Republic of San Marino
Area: 60 sq. km.; about one-third the size of
Cities: Capital--San Marino (pop. 4,482).
Other cities--Serravalle, Borgo Maggiore,
Terrain: Rugged mountains.
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool winters;
warm, sunny summers.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Sammarinese.
Population (12-31-2002): 28,753
Ethnic groups: Sammarinese, Italian.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
Health: Infant mortality rate-3.3/1,000
live birth rates (2004). Life expectancy-78.6
for men and 84.9 for women (2004).
Work force: approx 18,000.
Type: Republic. Constitution: October 8, 1600,
electoral law of 1926 and manuscript of rights
(1974) serve some of the functions of the
Branches: Executive--Captains Regent
(co-chiefs of state), Congress of State
(cabinet) elected by the Great and General
Council, Secretary of State for Foreign and
Political Affairs (head of government).
60-member Great and General Council. Judicial--Council
Administrative divisions: 9 municipalities.
Political parties: Christian Democratic Party,
Democratic Progressive Party, San Marino
Socialist Party, National Alliance, Popular
Alliance, Communist Refoundation.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
GDP (2002): Euros 935 million.
Per capita income (2002 est): Euros 24,054.
GDP growth (2004 est): 2%.
Natural resources: Building stone.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, grapes,
maize, olives, cattle, pigs, horses, meat,
Industry: Types--tourism, textiles,
electronics, ceramics, cement, wine.
Trade: Exports—Euros 1,705 million
(2001). 85% to Italy. Imports—Euros 1,744
million (2001) manufactured goods, food.
Partners--Italy, Western Europe, Eastern
Europe, South America, China, Taiwan.
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
The population of San Marino is comprised of
native Sammarinese and Italian citizens. Crop
farming, sheep farming, and the working of stone
from the quarries formed the early backbone of
San Marino's economy. It has no mineral
resources, and today most of the land is
cultivated or covered by woods.
According to tradition, San Marino was
founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason
named Marinus the Dalmatian fled to the island
of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman
Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of
Mount Titano and founded a small community of
people following their Christian beliefs. It is
certain that the area had been inhabited since
prehistoric times, although evidence of
existence on Mount Titano only dates back to the
Middle Ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the
land was renamed "Land of San Marino" and was
finally changed to its present-day name,
"Republic of San Marino."
The original government structure was
composed of a self-governed assembly known as
the Arengo, which consisted of the heads of each
family. In 1243, the positions of Captains
Regent (Capitani Reggenti) were established to
be the joint heads of state.
The land area of San Marino consisted only of
Mount Titano until 1463, at which time the
republic entered into an alliance against
Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini,
who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius
II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of
Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later
that year, the town of Faetano joined the
republic on its own accord. Since then, the size
of San Marino has remained unchanged.
San Marino has been occupied by foreign
militaries twice in its history, both for only
short periods of time. In 1503, Cesare Borgia,
known as Valentino, occupied the republic until
his death several months later. In 1739,
Cardinal Alberoni used military force to occupy
the country. Civil disobedience was used to
protest his occupation, and clandestine notes
sent to the Pope to obtain justice were answered
by the Pope's recognition of San Marino's rights
and restoration of San Marino’s independence.
The Arengo, initially formed with the heads of
each family, relinquished its power to the Great
and General Council. In 1243, the first two
Captains Regent were nominated by the Council,
and this method of nomination is still in use
today. The Council is composed of 60 members who
are elected every 5 years under a proportional
representation system in all nine administrative
districts. These districts (Townships)
correspond to the old parishes of the Republic,
and each one is ruled by a Council, which is
chaired by a Captain elected every 5 years. The
Great and General Council approves the budget,
as well as the nominations of Captains Regent
and heads of the Executive.
Every 6 months, the Council elects two
Captains Regent to be the heads of state. The
Regents are chosen from opposing parties so they
can keep an eye on each other. They serve a
6-month term. The investiture of the Captains
Regent takes place on April 1 and October 1 in
every year. Once this term is over, citizens
have 3 days in which to file complaints about
the previous Regents' activities. If they
warrant it, judicial proceedings against the
former head(s) of state can be initiated.
The State Congress, composed of 10
Secretaries, wields executive power. The 10
Secretaries are (1) Secretary of State for
Foreign and Political Affairs; (2) Secretary of
State for Internal Affairs and Civil Defense;
(3) Secretary of State for Finance, Budget and
Programming, Information and Relations with the
State Philatelic and Numismatic Office; (4)
Secretary of State for Education, Culture,
University and Justice; (5) Secretary of State
for Territory, Environment and Agriculture; (6)
Secretary of State for Health and Social
Security; (7) Secretary of State for Trade and
Relations with the Town Council; (8) Secretary
of State for Communication, Transport, Relations
with the Azienda Autonoma di Stato for Services,
Tourism, and Sport; (9) Secretary of State for
Industry and Crafts; and (10) Secretary of State
for Labor and Cooperation.
The Great and General Council elects the
Council of Twelve for the duration of the
Legislature and serves a jurisdictional body
that also acts as a third instance Court of
Appeals. Two government inspectors represent the
State in financial and patrimonial questions.
The Legislative body consists of the Great
and General Council, the parliament, and a
unicameral Chamber. The members of parliament
are usually elected every five years and are in
charge of legislation, justice, and the
administration of jurisdiction. In addition,
they are tasked with electing the Captains
Regent, the State Congress, the Council of
Twelve, the Advising Commission, and the
Government Unions once the Council nominates
them. Parliament also has the power to ratify
contracts with other countries. The parliament
is divided into five different Advising
Commissions consisting of 15 councils which
examine, propose, and discuss the implementation
of new laws that are on being submitted to the
Great and General Council.
The judicial system of San Marino is
entrusted to foreign executives, both for
historical and social reasons. The only native
judges are the Justices of the Peace, who only
handle civil cases where sums involved do not
exceed 25 million lire. The Council of Twelve
serves as an appeals court in the third
Principal Government Officials
Captains Regent--Gian Franco Terenzi and
Loris Francini (from April 1, 2006-September 31,
Secretary of State for Foreign and Political
San Marino has honorary Consulates General in
Washington, DC and New York and honorary
Consulates in Detroit and Honolulu. The honorary
Consulate General in Washington, DC is located
at 1899 L Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC
of San Marino's Web Site provides
information on politics, trade, and events in
San Marino is a multi-party democratic republic.
The three main parties are the Democratic
Christian Party of San Marino (PDCS), the
Socialist Party of San Marino (PSS), and the
Progressive Democratic Party of San Marino (PPDS),
in addition to several other smaller parties.
Due to the small size and low population of San
Marino, it is difficult for any party to gain a
pure majority, and most of the time the
government is run by a coalition. Following a
period of political instability after the June
2001 elections, in December 2003 the three
largest parties formed a coalition government
with a view to reforming the electoral law and
subsequently calling for early elections.
Because tourism accounts for more than 50% of
the economic sector, the government relies not
only on taxes and customs for revenue but also
the sale of coins and postage stamps to
collectors throughout the world. In addition,
the Italian Government pays San Marino an annual
budget subsidy provided under the terms of the
Basic Treaty with Italy. In recent years banking
has also become an important economic activity.
Harmonization of statutes and policies with
the EU is a major domestic and foreign policy
priority of the republic. Another priority issue
will be to increase the transparency and
efficiency in parliament and in relations among
parliament, cabinet, and the Captains Regent.
San Marino's per capita GNP in 2002 stood at
24,054 Euros with more than 50% coming from the
tourism industry, which draws about 3 million
people annually. One of the greatest sources of
income from tourism comes from the sale of
historic coins and stamps. In 1894, San Marino
issued its first commemorative stamps, which
produced government revenue for the republic.
All 10 of the Post Offices of San Marino sell
these stamps and collectable coins, including
"Legal Tender Gold Coins."
Traditional economic activities in San Marino
were food crops, sheep farming, and stone
quarrying. Today farming activities focus on
grain, vines, and orchards, as well as animal
husbandry (cattle and swine). Besides the
tourism industry, San Marino makes most of its
income from the banking industry and from the
manufacture and export of ceramics, tiles,
furniture, clothing, paints, fabrics, and
spirits/wines. The per capita level of output
and standard of living in San Marino are
comparable to those of Italy. In addition, San
Marino maintains the lowest unemployment rate in
Europe and no national debt.
San Marino is an active player in the
international community. Currently, the Republic
has diplomatic relations with over 70 countries.
Italy is the only country represented by an
ambassador resident in San Marino. The Papal
Nuncio, based in Rome, is the dean of San
Marino’s diplomatic corps.
San Marino is a full member of the United
Nations, International Court of Justice, United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), International Monetary
Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO),
World Tourism Organization (WTO), Council of
Europe, International Red Cross Organization,
and the International Institution for the
Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIIT), among
others. It also cooperates with UNICEF and the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees and
has official relations with the European Union.
From May 10 until November 6, 1990, San Marino
held the semi-annual presidency of the Committee
of Ministers of the Council of Europe,
headquartered in Strasbourg, France.
U.S.-SAN MARINO RELATIONS
The United States and San Marino enjoy friendly
diplomatic relations. San Marino consistently
supports U.S. foreign policy positions, as well
as U.S. candidates to international
organizations. The two countries are on
excellent terms. The United States Consul
General in Florence also serves as the U.S.
diplomatic representative to San Marino. For
consular purposes, the republic is within the
jurisdiction of the Florence consular district.
Consulate officials regularly visit San Marino
to carry out diplomatic demarches, represent
U.S. interests, and administer consular
Principal U.S. Official
U.S. Consul General--Nora Dempsey
The U.S. Consulate General is at Lungarno
Amerigo Vespucci, 38, 50123 Firenze, Italy (tel.
(39) (055) 226-951).