Church, the New

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE

Name: Albert Pintat Santolaria

Position: Executive Council President of a parliamentary democracy

Took Office: 27 May 2005

Birthplace: 23 June 1943

Education: Studied economics at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Of interest: Pintat is dedicated to building Andorra’s international relationships.

Apostolic Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

11 Transportation

A north-south highway links Andorra la Vella with the Spanish and French borders. There are 269 kilometers (167 miles) of surfaced roads, and as of 2001, Andorra had 40,127 motor vehicles. Among several cable cars, the most important operates between Encamp and Engolasters Lake. Most merchandise is transported by vehicles from neighboring countries.

Andorra does not have railways or commercial airports. The nearest international airports are at Barcelona, Spain, and Toulouse, France.

12 History

According to one tradition, Charlemagne (742–814) 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 overlord of Andorra and gave him the right to collect the imperial tribute (tax). 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 present-day south-central France, became heirs to the counts of Urgel by marriage. The quarrels between the Spanish bishop and the French counts over rights in Andorra led in 1278 to their adoption of a pareage, a feudal institution recognizing equal rights of two lords.

Joint rule continued until 1793, when the French revolutionary government renounced its claim to Andorra, despite the wish of the Andorrans to enjoy French protection and avoid being under only Spanish influence. Napoleon restored joint rule in 1806 after the Andorrans asked him to do so. French rule of Andorra later 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 achieved prosperity through tourism after World War II (1939–45). It formally became a parliamentary democracy in May 1993.

Its new constitution retained the French and Spanish coprinces, although with reduced powers. Civil rights were greatly expanded, including the legalization of political parties and trade unions. Andorra was admitted to the United Nations on 28 July 1993.

At the start of the 21st century, the country was 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 banking secrecy laws.

13 Government

The governmental system of Andorra is unique. Authority is shared equally by the president of France and the (Spanish) bishop of Urgel as coprinces. Legislation is enacted by the General Council, consisting of 28 members.

The president of the General Council, Albert Pintat Santolaria, was elected in May 2005. He replaced Marc Forné Molné, who had been president since December 1997.

Andorra is divided into seven parishes or districts. Voters elect members of the parish council, which usually consists of 8 to 14 members.

14 Political Parties

Prior to 1993, political parties were illegal in Andorra. In the general election of 2001, three main parties won seats in the twenty-eight–seat General Council: the conservative Liberal Party, the left-of-center Social Democratic Party, and the centrist Democratic Party. The local Lauredian Union won two seats in that election.

15 Judicial System

A Superior Council of Justice oversees and administers the judicial system. Appeals from lower courts are decided by a Supreme Court in France or an Ecclesiastical Court in Spain. The current system provides a hearing for civil and criminal cases, with different appeals systems for each. Sentenced criminals have the choice of French or Spanish jails.

16 Armed Forces

France and Spain are pledged to defend Andorra, which has no defense force.

17 Economy

The Andorran economy is primarily based on trade and tourism, with the traffic between France and Spain providing most of the revenue. Andorra also is a tax haven because there are no direct taxes. Before the European Union (EU) passed new trade policies in the mid-1990s, there was an active trade in consumer goods, which were duty-free in Andorra. With more open trade policies between European countries, Andorra lost its unique duty-free status.

18 Income

In 2005, Andorra’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $1.9 billion. The annual growth rate in 2004 was estimated at 4%. The average inflation rate in 2002 was 4.3%.

19 Industry

Andorran industry produces cigars, cigarettes, textiles, leather, building materials, and furniture. There also are distilleries for the production of anisette, vermouth, liqueurs, and brandy. Several firms manufacture woolen goods.

20 Labor

Total employment as of 2001 was 33,000, of which fewer than 1% were employed in agriculture, about 21% in industry, and more than 78% in services. There is virtually no unemployment in Andorra. Under a new constitution passed in 1993, workers are permitted to form unions. It is unclear whether strikes are legal under the constitution. There is a government-set minimum wage, which was $7.20 per hour in 2005. The minimum working age is 18.

21 Agriculture

Because of Andorra’s mountainous character, only about 2% of the land is suitable for crops. 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.

Yearly Growth Rate

This economic indicator tells by what percent the economy has increased or decreased when compared with the previous year.

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. Most food is now imported.

22 Domesticated Animals

For many centuries sheep raising was the basis of Andorra’s economy. Now tourism and service industries are more important to the economy. However, 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. 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.

23 Fishing

The streams are full of trout and other freshwater fish, but Andorra imports most fish for domestic consumption from Spain.

24 Forestry

About 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres), or 22% of the total land area, are 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 newly planted trees are pines.

25 Mining

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

Selected Social Indicators

The statistics below are the most recent estimates available as of 2006. For comparison purposes, data for the United States and averages for low-income countries and high-income countries are also given. About 15% of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in high-income countries, while 37% live in low-income countries.

IndicatorAndorra Low-income countriesHigh-income countriesUnited States
sources: World Bank. World Development Indicators. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2006; Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2006; World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C.
Per capita gross national income (GNI)*$24,000 $2,258$31,009$39,820
Population growth rate0.9% 2%0.8%1.2%
People per square kilometer of land140 803032
Life expectancy in years: male81 587675
female87 608280
Number of physicians per 1,000 people3.7 0.43.72.3
Number of pupils per teacher (primary school)n.a. 431615
Literacy rate (15 years and older)100% 65%>95%99%
Television sets per 1,000 people462 84735938
Internet users per 1,000 people164 285386303
Energy consumed per capita (kg of oil equivalent)n.a. 5015,4107,843
CO2 emissions per capita (metric tons)n.a. 0.8512.9719.92
* The GNI is the total of all goods and services produced by the residents of a country in a year. The per capita GNI is calculated by dividing a country’s GNI by its population and adjusting for relative purchasing power.
n.a.: data not available >: greater than <: less than

are still mined, and alum and building stones are extracted. The sulfurous waters of Les Escaldes are used in washing wool.

26 Foreign Trade

Owing to the heavy traffic in smuggled 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 consists of consumer goods sold to visitors.

27 Energy and Power

Hydroelectric power provides about 40% of Andorra’s electric power needs. There are four gas companies, with Andor Gas supplying propane and the others butane.

28 Social Development

There is a social welfare system, expanded in 1968 to cover the entire population. Women have only enjoyed full suffrage (the right to vote) since 1970. There is no governmental department specifically designated to address women’s issues, but in 2001 a Secretariat of State for the Family was created.

Foreigners account for more than half of the population. Although they are accorded the same rights and freedoms as citizens, they lack access to some of the social benefits provided by law.

29 Health

In 2005, infant mortality was estimated at 4 per 1,000 births. Life expectancy was estimated at 81 years for men and 87 years for women. In 2004, Andorra had 3.7 physicians, and 3.2 nurses per 1,000 people.

Most Andorran houses are made of stone. Because the flat land is used for farm crops, the rural houses are frequently built against the mountainsides. All residents have access to safe water and sanitation systems.

31 Education

By law, students must attend school until age 16. Education is provided by both French- and Spanish-language schools. The French government partially subsidizes education in Andorra’s French-language schools. Schools in the southern section, near Spain, are supported by the church. About 50% of Andorran children attend French primary schools, and the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schools. In general, Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by Spain.

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. Andorra also has a nursing school and a school of computer science. Nearly 100% of the adult population are literate.

32 Media

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.

As of 1998, there were 15 FM radio stations. Andorra does not have its own television stations. Television transmission is provided through technical agreements 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 was only one Internet service provider with an estimated 24,500 Internet users in 2001.

33 Tourism and Recreation

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.

Romanesque churches and old houses of interest are located in Ordino, Encamp, Sant Julía de Lória, Les Escaldes, Santa Coloma, and other villages. Pilgrims come from France and Spain to pay homage on 8 September, the festival day of Andorra’s patroness.

In 2003, there were an estimated 3.1 million visitors to Andorra.

34 Famous Andorrans

Some famous Andorrans include Bonaventura Riberaygua i Argelich (1892–1950), secretary of parliament from 1935 to 1950 and a writer who published the book Les Valls d’Andorra, a geographical, historical, and political documentary about Andorra. Philippe Wolff (1913–2001) was an author and a member of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Jacques Tremoulet (1896–1971), French radio and press magnate, was the founder of Radio Andorra.

35 Bibliography

BOOKS

Cameron, Peter. Andorra. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997.

Deane, Shirley. The Road to Andorra. New York: Morrow, 1961.

De Cugnac, Pascal. Pyrenees and Gascony: Including Andorra. London: Hachette UK, 2000.

Taylor, Barry. Andorra. Santa Barbara, CA: Clio Press, 1993.

WEB SITES

Country Pages. www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/an/. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

Government Home Page. www.andorra.ad. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

World Heritage List. whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/ad. (accessed on January 15, 2007).

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Andorra

Andorra

Compiled from the January 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Principality of Andorra

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 468 sq. km. (180 sq. mi.); about half the size of New York City.

Cities: Capital-Andorra la Vella.

Terrain: Mountainous.

Climate: Temperate, cool, dry.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective-Andorran(s).

Population: (2006) 81,222.

Annual growth rate: 2.4%.

Ethnic groups: Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Religion: Roman Catholic.

Languages: Catalan (official), Spanish, French.

Education: Years compulsory—to age 16. Attendance—100%. Literacy—100%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—3/1,000. Life expectancy—76 yrs. male, 81 yrs. female.

Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

Constitution: Ratified in March 1993.

Independence: 1278.

Government branches: Heads of State—Two co-princes (President of France, Bishop of Seu d’Urgell in Spain). Executive—Head of Government (Cap de Govern) and eleven ministers. Legislative—Parliament (founded 1419) consisting of 28 members. Judicial—Civil cases heard in first instance by four judges (batlles) and in appeals by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice. Criminal cases are heard by the Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella.

Political subdivisions: Seven parishes (parroquies)—Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Lòria, and Escaldes make up the districts represented in the General Council.

Political parties: Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), CDA (Democratic Center of Andorra), and the Social Democratic Party (PS).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2005) $2.77 billion.

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead.

Agriculture: Products—tobacco, sheep.

Industry: Types—tourism, (mainstay of the economy), tobacco products, furniture.

Trade: Major activities are commerce and banking; no official figures are available. Duty-free status.

Currency: Euro.

PEOPLE

Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra’s political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make up 64% of the population.

The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Provençal groups. French and Spanish are also spoken.

Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish, and Andorran public schools provides education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, who pay also for Andorran teachers. French and Spanish schools pay for their own teachers. About 35% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, 35% attend Spanish, and 29% attend Andorran schools. Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by the Spanish education system. In July 1997, the University of Andorra was established. The number of students makes it impossible for the University of Andorra to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.

HISTORY

Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne’s grandson, Charles the Bald, made Count of Urgell overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the count later gave the lands to the diocese of Urgell, headed by Bishop of Seu d’Urgell.

In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.

In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, which provided that Andorra’s sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell of Spain. The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.

Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French King Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.

Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transportation and communications have removed the country from its isolation.

GOVERNMENT

Until recently, Andorra’s political system had no clear division of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A constitution was ratified and approved in 1993. The constitution establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration into 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—was formed in 1990 and finalized the draft constitution in April 1991.

Under the 1993 constitution, the co-princes continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve co-equally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. As co-princes of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d’Urgell maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those, which deal with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by some as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra’s traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra’s two much larger neighbors.

Andorra’s main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic, and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections held every four years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required. The most recent general elections took place on April 24, 2005.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies from each of the seven individual parishes provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, which have as few as 562 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes, which have up to 4,014 voters. To correct this imbalance, a provision in the 1993 constitution introduced a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this format, half of the representatives are chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.

A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve four-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole. Every four years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council. The current council has eleven ministers.

The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the batlles court -a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice.

Andorra has no defense forces and only a small internal police force. All able-bodied men who own firearms must serve, without remuneration, in the small army, which is unique in that all of its men are treated as officers. The army has not fought for more

than 700 years, and its main responsibility is to present the Andorran flag at official ceremonies.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Andorra held national elections on April 24, 2005. The ruling Andorran Liberal Party (PLA) won the elections but lost the absolute majority it had attained in the 2001 elections. After 10 years in power, Cap de Govern and PLA leader Marc Forné stepped down as Cap de Govern. His replacement is Former Foreign Minister Albert Pintat, who comes from the same party. The center-right PLA went from 15 to 14 seats in the 28-seat Parliament, while the center-left Social Democratic Party (PS) doubled its representation from 6 to 12 seats. The remaining 2 seats are held by CDA-Segle-21, a union of two center-right parties which are likely to join in a coalition with PLA. Since the ratification of the constitution in 1993, four coalition governments have been formed. The Pintat government’s principal goals are to address housing scarcity, modernize the country’s taxation system, and press forward with reforms required to remove Andorra from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) list of tax haven countries.

There has been a redefinition of the qualifications for Andorran citizenship, a major issue in a country where only 35.7% of 78,549 are legal citizens. In 1995, a law to broaden citizenship was passed but citizenship remains hard to acquire, with only Andorran nationals being able to transmit citizenship automatically to their children. Lawful residents in Andorra may obtain citizenship after 25 years of residence. Children of residents may opt for Andorran citizenship after 18 if they have resided virtually all of their lives in Andorra. Mere birth on Andorran soil does not confer citizenship. Dual nationality is not permitted. Non-citizens are allowed to own only a 33% share of a company. Only after they have resided in the country for 20 years, will they be entitled to own 100% of a company. A proposed law to reduce the necessary years from 20 to 10 is pending approval in Parliament.

By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 constitution has allowed Andorra to begin a shift from an economy based largely on tax-free shopping to one based on tourism and international banking and finance. Despite promising new changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for the short term, continue to confront a number of difficult issues arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include dealing with housing scarcities and speculation in real state, developing the tourist industry, defining its relationship with the European Union, and reforming the investment law to allow up to 100% foreign ownership in activities and sectors considered strategic.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 8/2/2006

Head of Government: Albert PINTAT

Head of State (Co-Prince): Joan Enric VIVES i SICILIA, Bishop

Head of State (Co-Prince): Jacques CHIRAC

Min. of Agriculture & Natural Heritage: Pere TORRES

Min. of Economy: Joel FONT

Min. of Education & Professional Training: Roser BASTIDA

Min. of Finance: Ferran MIRAPEIX

Min. of Foreign Affairs, Culture, & Cooperation: Juli MINOVES

Min. of Health, Welfare, & Family: Montserrat GIL

Min. of Housing, Youth, Higher Education, & Research: Meritxell MATEU

Min. of Justice & Interior: Josep Maria CABANES

Min. of Sports & Volunteering: Carles FONT

Min. of Territorial Planning: Manel PONS

Min. of Tourism & Environment: Antoni PUIGDELLIVOL

Ambassador to the US:

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Julia VILA COMA

ECONOMY

Andorra’s national income in 2005 was approximately $2.77 billion, with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labor force.

There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are taxed at lower rates, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra’s tax-free status has also had a significant effect on its relationship with the European Union. Its negotiations with the Union began in 1987. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items—mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Andorra is permitted to maintain price differences from other EU countries, and visitors enjoy limited duty-free allowances. In June 2004 Andorra signed a series of accords with the EU in the fields of economic, social, and cultural cooperation. Tax legislation was also approved that taxes interest from monetary products and fixed-interest investments belonging to non-residents while maintaining bank secrecy.

The results of Andorra’s elections thus far indicate that many support the government’s reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy until the upsurge in tourism. Sheep rising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing is lucrative. Most of Andorra’s food is imported.

In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra’s electricity; Spain provides the rest.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since the establishment of sovereignty with the ratification of the constitution in 1993, Andorra has moved to become an active member of the international community. In July 1993, Andorra established its first diplomatic mission in the world, to the United Nations. In early 1995, the United States and Andorra established formal diplomatic relations. Andorra has also expanded relations with other nations.

Andorra is a full member of the United Nations (UN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development (UNCCD), International Center of Studies for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM), Telecommunications International Union (UIT), International Red Cross, Universal Copyright Convention, European Council, EUTELSAT, World Tourism Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), Interpol, and International Monetary Fund among others. Since 1991, Andorra has had a special agreement with the European Union.

U.S.-ANGOLAN RELATIONS

As noted, the United States established diplomatic relations with Andorra in February 21, 1995. The two countries are on excellent terms. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain is also accredited as Ambassador to Andorra. United States Consulate General officials based in Barcelona are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of relations with Andorra.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

MADRID (E) Address: C/Serrano 75; APO/FPO: PSC 61 Box, APO AE 09642; Phone: (34) 91-587-2200; Fax: (34) 91-587-2303; INMARSAT Tel: 8816-763-10973; Workweek: 09:00 to 18:00; Website: www.embusa.es.

AMB:Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.
AMB OMS:Irene Buentello
DCM:Hugo Llorens
DCM OMS:Sharron Amis
CG:Daniel Keller
POL:Kathleen Fitzpatrick
MGT:Michael S. Hoza
AFSA:Margaret Kurtz-Randall
AGR:Stephen Hammond
CLO:Katerina Marrano/Mimi Rhodes
DAO:Capt. Kevin Little
DEA:Joe Bond
ECO:Whitney Baird
EST:Ken Forder
FAA/CASLO:Luz Ponce
FCS:Jim Wilson
GSO:Margaret Kurtz-Randall
ICASS Chair:Whitney Baird
IMO:Stephen M Widenhouse
INS:Vacant
IPO:Robert Hong
IRS:Kathy J. Beck (resident in Paris)
ISO:William Jamerson
ISSO:Robert Hong/William Jamerson
LEGATT:Marc L. Varri
PAO:Josie Shumake
RSO:John Young

Last Updated: 1/22/2007

BARCELONA (CG) Address: Reina Elisenda de Montcada 23; APO/FPO: PSC 61, Box 5, APO AE 09642; Phone: 34 93 280 2227; Fax: (34) (93) 205 5206; Workweek: Mon to Fri, 08:30–17:30.

CG:Todd D. Robinson
COM:vacant
CON:David Mico
MGT: Jeff Bournes
CLO:Embassy Madrid
IMO:Embassy Madrid

Last Updated: 11/13/2006

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet–Spain : September 25, 2006

Country Description: Spain and Andorra are both highly developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Spain is a member of NATO and the European Union. Additional information on Spain may be obtained from the Tourist Office of Spain, telephone (212) 265-8822, or via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org. The website of the Spanish Embassy in the United States is http://www.spainemb.org. Additional information on Andorra may be obtained from the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport is required for both countries. U.S. citizens can stay without a visa for a tourist/business stay of up to 90 days. That period begins when you enter any of the Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals who enter Spain or Andorra without a visa are not authorized to work. American citizens planning to study in Spain should be aware that Spanish immigration regulations require applications for student visas to be submitted 60 days before anticipated travel to Spain.

Note: Although European Union regulations require that non-EU visitors obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry to a Schengen country, many borders are not staffed with officers carrying out this function. If an American citizen wishes to ensure that his or her entry is properly documented, it may be necessary to request a stamp at an official point of entry. Under local law, travelers without a stamp in their passport may be questioned and asked to document the length of their stay in Schengen countries at the time of departure or at any other point during their visit, and could face possible fines or other repercussions if unable to do so.”

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information on entry requirements to Andorra, travelers should contact the Andorran Mission to the UN, 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th floor, New York, NY 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.

Safety and Security: Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain’s open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution. In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, on March 11, 2004, Islamic extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries. The government continues to investigate the attacks and to arrest and prosecute the suspected terrorists and their co-conspirators. The Spanish government is also prosecuting several Islamist extremists in Madrid on charges of involvement in the September 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain. ETA declared a ceasefire on March 22, 2006. Historically, ETA attacks have been directed against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets. For the past few years ETA has used low potency bombs during busy travel periods throughout Spain. In addition, bombs have been used as part of criminal extortion of businesses, particularly in the Basque region. There have been no recent fatalities, but there were no warnings for several of the bombs and all have the potential to kill or seriously injured. U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: While most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime and most of the estimated one million American tourists have trouble free visits to Spain each year, street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of muggings and violent attacks, some of which have been so violent that victims have needed medical attention. Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk. Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATM machines. There has been an increase in the number of passport and bag thefts reported at Madrid’s Barajas Airport. In Barcelona, a number of attacks have been reported on Las Ramblas, near the Picasso Museum, in the Gothic Quarter, in Parc Güell, in Plaza Real and on Montjuic. In Madrid, incidents have been reported in all major tourist areas, including the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including Sol and El Rastro flea market, near the Royal Palace and in Plaza Mayor.

Travelers should remain alert to their personal security and exercise caution. Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, only one credit card, and a copy of their passport; leaving extra cash, extra credit cards, passports and personal documents in a safe location. When carrying documents, credit cards or cash, you are encouraged to secure them in a hard-to-reach place and not to carry all valuables together in a purse or backpack.

Thieves often work in teams or pairs. In many cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplice performs the robbery. For example, someone might wave a map in your face and ask for directions or “inadvertently” spill something on you. While your attention is diverted, an accomplice makes off with the valuables. Thieves may drop coins or keys at your feet to distract you and try to take your belongings while you are trying to help. Attacks are sometimes initiated from behind, with the victim being grabbed around the neck and choked by one assailant while others rifle through or grab the belongings. A group of assailants may surround the victim in a crowded popular tourist area or on public transportation, and only after the group has departed does the person discover he/she has been robbed. Purse-snatchers may grab purses or wallets and run away, or immediately pass the stolen item to an accomplice. A passenger on a passing motorcycle sometimes robs pedestrians. There have been increasing reports of thieves posing as plainclothes police officers, beckoning to pedestrians from cars and sometimes confronting them on the street and asking for documents or to inspect their cash for counterfeit bills, which they ultimately “confiscate” as evidence. The U.S. Embassy in Madrid has received several reports of cars on limited access motorways being pulled over by supposed unmarked police cars. The Spanish police do not operate in this fashion. American citizens are encouraged to ask for a uniformed law enforcement officer if approached.

Theft from vehicles is also common. “Good Samaritan” scams are unfortunately common, where a passing car or “helpful” stranger will attempt to divert the driver’s attention by indicating there is a flat tire or mechanical problem. When the driver stops to check the vehicle, the “Good Samaritan” will appear to help the driver and passengers while the accomplice steals from the unlocked car. Drivers should be cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard. Items high in value like luggage, cameras, laptop computers, or briefcases are often stolen from cars. Travelers are advised not to leave valuables in parked cars, and to keep doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight when driving.

While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically very low, attacks do occur. Spanish authorities have warned of availability of so-called “date-rape” drugs and other drugs, including “GBH” and liquid ecstasy. Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation. A number of American citizens have been victims of lottery or advance fee scams in which a person is lured to Spain to finalize a financial transaction. Often the victims are initially contacted via internet or fax and informed they have won the Spanish Lottery (El Gordo), inherited money from a distant relative, or are needed to assist in a major financial transaction from one country to another. Andorra has a low rate of crime.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Any police report in Spain must be signed by the victim at a police station so it must be filed before you leave Spain. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Consular Staff are prepared to assist victims of crime in anyway they can.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Good medical care is available in both Spain and Andorra. Regulations regarding medications may vary from those in the U.S.; Americans with need for specific medications are encouraged to bring a supply sufficient for their anticipated period of stay as the medication may not be available and customs regulations do apply to medications mailed to Spain or Andorra. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans may not cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Spain and Andorra is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance. Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster-paced than in U.S. cities and can be unnerving due to unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes. Drivers should always obey the closest traffic light, as there are separate pedestrian lights in the city. Drivers should be alert when driving at night in urban areas, due to the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous, because of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Traffic regulations in effect in Spain include the prohibition on the use of a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving a car. There is a fine of 150 euros for violation of this regulation and loss of driving privileges. In addition, all drivers are required to carry a reflective vest and to put it on if they need to stop on the roadside and to use a reflective triangle warning sign for a vehicle stopped on the side of the road. Those renting vehicles are encouraged to check with the rental company about traffic regulations and safety equipment. U.S. Citizens are encouraged to obtain International Driving Permits if they plan to drive in Spain. Pedestrians should use designated crossing areas when crossing streets and obey traffic lights.

Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent. All major cities have metered taxis, and extra charges must be posted in the vehicle. Travelers are advised to use only clearly identified cabs and to ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter. A green light on the roof indicates that the taxi is available. Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Intercity buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive.

For specific information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Spanish National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at www.okspain.org. For information about driving in Andorra refer to the Andorran website at http://www.andorra.ad.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain’s air carrier operations. As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Andorra, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Andorra’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO aviation safety standards. For more aviation information on Spain and Andorra, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_initiatives/oversight/iasa.

Special Circumstances: It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., or one of Spain’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. This is especially important if you are attempting to send any medications to Spain through postal channels. Spain’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Spain or Andorra’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Spain and Andorra are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Madrid City and Balearics Regional Governments have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars. Visitors to Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca should be aware that failure to respect this law might result in the imposition of fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34)(91) 587-2200, and fax (34)(91) 587-2303. U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or one of the Consular Agencies listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is available through the U.S. Embassy’s Internet homepage at http://madrid.usembassy.gov.

The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206. Visitors to Barcelona can access additional information from the Consulate General’s web page at http://barcelona.usconsulate.gov.

There are six consular agencies in Spain, which provide limited services to American citizens, but are not authorized to issue passports. Anyone requesting service at one of the consular agencies should call ahead to verify that the service requested will be available on the day you expect to visit the agency.

Fuengirola (in Malaga Province), at Avenida Juan Gomez Juanito #8, Edificio Lucia 1C, Fuengirola 29640 Spain, telephone (34) (952) 474-891 and fax (34)(952) 465-189, hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

La Coruna, at Canton Grande 6, La Coruna 15003 Spain. Telephone (34)(981) 213-233 and fax (34)(981 22 28 08), hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;

Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria 35007 Spain. Telephone (34)(928) 222-552 and fax (34)(928) 225-863, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;

Palma de Mallorca, Edificio Reina Constanza, Porto Pi, 8, 9-D, 07015 Palma de Mallorca 07015 Spain. Telephone (34)(971) 40-3707 or 40-3905 and fax (34)(971) 40-3971. Hours 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;

Seville, at Plaza Nueva 8-8 duplicado, 2nd Floor, Office E-2 No.4, Sevilla, 41101 Spain. NOTE: THIS IS A NEW LOCATION AS OF MARCH 1, 2006. Telephone: (34)(65) 422-8751 and fax (34)(91) 422-0791. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Valencia, at Doctor Romagosa #1, 2-J, 46002, Valencia 46002 Spain. Telephone (34)(96)-351-6973 and fax (34)(96) 352-9565, hours 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.

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Andorra

Andorra

  • Area: 180 sq mi (468 sq km) / World Rank: 184
  • Location: Land-locked nation in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres, lies on the southern slopes of Pyrenees Mountains of Europe south of France and north of Spain
  • Coordinates: 42°25′ to 42°40′ N, 1°30′E
  • Borders: 74.6 mi (120.3 km) total boundary length / France, 35.1 mi (56.6 km); Spain, 39.5 mi (63.7 km)
  • Coastline: None. Andorra is landlocked.
  • Territorial Seas: None
  • Highest Point: Coma Pedrosa Peak, 9,665 ft (2,946 m)
  • Lowest Point: Runer River, 2,755 ft (840 m), where the Runer River and Valera River meet.
  • Longest Distances: 18.7 mi (30.1 km) east to west / 15.8 mi (25.4 km) north to south.
  • Natural Hazards: Severe winters
  • Population: 67,627 (July 2001 est.) / World Rank: 191
  • Capital City: Andorra la Vella, located in the southwestern part of Andorra
  • Largest City: Andorra la Vella, 25,000 (2000)

OVERVIEW

Andorra is one of the smallest independent countries on earth. Located in the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, Andorra's terrain consists of gorges, narrow valleys, and defiles surrounded by mountain peaks rising higher than 9,500 ft (2,900 m). There is little level ground. All the valleys are at least 3,000 ft (900 m) above sea level and the mean altitude is over 6,000 ft (1,800 m).

MOUNTAINS AND HILLS

All of Andorra is mountainous. The highest mountain peak is Pic de Coma Pedrosa (Coma Pedrosa Peak), which rises to 9,665 ft (2,946 m) near where the western border of Andorra and the borders of France and Spain meet. Along the northwestern border with France, Pic de Cataperdis (9,203 ft/2,805 m) and Pic de Tristaina (9,442 ft/2,878 m) can be found. Pic de Siguer (9,524 ft/2,903 m) and Pic de la Serrera (9,560 ft/2,914 m) lie along the northern border, and Pic de la Cabaneta (9,245 ft/2,818 m) is in the east. Near the southeastern point where the borders of the three countries meet lies Pic d'Envalira (9,268 ft/2,825 m) and Pic dels Pessons (9,400 ft/2,865 m). A lake, Estany de l'Estanyò, and a mountain peak, Pic de l'Estanyò (9,564 ft/2,915 m) lie just east of El Serrat and are accessible only by hiking trail.

INLAND WATERWAYS

Andorra is drained by a single basin whose main river, Valira River (Riu Valira), has two branches and six smaller open basins. These basins gave the name by which the region was traditionally known, The Valleys (Les Valls). The Valira del Norte is the northwest branch of the main river, flowing through the cities of La Massana, Ordino, and El Serrat. The Valira d'Orient is the northeast branch, flowing through Les Escaldes, Encamp, Canillo, Soldeu, and Pas de la Casa.

CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

Temperature

Andorra has a temperate climate, but winters are severe because of the high elevation. Snow completely fills the northern valleys for several months. During the April to October rainy season, rainfall can be heavy and it is reported to exceed 44 in (122 cm) per year in the most mountainous regions.

HUMAN POPULATION

The population is concentrated in the valleys where cities have developed; about 95% of the population lives in these cities, including the capital Andorra la Vella, Les Escaldes, Sant Julìa de Lòria, Encamp, and La Massana.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Deposits of iron ore, lead, alum, and building stones are among the resources exploited in Andorra, although the economy depends to a much greater extent on tourism. Andorra's mountainous terrain attracts about 12 million tourists annually, primarily for skiing and hiking.

FURTHER READINGS

De Cugnac, Pascal. Pyrenees & Gascony: Including Andorra. London: Hachette UK, 2000.

Parishes – Andorra
1999 POPULATION ESTIMATES
Name Population Area (sq mi) Area (sq km) Capital
Andorra la Vella 21,200 22 59 Andorra la Vella
Canillo 2,700 47 121 Canillo
Encamp 10,600 29 74 Encamp
La Massana 6,300 25 65 La Massana
Les Escaldes- Engordany 15,300 * * -
Ordino 2,300 33 85 Ordino
Sant Julia de Uria 7,600 23 60 Sant Julia de Uria
* included in Andorra la Vella
SOURCE : Government of Andorra.

Duursma, Jorri. Self-Determination, Statehood, andInternational Relations of Micro-states. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

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Andorra

Andorra

At a Glance

Official Name: Principality of Andorra

Continent: Europe

Area: 174 square miles (450 sq km)

Population: 67,627

Capital City: Andorra La Vella

Largest City: Andorra La Vella (19,566)

Unit of Money: French franc and Spanish peseta

Major Languages: Catalan (official), French, Castillian

Literacy: 100%

Land Use: 56% meadows, 22% woodland, 2% arable, 20% other

Natural Resources: Mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead

Government: Parliamentary democracy

Defense: Has no defense budget; defense provided by France and Spain

The Place

Andorra is a small, landlocked country in the Pyrenees Mountains. It is bordered to the north and east by France and to the south and west by Spain. Andorra is one of the smallest countries in Europe, measuring just 16 miles (25 km) long and 20 miles (30 km) wide. The country has a fairly temperate climate with cold, snowy winters and warm, dry summers.

Because the majority of Andorra's land is either steep mountain peaks or narrow valleys, hardly any of it can be used for crops or farming. The highest point in the country is the peak of Coma Pedrosa at 9,668 feet (2,947 m). The lowest point in Andorra is La Farga de Moles on its border with Spain at 2,756 feet (840 m). The majority of commercial land is used for grazing animals.

The major river in Andorra is the Gran Valira, located in the southern part of the country. Other rivers include the Valira del Oriente and the Valira del Norte. Marble quarries and iron deposits are found throughout Andorra. Tall pine and birch forests cover most of the mountains.

The People

Only about one-third of the Andorran population was actually born in the country. The remainder of the inhabitants come mostly from Spain, France, and Portugal. About 95% of Andorrans live in urban areas, with approximately two-thirds of the population living in the capital, Andorra La Vella. In smaller hamlets an entire village may consist of just a few dozen people. On average, there are 377 people per square mile (140 people per sq km).

Although the country is small, culture and celebration play a big part in the Andorran way of life. Most towns in the country hold village festivals. During these celebrations, local residents enjoy dancing, singing, and special food and drinks. Many music festivals are held throughout the nation, which include classical and jazz music. Life expectancy is 83 years.

Andorra has become a popular tourist location because of its climate, and it gets many visitors in both summer and winter months. This thriving business employs a good deal of the population and fuels the economy.

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Andorra

ANDORRA

Compiled from the December 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.




Official Name:
Principality of Andorra




PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 468 sq. km. (180 sq. mi.); about half the size of New York City.

Cities: Capital—Andorra la Vella.

Terrain: Mountainous.

Climate: Temperate, cool, dry.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Andorran(s).

Population: 69,150 (2003).

Annual growth rate: 1.06%

Ethnic groups: Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Religion: Roman Catholic.

Languages: Catalan (official), Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Education: Years compulsory—to age 16; Attendance—100%; literacy—100%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—4.06/1,000; life expectancy—81 yrs. male, 87 yrs. female.


Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two Co-princes.

Constitution: Ratified in March 1993.

Independence: 1278.

Branches: Head of State—two Co-princes (President of France, Bishop of Seu d'Urgell in Spain).

Executive—head of government (Cap de Govern) and nine ministers. Legislative—Parliament (founded 1419) consisting of 28 members. Judicial—Civil cases heard in first instance by four judges (batlles) and in appeals by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice. Criminal cases are heard by the Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella.

Subdivisions: Seven parishes (parroquies)—Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Loria, and Escaldes make up the districts represented in the General Council.

Political parties/groups: Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), Andorran Democratic Center Party (ACDP, former Democratic Party, PD) and the Social Democratic Party (PS).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.


Economy

GDP: (2001) $2.2 billion.

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead.

Agriculture: Products—grains, oats, tobacco, sheep.

Industry: Types—tourism, (mainstay of the economy), tobacco products, furniture.

Trade: Major activities are commerce and banking; no official figures are available. Duty-free status.

Official currencies: The Euro.


PEOPLE


Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts between France and northeast Spain. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; Spanish, French, and Portuguese citizens make up 64.01% of the population.


The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Provençal group. French and Spanish also are spoken.


Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish, and Andorran public schools provide education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, but teachers are paid for the most part by France or Spain. About 50% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools; the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schools. Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by the Spanish education system. In July 1997, the University of Andorra was established. Due to its small student body, the University of Andorra is unable to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities.

There are two graduate schools in Andorra—the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.




HISTORY

Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, named the Count of Urgell Overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the Count later gave the lands to the diocese headed by Bishop of Seu d'Urgell.


In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.


In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers. This pareage provided that Andorra's sovereignty would be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell of Spain. The pareage gave the small state its territory and political form.


Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French king Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell as Co-princes of Andorra.


Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in diplomatic activity, transportation, and communications have removed the country from its isolation.




GOVERNMENT

Until recently, Andorra's political system had no clear division of power among executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A Constitution ratified and approved in 1993 changed this, however. The Constitution establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains the two Co-princes as its heads of state.


The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration into the European Union (EU), it should adopt a modern Constitution that guarantees the rights of those living and working there.


Under the 1993 Constitution, the Co-princes continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two Co-princes serve equally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. Each Co-prince, the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell, maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as those dealing with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although some view the institution as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra's traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra's two much larger neighbors.


Andorra's main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic, and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections held every 4 years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required. The most recent general elections took place in March 2001.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies from each of the seven individual parishes have provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, that have as few as 562 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes, which have up to 4,000 voters. To readjust the imbalance this system caused, a provision in the new Constitution introduces a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this new format, half of the representatives are to be chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.


A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve 4-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole. Every 4 years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council. The current council has 10 ministers.


The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the batlles court—a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice.


Andorra has no defense forces and only a small internal police force. All able-bodied men who own firearms must serve, without remuneration, in the small army, which is unique in that all of its men are treated as officers. The army has not fought for more than 700 years, and its main responsibility is to present the Andorran flag at official ceremonies.




POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Andorra held elections in March 2001 and returned Head of Government Marc Forne to power. Three major parties with clear political tenets emerged in those elections: the conservative, ruling, Andorran Liberal Party (PLA) headed by Forne; the Democratic Party (PD), recently renamed as Andorran Democratic Center Party (ADCP); and the more left of center Social Democratic Party (PS). The PLA is a reorganization of the former Liberal Union. The other two were born from the remains of political formations now inactive but which at one time had parliamentary representation. Since the ratification of the Constitution in 1993, three coalition governments have been formed. The current government headed by Marc Forne won an absolute majority with 15 seats; the PD obtained 5 and the PS 6. Forne was sworn in as Cap de Govern, or head of government, on April 12, 2001.


The government continues to address many long-awaited reforms: developing the infrastructure, including an airport and an aerial metro; expanding the social welfare; conserving the environment; and advancing the technology. Perhaps the most urgent issue that the new government is dealing with is the reform of the tax system.


There has been a redefinition of the qualifications for Andorran citizenship, a major issue in a country where only 26,511 of 69,100 residents are legal citizens. In 1995, a law to broaden citizenship was passed, but citizenship remains hard to acquire, with only Andorran nationals being able to transmit citizenship automatically to their children. Lawful residents in Andorra may obtain citizenship after 25 years of residence. Children of residents may opt for Andorran citizenship after 18 if


they have resided most of their lives in Andorra. Birth on Andorran soil does not confer citizenship. Dual nationality is not permitted. Non-citizens are allowed to own only a 33% share of a company. Only after they have resided in the country for 20 years are they entitled to own a 100% of a company. A proposed law to reduce the necessary years from 20 to 10 is pending approval in Parliament.


By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 Constitution has allowed Andorra to begin a shift from an economy based largely on tax-free shopping to one based on tourism and international banking and finance. Despite promising changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for the short term, continue to confront difficult issues arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include dealing with housing scarcities and real estate speculation, developing the tourist industry, and defining relations with the European Union.



Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 7/3/03


Head of Government: Forne Molne, Marc

Head of State (Co-Prince): Vives Sicilia, Joan Enric, Bishop

Head of State (Co-Prince): Chirac, Jacques

Min. of Agriculture & the Environment: Adellach Coma, Olga

Min. of Culture: Montane Atero, Xavier Min. of the Economy: Alvarez Marfany, Miquel

Min. of Education, Youth, & Sports: Cervos Cardona, Pere

Min. of Finance: Maestre Cortadella, Mireia

Min. of Foreign Affairs: Minoves Triquell, Juli

Min. of Health: Codina Tort, Monica

Min. of Justice & Home Affairs: Visent Guitart, Jordi

Min. of the Presidency & Tourism: Pujal Areny, Enric

Min. of Territorial Planning: Serra Malleu, Jordi

Ambassador to the US:

Charge d'Affaires, UN, New York: Pia-Comella, Jelena V.




ECONOMY

Andorra's national income in 2001 was about $2.2 billion, with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labor force.


There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are taxed at lower rates, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra's tax-free status al so has had a significant effect on its relationship with the European Union. Andorran negotiations with the EU began in 1987. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items—mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages.


The results of Andorra's elections thus far indicate that many support the government's reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy prior to the upsurge in tourism. Sheep raising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco grow ing is lucrative. Most of Andorra's food is imported.

In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra's electricity; Spain provides the rest.




FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since the establishment of sovereignty with the ratification of the Constitution in 1993, Andorra has moved to become an active member of the international community. In July 1993, Andorra established its first diplomatic mission, opening a mission at the United Nations. In early 1995, the United States and Andorra established formal diplomatic relations. Andorra also has extended relations to other nations.


Andorra is a full member of the United Nations, including the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Conference for Commerce and Development (UNCCD); International Center of Studies for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM); International Telecommunications Union (ITU); International Red Cross; Universal Copyright Convention; European Council; European Union Telecommunications and Satellite (EUTELSAT); World Tourism Organization; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); Customs Cooperation Council (CCC); Interpol; and International Monetary Fund, among others.




U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS

As noted, the United States established diplomatic relations with Andorra in early 1995. The two countries are on excellent terms. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain also is accredited as Ambassador to Andorra. U.S. Consulate General officials in Barcelona are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of relations with Andorra. The Andorran Mission in New York is accredited to the U.S. Government as well as the United Nations.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Madrid, Spain (E), Serrano 75, 28006 Madrid o PSC 61, APO AE 09642, Tel [34] 91587-2200, Fax 91587-2303. Inward dial (DID) numbers: AMB [34] 91587-2201; DCM 91587-2205; POL 91587-2387; ECO 91587-2286, Fax 91587-2292; ADM 91587-2208, Fax 91587-2209; IRM 91587-2308; DAO 91587-2278; PAO 91587-2500; DEA 91587-2280; FAA 91587-2300; ODC 91549-1339; CON 91587-2236; B&F 91587-2211; HR 91587-2226; RSO 91587-2230; Website: www.embusa.es

AMB: George L. Argyros
AMB OMS: Laura A. Bodtke
DCM: J. Robert Manzanares
MGT: Carol Urban
PAO: James D. Nealon
POL: Kathleen Fitzpatrick
ECO: Judith G. Garber
CON: Alcy R. Frelick
RSO: Randall D. Bennett
IMO: Stephen M. Widenhouse
DAO: CAPT Daniel L. Wenceslao
DEA: Alfredo R. Christlieb
FAA: Kurt Edwards (res. Paris)
FAS: Lloyd J. Fleck
INS: Walter D. Cadman
IRS: Richard S mith (res. Paris)
LEGATT: Eduardo M. Sanchez
NASA: Marcus Watkins
ODC: CAPT Carlos A. Sotomayor
TSA: [Vacant]
USCS: Michael Liikala


Barcelona, Spain (CG) , Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada 23, 08034 Barcelonao PSC 61, Box 0005, APO AE 09642, Tel [34] (93) 280-2227; CG Ext. 204; ADM Ext. 216; CON Ext. 207; PA Ext. 210; FCS Ext. 208/209. CG Fax [34] 93-205-5206; ADM Fax 205-7764; PAO Fax 205-5857; CON Fax 280-6175; COM Fax 205-7705.

CG: Juan A. Alsace
MGT: David J. Cummings
CON: Linda L. Eichblatt
PA: William P. Francisco
USCS: David Hunter



TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet for Spain and Andorra
March 14, 2003


Country Description: Spain and Andorra are both highly developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Spain is a member of the European Union. Additional information on Spain may be obtained from the Tourist Office of Spain (http://www.okspain.org), telephone (212) 265-8822, or via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org. The website of the Spanish Embassy in the United States is http://www.spainemb.org. Additional information on Andorra may be obtained from the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10018; telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.


Entry Requirements: A passport is required for both countries, but a visa is not required for tourist or business stays up to 90 days. Individuals who enter Spain or Andorra without a visa are not authorized to work. American citizens planning to study in Spain should be aware that Spanish immigration regulations require applications for student visas to be submitted 60 days before anticipated travel to Spain.


In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, telephone (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Spanish government websites with information about entry requirements (in Spanish) can be found at www.mae.es and www.mir.es. For further information on entry requirements to Andorra, travelers should contact the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th floor, New York, NY 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.


Dual Nationality: In addition to being subject to all Spanish or Andorran laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on their citizens. For additional information, please see the Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov/dualnationality.html for our Dual Nationality flyer.


Safety and Security: Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents. The Spanish government is vigorously engaged in combating terrorism at home and abroad and has been able to avert many terrorist activities; however, the ETA terrorist organization remains active in Spain. Americans have not been the specific targets of ETA attacks, which have been directed against the police, military, local politicians, and other Spanish government targets. However, in December 2002, ETA reiterated its intention to target Spanish tourist areas, advising that foreign nationals could be among the victims. Since 2000, ETA attacks have resulted in over two dozen fatalities and numerous injuries. In 2001 and 2002, ETA attacks included a number of car-bomb incidents, some occurring in areas frequented by tourists, including the Madrid and Malaga airports. While there were no tourist fatalities from these incidents, there have been a number of injuries. U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

For the latest security information, Americans travel ing abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.


Crime: While most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime and most of the estimated one million American tourists have trouble free visits to Spain each year, street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report incidents of muggings and violent attacks, and older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk. Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATM machines.


In Barcelona, a number of attacks have been reported on Las Ramblas, near the Picasso Museum, in the Gothic Quarter, in Parc Güell, in Plaza Real and on Montjuic. In Madrid, incidents have been reported in most major tourist areas, in the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including Sol and El Rastro flea market, near the Royal Palace and in Plaza Mayor. Travelers should remain alert to their personal security and exercise caution. Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, one credit card, and a copy of their passport; leaving extra cash, credit cards, passports and personal documents in a safe location. When carrying documents, credit cards or cash, you are encouraged to secure them in a hard-to-reach place and not to carry all valuables together in a purse or backpack. Crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages.


Thieves often work in teams or pairs. In most cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplice performs the robbery. For example, someone might wave a map in your face and ask for directions or "inadvertently" spill something on you. While your attention is diverted, an accomplice makes off with the valuables. Attacks have also been initiated from behind, with the victim being grabbed around the neck and choked by one assailant while others rifle through or grab the belongings. A group of assailants may surround the victim, often in a crowded popular tourist area or on public transportation, and only after the group has departed does the person discover he/she has been robbed. Purse-snatchers may grab purses or wallets and run away, or immediately pass the stolen item to an accomplice. A passenger on a passing motorcycle sometimes robs pedestrians. There have been several reports of thieves posing as plainclothes police officers sometimes beckoning to pedestrians from cars. American citizens are encouraged to deal with uniformed law enforcement personnel only. Some attacks have been so violent that victims have needed medical attention.


Theft from vehicles is also common. Items high in value like luggage, cameras, laptop computers, or briefcases are often stolen from cars. Travelers are advised not to leave valuables in parked cars, and to keep doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight when driving. "Good Samaritan" scams are unfortunately common, where a passing car or helpful stranger will attempt to divert the driver's attention by indicating there is a flat tire or mechanical problem. When the driver stops to check the vehicle, the "Good Samaritan" will appear to help the driver and passengers while the accomplice steals from the unlocked car. Drivers should be cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard.

While the incidence of rape and sexual assault is statistically very low, attacks do occur. Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on holiday. Spanish authorities have warned of availability of so-called "date-rape" drugs and other drugs, including "GBH" and liquid ecstasy.


American citizens have been victims of lottery or advance fee scams in which a person is lured to Spain to finalize a financial transaction. Often the victims are initially contacted via internet or fax and informed they have won the Spanish Lottery (El Gordo), inherited money from a distant relative, or are needed to assist in a major financial transaction from one country to another. For more information, please see the information sheet on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/scams.html.


Andorra has a low rate of crime.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.


U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities and Insurance: Good medical care is available. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.


When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.


Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or auto fax (202) 647-3000.

Other Health Information: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect-bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/iht.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Spain and Andorra is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of Public Transportation: Good Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good


Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster-paced than in U.S. cities and can be unnerving due to unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes. Drivers should always obey the closest traffic light, as there are separate pedestrian lights in the city. Drivers should be alert when driving at night in urban areas, due to the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous, because of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Pedestrians should use designated crossing areas when crossing streets and obey traffic lights.

Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent. All major cities have metered taxis, and extra charges must be posted in the vehicle. Travelers are advised to use clearly identified cabs only and to ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter. A green light on the roof indicates that the taxi is available. Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Intercity buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive.


For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Spanish National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at www.okspain.org. For information about driving in Andorra refer to the Andorran website at http://www.andorra.ad.htm.


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain's Civil Aviation Authority as Category 1 — in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.


The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.


Customs Regulations: It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., or one of Spain's consulates in the United States for specific information regard ing customs requirements. This is especially important if you are attempting to send any medications to Spain through postal channels. Spain's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Spanish law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Spain are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. The Madrid City and Balearics Regional Governments have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars. Visitors to Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca should be aware that failure to respect this law might result in the imposition of fines.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone 1-888-407-4747.


Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: Americans living in or visiting Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid or at the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, where they may obtain updated information on travel and security with in Spain or Andorra.


The U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain, is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34)(91) 587-2200, and fax (34)(91) 587-2303. U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or Consular Agency listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is available through the U.S. Embassy's Internet homepage at http://www.embusa.es/indexbis.html.


The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206. Visitors to Barcelona can access additional information from the Consulate General's web page at http://www.embusa.es/barcelonaen.html

There are six Consular Agencies in Spain, which provide limited services to American Citizens, but are not authorized to issue passports.


Fuengirola near Malaga, at Avenida Juan Gomez Juanito #8, Edificio Lucia 1C, 29640, Fuengirola, telephone (34)(952) 474-891 and fax (34)(952) 465-189, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;


La Coruna, at Canton Grande 6, telephone (34)(981) 213-233 and fax (34)(981 22 88 08), hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;


Las Palmas, at Edificio Arca, Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7, telephone (34)(928) 222-552 and fax (34)(928) 225-863, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.;


Palma de Mallorca, Edificio Reina Constanza, Porto Pi, 8, 9-D, 07015 Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Telephone (34)(971) 40-3707 or 40-3905 and fax (34)(971) 40-3971. Hours 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;


Seville, at Paseo de Las Delicias 7, telephone (34)(954) 231-885 and fax (34)(954) 232-040, hours 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;


Valencia, at Doctor Romagosa #1, 2-J, 46002, Valencia telephone (34)(96)-351-6973 and fax (34)(96) 352-9565, hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.

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Andorra

Andorra

POPULATION 68,403
ROMAN CATHOLIC 60 percent
NONRELIGIOUS AND OTHER 40 percent

Country Overview

INTRODUCTION

The Principality of Andorra, a small country of 181 square miles (468 square kilometers), is situated between France and Spain on the south side of the Pyrenees Mountains. Its geographical location and the Catalan language unite Andorrans with the people of the Iberian Peninsula. Historically the majority of Andorrans have been Roman Catholic. Since the 1960s Andorran citizens have represented a minority of the population, while Spanish, Portuguese, and French immigrants have made up the majority.

Andorra has been a parliamentary coprincipality since 1993. Two coprinces, the Catholic bishop of Urgell, Spain, and the president of the French Republic, collectively fulfill the function of head of state, although governmental authority resides in the elected General Council and its cabinet.

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE

Until 1993 Catholicism was the official religion in Andorra, and freedom of worship was only tolerated. The Andorran people and the coprinces have since worked toward changing this situation. The constitution of 1993 respects civil rights, religious freedom, and separation of power between governmental branches, all the while recognizing the preeminence of Catholicism.

Major Religion

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

DATE OF ORIGIN Sixth century c.e.
NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS 41,000

HISTORY

Andorra is part of the Urgell diocese in Catalonia, whose first known bishop was Saint Just (sixth century). It is probable that the people of Andorra were already converted to Christianity at that time. The first official mention of the original six parishes of Andorra dates back to the ninth century. In 843 the bishop of Urgell was granted sovereignty over Andorra, and this deeply affected the development of Andorran Catholicism. In the thirteenth century the count of Foix (France), also holding ruling power in Andorra, came into conflict with the bishop of Urgell. An agreement concerning control of the lands, known as the Paréages, was signed in 1278 under the aegis of Père II, king of Aragon and count of Barcelona. The Paréages partitioned control over of Andorra between the bishop of Urgell and the count of Foix (the rights of latter were subsequently inherited by the president of the French Republic).

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the clergy strictly supervised the population and managed to impose an almost unanimous church attendance. The Catholic Church in Andorra exerted strong control over shaping the moral values of families and communities. Despite the fact that Andorrans married late and their marriages were arranged by families, the number of illegitimate births and pregnancies was low. During this period religious life in Andorra was not intellectual and consisted mainly of communal religious practices and rituals marking important stages of life.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Andorra suffered the repercussions of political events in France and Spain, weakening the position of the Catholic Church in the principality. The abolition of the tithe given to the church and the progressive establishment of universal suffrage led to confrontations between conservatives, partisans of the bishop, and progressives. France, followed by the Spanish state and the Andorran government, thwarted the influence of the episcopal coprince by proposing nondenominational education.

Until 1993 all of Andorra was nominally Catholic according to the parish registers that serve as a record of births, marriages, and deaths. At the start of the twenty-first century, only half of the Andorran population could be considered Catholic according to baptismal and marriage records.

EARLY AND MODERN LEADERS

Saint Just, the first known bishop of Urgell (died 531), has been venerated as a martyr since the eleventh century. He is honored in the chapel of the Cathedral of La Seu d'Urgell.

Joan Marti i Alanis, the bishop of Urgell from 1977 to 2003, played an important role in the democratic evolution of Andorran political institutions and in the change of church attitude toward greater tolerance.

MAJOR THEOLOGIANS AND AUTHORS

In 1748 lawyer Antoni Fiter i Rossell drafted rules and statutes that were published in Le Manual Digest de les Valls d'Andorra. Twenty years later Rev. Antoni Puig revised Rossell's work in Le Politar Andorra, published in 1768. These two books formed the basis of ancient Andorran political institutions, including the status of the Catholic Church. According to the Manual Digest, "The crown of the Andorran Valley is the Roman Catholic religion."

HOUSES OF WORSHIP AND HOLY PLACES

Each of the original six parishes of Andorra has a parish church in its principal town. A seventh parish, Escaldes-Engordany, was established in 1978. All parishes have secondary chapels to serve each village. The Marian sanctuary of Meritxell in the Canillo parish attracts pilgrims from all over the country and constitutes Andorra's major spiritual center. In 1972 Nostra Senyora de Meritxell burned down. A new sanctuary was designed by the Catalan architect R. Bofill, and it was inaugurated in 1976. Nostra Senyora de Meritxell has come to represent the country's recent prosperity and its entry into the modern world.

WHAT IS SACRED?

Andorrans show strong devotion to the Virgin Mary, especially as represented by Nostra Senyora de Meritxell, patron saint of Andorra since 1823. Andorrans attribute the absence of invasion and heresy since the Paréages (1278) to her, and there are numerous popular hymns sung in her honor. According to legend, a shepherd discovered the famous Romanesque statue of Nostra Senyora de Meritxell at the foot of wild rose bush, miraculously in bloom in the middle of winter. The statue, solemnly crowned in 1921, was the object of pilgrimages until it disappeared with its precious crown during the fire in 1972. A copy of the statue occupies a place of honor in the new sanctuary and receives daily homage with flowers and candles.

HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

The Andorran national holiday, on 8 September, celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary. On this day Andorrans make pilgrimages to the sanctuary at Meritxell, where they hold evening vigils, participate in torch-lit processions, and gather for a solemn mass in the morning.

Throughout Andorra young people who are not married organize local festivities. In Ordino each spring residents choose a girl who is beautiful and modest to honor the Virgin Mary, but the religious significance of this feast has diminished.

MODE OF DRESS

Catholics in Andorra do not dress any differently from non-Catholics, even for religious holidays. Andorrans typically wear European style clothing. During village festivals that honor the patron saint of the parish, some Andorrans wear traditional Catalan clothing.

DIETARY PRACTICES

In 1803 Bishop Antoni Dueño y Cisneros obtained for Andorrans the right to eat meat on Fridays, except those Fridays from Ash Wednesday to Easter, when the faithful would have a meatless meal at noon and a snack in the evening. Families who would like the privilege of eating meat on Fridays would purchase from their parish priest a papal bull that would exempt them from abstaining from meat. In contemporary times meatless meals are not obligatory except on Lenten Fridays and Ash Wednesday. Many families still eat fish on Fridays, more for nutritional than for religious reasons.

RITUALS

Sunday Mass in Andorra is similar to that in other Catholic countries, although participation is relatively weak, especially in urban parishes. Each parish organizes an annual festival for a local patron saint. Religious holidays are important occasions for ritual observance in Andorra, and most Andorrans participate in aplechs, joyous gatherings with meals and popular dances.

RITES OF PASSAGE

The sacraments of the Catholic Church, including baptism, first Communion, confirmation, reconciliation, marriage, ordination of priests, and anointing of the sick, make up the rites of passage in Andorra. Couples usually live together before having a church wedding.

MEMBERSHIP

Without government support, Catholicism in Andorra has retreated into a defensive position, losing much of its missionary zeal. Among the various educational systems in the principality, only the Catholic schools (21 percent of the students) and the Spanish schools (18 percent) offer full religious instruction; Andorran public schools (22 percent) offer such instruction only in elementary school, while the French coprince schools (39 percent) offer none. The parishes provide catechism only for children in the primary grades.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

There are two Catholic educational institutions that offer social services. AINA in Canillo organizes summer camps and weekend events for young volunteers who deliver Christian-inspired service to others. The Andorran division of Caritas has developed charitable activities in Andorra and in developing countries.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

The Catholic Church has had to accept that the principality has created civil marriage and instituted divorce. Catholic morality and Andorran legislation forbid abortion and euthanasia.

POLITICAL IMPACT

Although reduced, the political influence of the bishop of Urgell is exercised in the principality through multiple channels, and Catholic priests are paid by the civil authorities. Andorrans have not allowed new religious communities to settle in their country, with the exception of small charitable congregations. On the other hand, Opus Dei, the conservative political and religious Catholic organization founded in Spain in 1928, is well established.

The Catholic religion is a component of the Andorran identity. The national hymn proclaims the Nostra Senyora de Meritxell mother of the country and glorifies the Catholic faith, loyalty to the coprinces, and political neutrality.

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

There is little conflict between the government of Andorra and the Catholic Church, but unresolved issues remain. One is the possible introduction of religious instruction to secondary school students in the Andorran school system. Another is the proposed secularization of the still extensive church property. The church argues that civil authorities cannot levy taxes on church property.

CULTURAL IMPACT

Romanesque chapels and baroque altars are testimony to the artistic contribution of Catholicism within the culture of Andorra. With the exception of the new sanctuary in Meritxell, contemporary religious art is less inspiring.

Other Religions

Members of other religions in Andorra are found primarily among the expatriate populations, such as Anglicans and evangelicals among the British and Muslims among the North Africans. There are also small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as some members of the Unification Church.

Jean-François Galinier-Pallerola

See Also Vol. 1: Roman Catholicism

Bibliography

"Andorra Romanica." In Fundacio Enciclopedia Catalana. Andorra-la-Vella: Govern d'Andorra, 1989.

Armengol Vila, Lidia. Approach to the History of Andorra. Andorra-la-Vella: Institut d'Estudis Andorrans, 1989.

Badia Batalia, Francesc. Assaig sobre el barroc andorra. Andorra-la-Vella: Ed Andorra, 1991.

Degage, Alain, and Antoni Duro. "Que sais-je?" In L'Andorre. Paris: P.U.F., 1998.

Fiter, Ricard, ed. Les llegendes d'Andorra. Andorra-la-Vella: Ed Andorra, 1966.

Galinier-Pallerola, Jean-François. La religion populaire en Andorre. Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1990.

Morgan, Brian. Andorra: The Country in Between. Nottingham, England: Ray Palmer, 1964.

Palau i Marti, Montserrat. Andorra: Historia, institucions, costums. Andorra-la-Vella: Ed Andorra, 1987.

Taylor, Barry, comp. Andorra. Oxford: Clio Press, 1993.

Viader, Roland. L'Andorre du IXème au XIVème siècle, montagne, féodalité, communautés. Toulouse: Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2003.

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Andorra

ANDORRA

Compiled from the January 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Principality of Andorra


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 468 sq. km. (180 sq. mi.); about half the size of New York City.

Cities: Capital–Andorra la Vella.

Terrain: Mountainous.

Climate: Temperate, cool, dry.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective–Andorran(s).

Population: 71,700 (as of December 2003).

Annual growth rate: 0.7%.

Ethnic groups: Catalan, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Religions: Roman Catholic.

Languages: Catalan (official), Spanish, French.

Education: Years compulsory—to age 16. Attendance—100%. Literacy—100%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—3/1,000. Life expectancy—76 yrs. male, 81 yrs. female.

Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

Constitution: Ratified in March 1993.

Independence: 1278.

Branches: Heads of State—Two co-princes (President of France, Bishop of Seu d'Urgell in Spain). Executive—Head of Government (Cap de Govern) and nine ministers. Legislative—Parliament (founded 1419) consisting of 28 members. Judicial—Civil cases heard in first instance by four judges (batlles) and in appeals by the one-judge Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice. Criminal cases are heard by the Tribunal of Courts in Andorra la Vella.

Administrative subdivisions: Seven parishes (parroquies)—Andorra la Vella, Canillo, Encamp, La Massana, Ordino, Sant Julia de Lòria, and Escaldes make up the districts represented in the General Council.

Political parties: Andorran Liberal Party (PLA), Andorran Democrat Center Party (ACDP, former Democratic Party, PD.), and the Social Democratic Party (PS).

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: $2.3 billion (2002).

Natural resources: Hydroelectric power, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead.

Agriculture: Products—tobacco, sheep.

Industry: Types—tourism, (mainstay of the economy), tobacco products, furniture.

Trade: Major activities are commerce and banking; no official figures are available. Duty-free status.

Official currency: Euro.


PEOPLE

Andorrans live in seven valleys that form Andorra's political districts. Andorrans are a minority in their own country; Spanish, French, and Portuguese residents make up 65.2% of the population.

The national language is Catalan, a romance language related to the Provençal groups. French and Spanish are also spoken.

Education law requires school attendance for children up to age 16. A system of French, Spanish, and Andorran public schools provides education up to the secondary level. Schools are built and maintained by Andorran authorities, but teachers are paid primarily by France or Spain. About 50% of Andorran children attend the French primary schools, the rest attend Spanish or Andorran schools. Andorran schools follow the Spanish curriculum, and their diplomas are recognized by the Spanish education system. In July 1997, the University of Andorra was established. The number of students makes it impossible for the University of Andorra to develop a full academic program, and it serves principally as a center for virtual studies, connected to Spanish and French universities. The only two graduate schools in Andorra are the Nursing School and the School of Computer Science.


HISTORY

Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, made Count of Urgell overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the count later gave the lands to the diocese of Urgell, headed by Bishop of Seu d'Urgell.

In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.

In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell of Spain. The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.

Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French King Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.

Given its relative isolation, Andorra has existed outside the mainstream of European history, with few ties to countries other than France and Spain. In recent times, however, its thriving tourist industry along with developments in transportation and communications have removed the country from its isolation.


GOVERNMENT

Until recently, Andorra's political system had no clear division of powers into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. A constitution was ratified and approved in 1993. The constitution establishes Andorra as a sovereign parliamentary democracy that retains as its heads of state two co-princes.

The fundamental impetus for this political transformation was a recommendation by the Council of Europe in 1990 that, if Andorra wished to attain full integration into 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-was formed in 1990 and finalized the draft constitution in April 1991.

Under the 1993 constitution, the co-princes continue as heads of state, but the head of government retains executive power. The two co-princes serve co-equally with limited powers that do not include veto over government acts. They are represented in Andorra by a delegate. As co-princes of Andorra, the President of France and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell maintain supreme authority in approval of all international treaties with France and Spain, as well as all those, which deal with internal security, defense, Andorran territory, diplomatic representation, and judicial or penal cooperation. Although the institution of the co-princes is viewed by some as an anachronism, the majority sees them as both a link with Andorra's traditions and a way to balance the power of Andorra's two much larger neighbors.

Andorra's main legislative body is the 28-member General Council (Parliament). The sindic (president), the subsindic and the members of the Council are elected in the general elections held every four years. The Council meets throughout the year on certain dates set by tradition or as required. The most recent general elections took place in March 2001. New elections are scheduled for April-May 2005.

At least one representative from each parish must be present for the General Council to meet. Historically, within the General Council, four deputies from each of the seven individual parishes have provided representation. This system allowed the smaller parishes, who have as few as 562 voters, the same number of representatives as larger parishes which have up to 4014 voters. To correct this imbalance, a provision in the new constitution introduces a modification of the structure and format for electing the members of the Council; under this new format, half of the representatives are to be chosen by the traditional system, while the other half are selected from nationwide lists.

A sindic and a subsindic are chosen by the General Council to implement its decisions. They serve four-year terms and may be reappointed once. They receive an annual salary. Sindics have virtually no discretionary powers, and all policy decisions must be approved by the Council as a whole. Every four years, after the general elections, the General Council elects the head of government, who, in turn, chooses the other members of the Executive Council. The current council has nine ministers.

The judicial system is independent. Courts apply the customary laws of Andorra, supplemented with Roman law and customary Catalan law. Civil cases are first heard by the batlles court–a group of four judges, two chosen by each co-prince. Appeals are heard in the Court of Appeals. The highest body is the five-member Superior Council of Justice.

Andorra has no defense forces and only a small internal police force. All able-bodied men who own firearms must serve, without remuneration, in the small army, which is unique in that all of its men are treated as officers. The army has not fought for more than 700 years, and its main responsibility is to present the Andorran flag at official ceremonies.


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Andorra held elections in March 2001 and returned the Head of Government Marc Forné to power. The clarification of political ideologies among principal political groupings was strong evidence that democracy is well established in the Principality. Three major parties with clear political tenets emerged: The Conservative, and ruling, Andorran Liberal Party (PLA) of Forné, the Democratic Party (PD) recently renamed as Andorran Democrat Center Party (ADCP), and the more left of center Social Democratic Party (PS). The PLA is a reorganization of the Liberal Union, and the other two were born from the remains of political formations now inactive but which at one time had parliamentary representation. Since the ratification of the constitution in 1993, three coalition governments have been formed. The current government led by Marc Forné won an absolute majority with 15 seats; the PD obtained 5 and the PS 6. Forné was sworn in as Cap de Govern, or Head of Government on April 12, 2001.

The government continues to address many long-awaited reforms: developing infrastructure including an airport and an aerial metro, social welfare expansion, environmental conservation, advances in technology. Perhaps the most urgent issue that the new government will have to deal with is the reform of the tax system.

There has been a redefinition of the qualifications for Andorran citizenship, a major issue in a country where only 23,000 of 71,700 are legal citizens.

In 1995, a law to broaden citizenship was passed but citizenship remains hard to acquire, with only Andorran nationals being able to transmit citizenship automatically to their children. Lawful residents in Andorra may obtain citizenship after 25 years of residence. Children of residents may opt for Andorran citizenship after 18 if they have resided virtually all of their lives in Andorra. Mere birth on Andorran soil does not confer citizenship. Dual nationality is not permitted. Non-citizens are allowed to own only a 33% share of a company. Only after they have resided in the country for 20 years, will they be entitled to own 100% of a company. A proposed law to reduce the necessary years from 20 to 10 is pending approval in Parliament.

By creating a modern legal framework for the country, the 1993 constitution has allowed Andorra to begin a shift from an economy based largely on tax-free shopping to one based on tourism and international banking and finance. Despite promising new changes, it is likely that Andorra will, at least for the short term, continue to confront a number of difficult issues arising from the large influx of foreign residents and the need to develop modern social and political institutions. In addition to questions of Andorran nationality and immigration policy, other priority issues will include dealing with housing scarcities and speculation in real state, developing the tourist industry, and defining their relationship with the European Union.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 4/16/04

Head of Government: Forne Molne , Marc
Head of State (Co-Prince): Vives Sicilia , Joan Enric, Bishop
Head of State (Co-Prince): Chirac , Jacques
Min. of Agriculture & the Environment: Adellach Coma , Olga
Min. of Culture: Montane Atero , Xavier
Min. of the Economy: Alvarez Marfany , Miquel
Min. of Education, Youth, & Sports: Cervos Cardona , Pere
Min. of Finance: Maestre Cortadella , Mireia
Min. of Foreign Affairs: Minoves i Triquell , Juli
Min. of Health: Codina Tort , Monica
Min. of Justice & Home Affairs: Visent Guitart , Jordi
Min. of the Presidency & Tourism: Pujal Areny , Enric
Min. of Territorial Planning: Serra Malleu , Jordi
Ambassador to the US:
Charge d'Affaires, UN, New York: Pia-Comella , Jelena V.


ECONOMY

Andorra's national income in 2002 was approximately $2.3 billion, with tourism as its principal component. Attractive for shoppers from France and Spain because of low taxes, the country also has developed active summer and winter tourist resorts. With some 270 hotels and 400 restaurants, as well as many shops, the tourist trade employs a growing portion of the domestic labor force.

There is a fairly active trade in consumer goods, including imported manufactured items, which, because they are taxed at lower rates, are less expensive in Andorra than in neighboring countries. Andorra's tax-free status has also had a significant effect on its relationship with the European Union. Its negotiations with the Union began in 1987. An agreement that went into effect in July 1991 sets duty-free quotas and places limits on certain items-mainly milk products, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. Andorra is permitted to maintain price differences from other EU countries, and visitors enjoy limited duty-free allowances.

The results of Andorra's elections thus far indicate that many support the government's reform initiatives and believe Andorra must, to some degree, integrate into the European Union in order to continue to enjoy its prosperity. Although less than 2% of the land is arable, agriculture was the mainstay of the Andorran economy until the upsurge in tourism. Sheep rising has been the principal agricultural activity, but tobacco growing is lucrative. Most of Andorra's food is imported.

In addition to handicrafts, manufacturing includes cigars, cigarettes, and furniture for domestic and export markets. A hydroelectric plant at Les Escaldes, with a capacity of 26.5 megawatts, provides 40% of Andorra's electricity; Spain provides the rest.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Since the establishment of sovereignty with the ratification of the constitution in 1993, Andorra has moved to become an active member of the international community. In July 1993, Andorra established its first diplomatic mission in the world, to the United Nations. In early 1995, the United States and Andorra established formal diplomatic relations. Andorra has also expanded relations with other nations.

Andorra is a full member of the United Nations (UN), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development (UNCCD), International Center of Studies for Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ICCROM), Telecommunications International Union (UIT), International Red Cross, Universal Copyright Convention, European Council, EUTELSAT, World Tourism Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), Interpol, and International Monetary Fund among others. Since 1991, Andorra has had a special agreement with the European Union.


U.S.-ANDORRAN RELATIONS

As noted, the United States established diplomatic relations with Andorra in February 21, 1995. The two countries are on excellent terms. The U.S. Ambassador to Spain is also accredited as Ambassador to Andorra. United States Consulate General officials based in Barcelona are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of relations with Andorra.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

MADRID (E) Address: C/Serrano 75; APO/FPO: PSC 61 Box, APO AE 09642; Phone: (34) 91-587-2200; Fax: (34) 91-587-2303; INMARSAT Tel: 8816-763-10973; Workweek: 09:00 to 18:00; Website: www.embusa.es

DCM:J. Robert Manzanares
DCM/CHG:J. Robert Manzanares
DCM OMS:Sally Camp
CG:Alcy Frelick
POL:Kathleen Fitzpatrick
MGT:Michael S. Hoza
AFSA:Robert Riley
AGR:Stephen Hammond
DAO:Capt. Daniel Wenceslao
DEA:Alfredo Christlieb
ECO:Whitney Baird
FAA/CASLO:Stephen Perez
FMO:Leticia Macapinlac
GSO:Margaret Kurtz-Randall
ICASS Chair:James Nealon
IMO:Stephen M Widenhouse
INS:Dan Cadman
IPO:William T. Bonnett, II
ISO:Jerry W. Robertson
ISSO:Jerry W. Robertson
LEGATT:Eduardo Sanchez
PAO:James Nealon
RSO:Randall Bennett
Last Updated: 1/25/2005

BARCELONA (CG) Address: Reina Elisenda de Montcada 23; APO/FPO: PSC 61, Box 5, APO AE 09642; Phone: 34 93 280 2227; Fax: (34) (93) 205 5206; Workweek: Mon to Fri, 08:30-17:30

CG:Juan Alsace
COM:James Fluker
CON:Linda Eichblatt
MGT:David Cummings
CLO:Embassy Madrid
IMO:Embassy Madrid
PAO:Vacant
Last Updated: 9/3/2004

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

Spain and Andorra
December 10, 2004

Country Description: Spain and Andorra are both highly developed and stable democracies with modern economies. Spain is a member of NATO and the European Union. Additional information on Spain may be obtained from the Tourist Office of Spain, telephone (212) 265-8822, or via the Internet at http://www.okspain.org. The website of the Spanish Embassy in the United States is http://www.spainemb.org. Additional information on Andorra may be obtained from the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25 th Floor, New York, New York 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport is required for both countries. U.S. citizens can stay without a visa for a tourist/business stay of up to 90 days. That period begins when you enter any of the Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Individuals who enter Spain or Andorra without a visa are not authorized to work. American citizens planning to study in Spain should be aware that Spanish immigration regulations require applications for student visas to be submitted 60 days before anticipated travel to Spain.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information concerning entry requirements for Spain, travelers should contact the Embassy of Spain at 2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, telephone (202) 728-2330, or the nearest Spanish consulate in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, or San Juan. Spanish government websites with information about entry requirements (in Spanish) can be found at www.mae.es and www.mir.es. For further information on entry requirements to Andorra, travelers should contact the Andorran Mission to the U.N., 2 U.N. Plaza, 25th floor, New York, NY 10018, telephone (212) 750-8064 or via the Internet at http://www.andorra.ad. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Spain and Andorra and other countries. Visit the Embassy of Spain and Andorra web sites for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: Spain and Andorra share with the rest of the world an increased threat of international terrorist incidents. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Spain's open borders with its Western European neighbors allow the possibility of terrorist groups entering and exiting the country with anonymity. Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

In the deadliest terrorist attack in recent European history, on March 11, 2004, Islamic extremists bombed four commuter trains entering Madrid, causing 191 deaths and over 1,400 injuries. The government continues to investigate the attacks and to arrest suspects.

The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorist organization remains active in Spain, although it has been weakened since 2003 by the arrests of several of its top leaders and seizures of caches of weapons and documents from France. Historically ETA attacks have been directed against the police, military, local politicians, and Spanish government targets. However, for the past several years, ETA has conducted a "summer campaign" consisting of low-potency bomb attacks targeting Spanish tourist areas. In early December 2004, ETA detonated twelve small bombs in several cities in Spain, causing a small number of injuries and limited damage. Also in the summer of 2004, ETA set off several small bombs in tourist areas in the north of Spain, which resulted in minor injuries. In December 2003, Spanish police thwarted an ETA attempt to bomb a train loaded with pre-holiday travelers. On March 1, 2004, Spanish authorities intercepted 500 kilograms of explosives, which suspected ETA terrorists were taking to Madrid. ETA attacks have traditionally included a number of car-bomb incidents, some occurring in areas frequented by tourists, in which some Americans have been injured. ETA sponsored street violence, known as "kale borroka" occurs periodically in the Basque Country and Navarre. U.S. tourists traveling to Spain should remain vigilant, exercise caution, monitor local developments, and avoid demonstrations and other potentially violent situations.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-317-472-2328. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

Crime: While most of Spain has a moderate rate of crime and most of the estimated one million American tourists have trouble free visits to Spain each year, street crimes against tourists occur in the principal tourist areas. Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, report increasing incidents of muggings and violent attacks, some of which have been so violent that victims have needed medical attention. Although crimes occur at all times of day and night and to people of all ages, older tourists and Asian Americans seem to be particularly at risk. Criminals frequent tourist areas and major attractions such as museums, monuments, restaurants, outdoor cafes, Internet cafes, hotel lobbies, beach resorts, city buses, subways, trains, train stations, airports, and ATM machines.

In Barcelona, a number of attacks have been reported on Las Ramblas, near the Picasso Museum, in the Gothic Quarter, in Parc Güell, in Plaza Real and on Montjuic. In Madrid, incidents have been reported in major tourist areas, including the area near the Prado Museum, near Atocha train station, in Retiro Park, in areas of old Madrid including Sol and El Rastro flea market, near the Royal Palace and in Plaza Mayor.

Travelers should remain alert to their personal security and exercise caution. Travelers are encouraged to carry limited cash, only one credit card, and a copy of their passport; leaving extra cash, extra credit cards, passports and personal documents in a safe location. When carrying documents, credit cards or cash, you are encouraged to secure them in a hard-to-reach place and not to carry all valuables together in a purse or backpack.

Thieves often work in teams or pairs. In most cases, one person distracts a victim while the accomplice performs the robbery. For example, someone might wave a map in your face and ask for directions or "inadvertently" spill something on you. While your attention is diverted, an accomplice makes off with the valuables. Thieves may drop coins or keys at your feet to distract you and try to take your belongings while you are trying to help. Attacks are sometimes initiated from behind, with the victim being grabbed around the neck and choked by one assailant while others rifle through or grab the belongings. A group of assailants may surround the victim in a crowded popular tourist area or on public transportation, and only after the group has departed does the person discover he/she has been robbed. Purse-snatchers may grab purses or wallets and run away, or immediately pass the stolen item to an accomplice. A passenger on a passing motorcycle sometimes robs pedestrians. There have been several reports of thieves posing as plain-clothes police officers sometimes beckoning to pedestrians from cars and sometimes confronting them on the street and asking for documents. American citizens are encouraged to deal with uniformed law enforcement personnel only.

Theft from vehicles is also common. Items high in value like luggage, cameras, laptop computers, or briefcases are often stolen from cars. Travelers are advised not to leave valuables in parked cars, and to keep doors locked, windows rolled up and valuables out of sight when driving. "Good Samaritan" scams are unfortunately common, where a passing car or "helpful" stranger will attempt to divert the driver's attention by indicating there is a flat tire or mechanical problem. When the driver stops to check the vehicle, the "Good Samaritan" will appear to help the driver and passengers while the accomplice steals from the unlocked car. Drivers should be cautious about accepting help from anyone other than a uniformed Spanish police officer or Civil Guard.

While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically very low, attacks do occur. Spanish authorities have warned of availability of so-called "date-rape" drugs and other drugs, including "GBH" and liquid ecstasy. Americans should not lower their personal security awareness because they are on vacation.

A number of American citizens have been victims of lottery or advance fee scams in which a person is lured to Spain to finalize a financial transaction. Often the victims are initially contacted via internet or fax and informed they have won the Spanish Lottery (El Gordo), inherited money from a distant relative, or are needed to assist in a major financial transaction from one country to another. For more information, please see the information sheet on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/scams.html.

Andorra has a low rate of crime.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. Posts in countries that have victims of crime assistance programs should include that information. See our information on Victims of Crime at http://travel.state.gov/travel/brochure_victim_assistance.html.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Good medical care is available in both Spain and Andorra. The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance companies prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties, whereas travelers who have purchased overseas medical insurance have found it to be life saving when a medical emergency has occurred. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Spain and Andorra is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic in Madrid and Barcelona is faster-paced than in U.S. cities and can be unnerving due to unfamiliar signs or motorbikes weaving between traffic lanes. Drivers should always obey the closest traffic light, as there are separate pedestrian lights in the city. Drivers should be alert when driving at night in urban areas, due to the possibility of encountering drivers or pedestrians under the influence of alcohol. Night driving in isolated rural areas can be dangerous, because of farm animals and poorly marked roads. Rural traffic is generally heavier in July and August as well as during the Christmas and Easter seasons. New traffic regulations went into effect in Spain on January 30, 2004. Of particular note is the prohibition on the use of a mobile phone without a hands-free device while driving a car. There is a fine of 150 euros for violation of this regulation and loss of driving privileges. In addition, all drivers are required to carry a reflective vest and to put it on if they need to stop on the roadside. Pedestrians should use designated crossing areas when crossing streets and obey traffic lights.

Public transportation in large cities is generally excellent. All major cities have metered taxis, and extra charges must be posted in the vehicle. Travelers are advised to use only clearly identified cabs and to ensure that taxi drivers always switch on the meter. A green light on the roof indicates that the taxi is available. Rail service is comfortable and reliable, but varies in quality and speed. Inter-city buses are usually comfortable and inexpensive.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Spanish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Spanish National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at www.okspain.org. For information about driving in Andorra refer to the Andorran website at http://www.andorra.ad.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Spain as being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for oversight of Spain air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Andorra, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Andorra's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's Internet web site at www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm.

Special Circumstances: It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., or one of Spain's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. This is especially important if you are attempting to send any medications to Spain through postal channels. Spain's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.uscib.org for details.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offences. Persons violating Spain or Andorra's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Spain and Andorra are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The Madrid City and Balearics Regional Governments have banned the consumption of alcohol in the street, other than in registered street cafes and bars. Visitors to Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca should be aware that failure to respect this law might result in the imposition of fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/index.html.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Spain or Andorra are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Serrano 75; telephone (34)(91) 587-2200, and fax (34)(91) 587-2303. U.S. citizens who register in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or one of the Consular Agencies listed below can obtain updated information on travel and security within Spain or Andorra. Additional information is available through the U.S. Embassy's Internet homepage at http://www.embusa.es/indexbis.html.

The U.S. Consulate in Barcelona is located at Paseo Reina Elisenda 23-25; telephone (34)(93) 280-2227 and fax (34)(93) 205-5206. Visitors to Barcelona can access additional information from the Consulate General's web page at http://www.embusa.es/barcelonaen.html

For Andorra, please contact the U.S. Consulate in Barcelona.

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