chapter  10
16 Pages

Tobacco in the Pyrenees? The Ecological Politics of Tobacco in Andorra, a Micro-State in a Global Market

ByDolors Comas d’Argemir

Andorra is a micro-state in the Pyrenees with an area of only 468 km2 and 75,000 inhabitants, of which only a third are Andorran. The country has seven municipalities (parròquies) each with its own town halls (comuns). It is the only Pyrenean valley not to have been incorporated into France or Spain, maintaining its independence up to the present day. It is a principality that has had two co-princes since the Middle Ages, a religious figure from Spain, the Archbishop of la Seu d’Urgell, and a political, civil figure from France, originally the count of Foix, then the king of France and now the president of the Republic. The old institutions remained practically unaltered until a modern constitution was passed in 1993, meaning that Andorra was the last vestige of feudalism in Europe. Andorra was a poor country in which people subsisted on mountain farming along with mining and forging. During the 20th century, especially during times of war, Andorra’s potential as a duty-free zone for distributing goods was realized, and a dynamic international business developed in tourism, banking, and the cultivation and production of tobacco, leading, in turn, to important demographic and urban increases.