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ANDORRA

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suze
310162.  Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:40 pm Reply with quote

How have we managed to go so long without covering Andorra, a glorious impractical country high in the Pyrenees?

Andorra is the world's only co-principality. That is to say, it's nominally ruled by both the president of France (as successor to the King of Navarre) and the Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, a small town in Catalunya. In the past, both France and Spain have intervened to stop the other attempting to seize Andorra.

In 1934, there was a bizarre attempt to stage a coup d'état in Andorra. A man calling himself Boris Skossyreff proclaimed himself as Prince Boris I and promptly declared war on Spain. His background is unclear, but he seems to have been a Pole from Majorca. There's a lot of them about, you know.

Andorra has no regular armed forces, but any man who owns a gun may be asked to perform military service. So should you ever decided to follow in Boris's footsteps, you'd have a bunch of middle aged men toting hunting rifles with which to contend.

Andorra didn't have a constitution until 1993, and hence isn't saddled with archaic provisions. Censorship of any kind is utterly forbidden, and payment of income tax is voluntary. The unemployment rate is negative; that is to say, more people work in Andorra than live there.

At French prompting, Andorra declared war on Germany during the First World War. Unfortunately, the French forgot about this when the Treaty of Versailles was being negotiated, and hence Andorra remained at war with Germany until 1958.

With no airport and no railways, getting to Andorra isn't easy - but plenty of people do, whether for the skiing, for the healthy climate (longest life expectancy at birth on Earth), or just for the fact that a packet of cigarettes costs about a pound.

 
Stefan Linnemann
348090.  Thu May 29, 2008 9:37 pm Reply with quote

Odd, that. Given that allegedly the "Tour de France", the "Vuelta" and the Tour of Cataluña organise a stage in Andorra alternatingly (alternately?). So at least once every three years a lot of people hear it mentioned.

I like the notion of a mountain principality. One immediately thinks of an outlaw state,that got rich on smuggling and then got civilized from sheer bloodymindedness.
I've forgotten what the real origin of its independence is., but I'm sure my history teacher must have mentioned it

Stefan.

 
Sadurian Mike
348092.  Thu May 29, 2008 9:42 pm Reply with quote

Stefan Linnemann wrote:
I like the notion of a mountain principality. One immediately thinks of an outlaw state,that got rich on smuggling and then got civilized from sheer bloodymindedness.

One of the "nations" I have detailed for my fantasy game world has a few tiny mountain countries/strongholds, all limited by the size a self-proclaimed ruler can grab and hold with his immediate followers.

Andorra was one of the countries to which I looked for inspiration (China and the Balkans being others).

 
suze
348239.  Fri May 30, 2008 5:44 am Reply with quote

Ah, Stefan, long time no hear!


Charlemagne created Andorra as part of a buffer zone between Moorish Spain and Christian France - there were eighteen tiny states in the so called Spanish March, forming a continuous line from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean.

Most of these were ultimately absorbed into France, but Andorra remained independent. In the thirteenth century, a succession dispute arose, which was resolved by exercising the Wisdom of Solomon and cutting jurisdiction over Andorra into two.

 
Blackpool Rule
348363.  Fri May 30, 2008 8:29 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Stefan Linnemann wrote:
I like the notion of a mountain principality. One immediately thinks of an outlaw state,that got rich on smuggling and then got civilized from sheer bloodymindedness.

One of the "nations" I have detailed for my fantasy game world has a few tiny mountain countries/strongholds, all limited by the size a self-proclaimed ruler can grab and hold with his immediate followers.

Andorra was one of the countries to which I looked for inspiration (China and the Balkans being others).


is this a game i could play

 
Stefan Linnemann
349507.  Sat May 31, 2008 8:23 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Ah, Stefan, long time no hear!


Yeah, life got a bit in the way, but the good news is, now I do know which card I'm missing to make a full deck, It turns out, I'm an Asparagus. Ergo, I belong in a bed, and given the time-of-day, I should probably head there.

In more scientific terms, I have Asperger Syndrome. I've known most my life I didn't quite fit, and now finally I know I'm a myriad-edged block in a round-hole world.

Anyway, I'll be popping by now and again once more. So long as people here keep tickling my fancy.

 
Ian Dunn
384047.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:54 pm Reply with quote

One of my favourite Mitch Benn songs in The Now Show concerns Andorra. Benn was ironically praising England for beating Andorra in a football match. The song goes as follows.

Quote:
Of all the football nations of which you might hear,
One above all is admired and feared,
Sandwiched in between Spain and France,
Lives the team against whom nobody ever stands a change.

ANDORRA!
It's a principality.
ANDORRA!
Twice the size of Washington D.C.
ANDORRA!
They're taking everybody on,
With their population of seventy-one thousand, two hundred and one!

This little country packs some many smiles,
Into it's one hundred and eighty-one square miles,
They play football like their going to war,
No wonder it took England fifty-three minutes to score.

ANDORRA!
It's a tax haven so fine.
ANDORRA!
Just like a warmer Lichtenstein.
ANDORRA!
They picked their best eleven from,
Their population of seventy-one thousand, two hundred and one!

 
legspin
384199.  Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:01 pm Reply with quote

Stefan Linnemann wrote:


I like the notion of a mountain principality. One immediately thinks of an outlaw state,that got rich on smuggling and then got civilized from sheer bloodymindedness.

Stefan.


Along these lines I lament the loss of the Freeports like Tangiers.

 
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk
1246469.  Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:19 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
How have we managed to go so long without covering Andorra, a glorious impractical country high in the Pyrenees?

Andorra is the world's only co-principality. That is to say, it's nominally ruled by both the president of France (as successor to the King of Navarre) and the Bishop of La Seu d'Urgell, a small town in Catalunya. In the past, both France and Spain have intervened to stop the other attempting to seize Andorra.

In 1934, there was a bizarre attempt to stage a coup d'état in Andorra. A man calling himself Boris Skossyreff proclaimed himself as Prince Boris I and promptly declared war on Spain. His background is unclear, but he seems to have been a Pole from Majorca. There's a lot of them about, you know.

Andorra has no regular armed forces, but any man who owns a gun may be asked to perform military service. So should you ever decided to follow in Boris's footsteps, you'd have a bunch of middle aged men toting hunting rifles with which to contend.

Andorra didn't have a constitution until 1993, and hence isn't saddled with archaic provisions. Censorship of any kind is utterly forbidden, and payment of income tax is voluntary. The unemployment rate is negative; that is to say, more people work in Andorra than live there.

At French prompting, Andorra declared war on Germany during the First World War. Unfortunately, the French forgot about this when the Treaty of Versailles was being negotiated, and hence Andorra remained at war with Germany until 1958.

With no airport and no railways, getting to Andorra isn't easy - but plenty of people do, whether for the skiing, for the healthy climate (longest life expectancy at birth on Earth), or just for the fact that a packet of cigarettes costs about a pound.


Just a few further facts:

A. Andorra didn't declare a national budget till 1954
B. The French President is the only president who's also a monarch, being co-prince of Andorra.
C. The place doesn't have it's own postal service - it's mails are operated by France and Spain.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1246472.  Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:53 pm Reply with quote

Re airport, Andorra is served by Aeroport Pirineus – la Seu d’Urgel which is in Catalonia about 25 km south of Andorra la Vella. That gives Andorra a much better claim for its airport than London has for two of its six.

Oh, and Andorra's official language is Catalan.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
suze
1246484.  Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:24 pm Reply with quote

duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
B. The French President is the only president who's also a monarch, being co-prince of Andorra.


One could perhaps argue for Malaysia, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (usually called "King" in English) is elected to a five year term by the nine sultans. Only the sultans are eligible for the position, and in practice there is a rota so Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang can expect to be next.

Otherwise, former US President Gerald Ford was undoubtedly also a King ...


AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Oh, and Andorra's official language is Catalan.


La llengua oficial de l'Estat és el català. It says so in that constitution. So quite why the last pub quiz I attended insisted that the two official languages were French and Spanish, you'd have to ask the guy who wrote it.

 
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk
1246575.  Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:55 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
duglasbell@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
B. The French President is the only president who's also a monarch, being co-prince of Andorra.


One could perhaps argue for Malaysia, where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (usually called "King" in English) is elected to a five year term by the nine sultans. Only the sultans are eligible for the position, and in practice there is a rota so Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang can expect to be next.

Otherwise, former US President Gerald Ford was undoubtedly also a King ...


AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Oh, and Andorra's official language is Catalan.


La llengua oficial de l'Estat és el català. It says so in that constitution. So quite why the last pub quiz I attended insisted that the two official languages were French and Spanish, you'd have to ask the guy who wrote it.


Conversely, something similar could be said about the President of the United Arab Emirates who is chosen from amongst the individual emirs of all the states

 
suze
1246588.  Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:45 pm Reply with quote

That is true, although in practice it's always the Emir of Abu Dhabi.

At such time as HH Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan dies, the seven Emirs will get together and appoint a new President. But it has never been anyone other than the oldest son of the recently deceased Emir of Abu Dhabi.


Another case worthy of a mention in passing is Cambodia. It's a monarchy, but there is no concept of heir to the throne. Cambodia is largely controlled by two families, the House of Norodom and the House of Sisowath. When the king dies the two families have a conference, and a new king is chosen by acclamation - or at least, that it how it is presented for public consumption.

There have been several marriages between the two dynasties and so it's fairly likely that whoever is chosen will have a connexion to both families. The last five kings have had Norodom fathers, but the next may not. The current king Norodom Sihamoni is 64 and has never married and - in an extremely coded way - his father once told a journalist that Sihamoni was gay. (Which is more socially acceptable in Cambodia than in most of Asia. Same sex activity is legal and persecution of gay people is all but unknown.)

While King Norodom Sihamoni doesn't often speak to the world's media, on the rare occasions that he does so he speaks in Czech. He lived in Prague from the ages of 9 to 22, and apparently is more fluent in that language than in Khmer.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1246631.  Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:37 am Reply with quote

According to Wiki HRH Norodom Sihanouk told the media that his son "loves women as his sisters". That, my dear, is not an extremely coded way. That strikes me as the Southeast Asian equivalent of "he puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars".

Wiki also tells me that his majesty has a degree in classical dance and used to teach ballet in Paris before domestic politics called him home. Definitely not yer ordinary run of the mill type of king there.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
'yorz
1246633.  Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:16 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
The current king Norodom Sihamoni is 64 and has never married and - in an extremely coded way - his father once told a journalist that Sihamoni was gay.


AlmondFacialBar wrote:
According to Wiki HRH Norodom Sihanouk told the media that his son "loves women as his sisters". That, my dear, is not an extremely coded way. That strikes me as the Southeast Asian equivalent of "he puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars".


Being gay and being a transvestite are not the same thing, mind.
Norodom Sr's description hints more at the former.

 

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