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Introduction: For 715 years, from 1278 to 1993, Andorrans lived under a unique co-principality, ruled by French and Spanish leaders (from 1607 onward, the French chief of state and the Spanish bishop of Seu d'Urgell). In 1993, this feudal system was modified with the titular heads of state retained, but the government transformed into a parliamentary democracy. For decades Andorra enjoyed its status as a small refuge of fiscal and banking freedom and benefitted from Spanish and French tourists attracted to the country's duty-free shopping. The situation has changed in recent years as Andorra started to tax foreign investment and other sectors. Tourism...

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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 ...

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International Relations: Andorra shares close and beneficial relations with Spain and France. Andorra has no trained armed forces, relying on her large neighbours to protect and assist in her defence. In 1993 Andorra became a member of the UN, thereby gaining international recognition. This in turn has seen Andorra establish diplomatic and trade relations with numerous countries, especially in the Far East. Although not a member of the EU, and in addition to being a member of its Customs Union, Andorra entered into a Co-operation Agreement with the EU that came into effect as of 1 July 2005. This means that Andorra is able to participate in and benefit from some of ...

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