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Coat of arms of Andorra

Andorra (/ænˈdɔːrə/ (About this soundlisten), also UK: /ænˈdɒrə/; Catalan: [ənˈdorə]), officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the Count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell, and the present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two Princes: the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain, and the President of France.

Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 square kilometres (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 77,281. The Andorran people are a Romance ethnic group of originally Catalan descent. Andorra is the 16th-smallest country in the world by land and the 11th-smallest by population. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 feet) above sea level. The official language is Catalan, however, Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

Tourism in Andorra sees an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. Andorra is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is its official currency. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1993. In 2013, Andorra had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Selected article

The Estadi Comunal Aixovall, Andorra's home football stadium
The Andorran national football team (Catalan: Selecció de futbol d'Andorra) is the Andorran national association football team and is controlled by the Andorran Football Federation. The team done badly in international competitions, due in part to Andorra's very small population, the fourth smallest of any country in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Andorra's first official game was in 1996 against Estonia in Andorran capital Andorra la Vella, which it lost 6-1. Andorra has competed in the qualification games for every FIFA World cup since 2000, but has had very little success. Andorra has only won a competitive match once, in 2006 against Macedonia.

In the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying competitions the Andorran team did very badly, losing all ten matches.

Selected biography

Macron in 2017

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (French: [emanɥɛl ʒɑ̃ miʃɛl fʁedeʁik makʁɔ̃]; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been President of France since May 2017.

Born in Amiens, Macron studied philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, later completing a Masters in Public Affairs at Sciences Po and graduating from the École nationale d'administration in 2004. He worked as a senior civil servant at the Inspectorate General of Finances and later became an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.

Macron was appointed a Deputy Secretary General by President François Hollande shortly after his election in May 2012, making Macron one of Hollande's senior advisers. He was later appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of the Economy and Industry in August 2014 by Prime Minister Manuel Valls. In this role, Macron championed a number of business-friendly reforms. He resigned from the Cabinet in August 2016, launching a campaign for the 2017 presidential election. Although Macron had been a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009, he ran in the election under the banner of a centrist political movement he founded in April 2016, En Marche.

Though initially behind in opinion polls, Macron topped the ballot in the first round of voting, and was elected President of France on 7 May 2017 with 66.1% of the vote in the second round, defeating Marine Le Pen. He quickly appointed Édouard Philippe as Prime Minister, and in the legislative elections a month later, Macron's party, renamed "La République En Marche!" (LREM), secured a majority in the National Assembly. At the age of 39, Macron became the youngest President in French history.

As President of France, Macron also serves ex officio as one of the two Co-Princes of Andorra. His chief of staff Patrick Strzoda serves as his representative in this capacity.


Selected picture

Pas de la casa from FIS.jpg
Andorran ski resort El Pas de la Casa

Picture of the month

A ski slope in Andorra. Andorra is known for its skiing.

Did you know?

  • ...that Andorra is the only country where Catalan is the sole official language, even though only about 31,000 of the 11,530,160 speakers live there?
  • ...that Andorra is the only country in the world to have an elected monarch? (One of the Co-Princes of Andorra is elected as the President of France by the people of that country).
  • ...that, although it is not a member of the European Union, Andorra uses the euro?


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