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Andorra

Small independent state on the Franco-Spanish border, in the Pyrenees Mountains, between the French departments of Ariege and Pyrenees-Orientales and the Spanish province of Lerida. It has long been a center for smugglers. It was freed from Muslim rule by Charlemagne in a.d. 801. Andorra, then part of the country of Urgel, was placed by treaty in 1278 under the joint suzerainty of the bishops of Urgel and the counts of Foix. It still pays homage to both France and Spain each year by a gift of a small sum of money to each. The nation prospers with tourism, duty free shopping, and banking as a tax haven. In 1999, Andorra switched currency to the Euro. Though not in the European Union, Andorra enjoys a special status, treated as a member for trade in manufactured goods, but not for agricultural goods.


     

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