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San Marino

People, Economy, and Government

Virtually all of the republic's inhabitants speak Italian and are Roman Catholic. About half of San Marino citizens live abroad, mainly in Italy, the United States, and France. Of note in San Marino are the Basilica of Santo Marino; towers (14th–16th cent.) built on each of the three peaks of Mt. Titano; the Gothic government house; and several museums of art.

San Marino's industries include banking and the manufacture of apparel, electronics, and ceramics. Tourism, however, is the country's economic mainstay. The sale of postage stamps and duty-free consumer goods are also sources of income. Wheat, grapes, corn, and olives are grown and cattle, pigs, and horses are raised. Wine and cheeses are the most important agricultural products. Building stone, lime, wood, chestnuts, wheat, wine, baked goods, hides, and ceramics are exported. The country imports many manufactured goods and much of its food, mostly from Italy. The republic receives an annual subsidy from Italy in return for having renounced certain rights, such as establishing a broadcasting station and growing tobacco. Although San Marino mints its own coins, Italian and Vatican City currencies are in general use.

San Marino is governed under the constitution of 1600 and the electoral law of 1926. Two regents ( Capitani Reggenti ), who are heads of state, are selected by the legislature from among its members for a period of six months. The secretary of state for foreign and political affairs, who is the head of government, is elected by the legislature for a five-year term, as is the cabinet. Legislative power in San Marino is vested in the popularly elected Grand Council ( Consiglio Grande e Generale ), which is made up of 60 members elected to five-year terms. Administratively, the country is divided into nine municipalities.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography


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