Geographically 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 Grand and General Council for a six-month term; election last held on 17 September 2013 (next to be held in March 2014); secretary of state for foreign and political affairs elected by the Grand and General Council for a five-year term; election last held on 11 November 2012 (next to be held by November 2017)
Anna Maria MUCCIOLI and Gian Carlo CAPICCHIONI elected captains regent; percent of legislative vote - NA; Pasquale VALENTINI 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 nine other members, all are selected by the Grand and General Council; assisting the captains regent are nine 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 11 November 2012 (next to be held by November 2017)
percent of vote by party - San Marino Common Good coalition (San Marino Bene Comune) 50.7% (PDCS 29.5%, PSD 14.3%, AP 6.7%), Entente for the Country coalition (Intesa per Il Paese) 22.3% (PS 12.1%, UPR 8.4%, USDM 1.7%), Active Citizenry coalition (Cittadinanza Attiva) 16.1% (SU 9.1%, Civic 10 6.7%), Civic Movement R.E.T.E. 6.3%, For San Marino 2.8%, San Marino 3.0 1.8%; seats by party - San Marino Common Good coalition 35 (PDCS 21, PSD 10, AP 4), Entente for the Country coalition 12 (PS 7, UPR 5), Active Citizenry 9 (SU 5, Civic 10 4), Civic Movement R.E.T.E. 4
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 tourism, the banking industry and the manufacture and export of ceramics, clothing, fabrics, furniture, paints, spirits, tiles, and wine. The manufacturing and financial sectors account for more than half of San Marino's GDP. The per capita level of output and standard of living are comparable to those of the most prosperous regions of Italy. The economy benefits from foreign investment due to its relatively low corporate taxes and low taxes on interest earnings. The income tax rate is also very low, about one-third the average EU level. San Marino does not issue public debt securities; when necessary, it finances deficits by drawing down central bank deposits. San Marino''s economy has encountered five years of GDP contraction, largely due to weakened demand from Italy - which accounts for 90% of its export market - and financial sector consolidation. Difficulties in the banking sector, the recent global economic downturn, and the sizeable decline in tax revenues have contributed to negative real GDP growth. The government has adopted measures to counter the economic downturn, including subsidized credit to businesses. For the first time since 2009, there were signs of improvements in the financial sector in the third quarter of 2012. San Marino continues to work towards harmonizing its fiscal laws with EU and international standards. In September 2009, the OECD removed San Marino from its list of tax havens that have yet to fully adopt global tax standards, and in 2010 San Marino signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with most major countries. San Marino's Government continues to work with Italy to ratify a financial information exchange agreement, seen by businesses and investors as crucial to strengthening the economic relationship between the two countries.