Principality of Andorra
CAPITAL : Andorra la Vella
FLAG : The national flag is a tricolor of blue, yellow, and red vertical stripes. 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. As of May 2003, €1 = $1.0977 (or $1 = €0.911).
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.
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.
Native Andorrans made up only about 33% of the total population in 1998; they are of Catalan stock. About 43% of the population was Spanish, 11% were Portuguese, and about 7% were French. About 6% are from other groups.
The official language is Catalan. French and Castilian are also spoken.
Andorra was admitted to the UN on 28 July 1993. It participates in the ECE, ICAO, ITU, OSCE, UNESCO, WHO, WIPO, WTOO, and is an observer at the WTO. It is also a member of the Council of Europe.
The streams are full of trout and other freshwater fish, but Andorra imports most fish for domestic consumption from Spain.
About 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres), or 22% of the total land area, is forested. Fuel wood may be freely gathered by anyone, but it may not be bought or sold. Wood needed for building purposes is cut in rotation from a different district each year. For centuries logs have been shipped to Spain. Most reforestation is in pines.
For hundreds of years, Andorran forges were famous in northern Spain. There are still iron ore deposits in the valley of Ordino and in many of the mountain areas, but access to them is difficult. In addition to iron, small amounts of lead are still mined, and alum and building stones are extracted. The sulfurous waters of Les Escaldes are used in washing wool.
The largest hydroelectric plant, at Encamp, has a capacity of 26.5 MW and provides about 40% of Andorra's electric power needs, with most of the remainder being imported from Spain. The total installed capacity in 1991 was 35,000 kW. Energy production in 1992 totaled 140 million kWh.
There are four gas companies, with Andor Gas supplying propane and the others butane.
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.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 1998 the purchasing power parity of Andorra's exports was $580 million while imports totaled $1.077 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $497 million.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 1997 Andorra's central government took in revenues of approximately $385 million and had expenditures of $342 million. Overall, the government registered a surplus of approximately $43 million.
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.
No recent information is available about foreign investment in Andorra. Its lack of taxation has long made it a tax haven and a refuge for smugglers.
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.
Infant mortality was estimated at 4 per 1,000 births in 1999; life expectancy was estimated at 83.5 years. 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 1998, Andorra had 2.5 physicians, 2.8 nurses, 0.09 midwives, 0.5 dentists, and 0.9 pharmacists per 1,000 people.
There are no internationally famous Andorrans.
Andorra has no territories or colonies.
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