The third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco), San Marino also claims to be the world's oldest republic. According to tradition, it was founded by a Christian stonemason named Marinus in A.D. 301. San Marino's foreign policy is aligned with that of the European Union, although it is not a member; social and political trends in the republic track closely with those of its larger neighbor, Italy.
co-chiefs of state (captains regent) elected by the Great and General Council for a six-month term; election last held in September 2010 (next to be held in March 2011); secretary of state for foreign and political affairs elected by the Great and General Council for a five-year term; election last held on 9 November 2008 (next to be held by 2013)
Giovanni Francesco UGOLINI and Andrea ZAFFERANI elected captains regent; percent of legislative vote - NA; Antonella MULARONI elected secretary of state for foreign and political affairs; percent of legislative vote - NA
note:the popularly elected parliament (Grand and General Council) selects two of its members to serve as the Captains Regent (co-chiefs of state) for a six-month period; they preside over meetings of the Grand and General Council and its cabinet (Congress of State), which has 10 other members, all are selected by the Grand and General Council; assisting the captains regent are 10 secretaries of state; the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs has assumed some prime ministerial roles
unicameral Grand and General Council or Consiglio Grande e Generale (60 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
last held on 9 November 2008 (next to be held by June 2013)
percent of vote by party - Pact for San Marino coalition 54.2% (PDCS 31.9%, AP 11.5%, Freedom List 6.3%, San Marino Union of Moderates 4.2%), Reforms and Freedom coalition 45.8% (Party of Socialists and Democrats 32%, United Left 8.6%, Democrats of the Center 4.9%); seats by party - Pact for San Marino coalition 35 (PDCS 22, AP 7, the Freedom List 4, San Marino Union of Moderates 2), Reforms and Freedom coalition 25 (Party of Socialists and Democrats 18, United Left 5, Democrats of the Center 2)
Christian Democrats or PDCS [Marco GATTI]; Communist Refoundation or RC [Ivan FOSHI]; Democrats of the Center or DdC [Giovanni LONFERNINI]; Freedom List (including NPS and We Sammarinesi) or NS [Gabriele GATTEI]; New Socialist Party or NPS [Augusto CASALI]; Party of Socialists and Democrats or PDS [Paride ANDREOLI]; Popular Alliance or AP [Carlo FRANCIOSI]; Union of Moderates (including National Alliance or ANS [Glauco SANSOVINI] and San Marino Populars or POP [Romeo MORRI and Angela VENTURINI]; United Left or SU [Alessandro ROSSI]
CE, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Schengen Convention (de facto member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WHO, WIPO
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and light blue with the national coat of arms superimposed in the center; the main colors derive from the shield of the coat of arms, which features three white towers on three peaks on a blue field; the towers represent three castles built on San Marino's highest feature Mount Titano: Guaita, Cesta, and Montale; the coat of arms is flanked by a wreath, below a crown and above a scroll bearing the word LIBERTAS (Liberty); the white and blue colors are also said to stand for peace and liberty respectively
San Marino's economy relies heavily on its tourism and banking industries, as well as on the manufacture and export of ceramics, clothing, fabrics, furniture, paints, spirits, tiles, and wine. The per capita level of output and standard of living are comparable to those of the most prosperous regions of Italy, which supplies much of its food. The economy benefits from foreign investment due to its relatively low corporate taxes and low taxes on interest earnings. San Marino has recently faced increased international pressure to improve cooperation with foreign tax authorities and transparency within its own banking sector, which generates about one-fifth of the country's tax revenues. Italy's implementation in October 2009 of a tax amnesty to repatriate untaxed funds held abroad has resulted in financial outflows from San Marino to Italy worth more than $4.5 billion. Such outflows, combined with a money-laundering scandal at San Marino's largest financial institution and the recent global economic downturn, have contributed to a deep recession and growing budget deficit. Industrial production declined sharply in 2010, especially in the textile sector. However, San Marino has little national debt, and an unemployment rate less than half the size of Italy's. The San Marino government has adopted measures to counter the downturn, including subsidized credit to businesses. San Marino also continues to work towards harmonizing its fiscal laws with EU members and international standards. In September 2009, the OECD removed San Marino from its list of tax havens that have yet to fully implement global tax standards, and in 2010 San Marino signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with most major countries. The future of the country's economy will be heavily influenced by the signing of a financial information exchange agreement with Italy, which many Italian investors see as fundamental for their business operations with San Marino.