San Marino profile

A chronology of key events:

AD 301 - According to tradition, San Marino is founded by Marinus, a Christian stonemason seeking refuge from religious persecution on Mount Titano.

1243 - The first Captains Regent - acting as joint heads of state - are appointed.

1463 - The Pope awards the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino and Serravalle to San Marino. The town of Faetano joins the republic in 1464, defining its present-day borders.

1503 - Cesare Borgia occupies San Marino for several months until his death.

1599 - San Marino's constitution, which provides for a parliamentary government, is laid out in the Statutes of 1600.

1631 - Papacy recognises San Marino's independence.

1739 - Cardinal Alberoni's forces occupy San Marino. But after a civil disobendience campaign and appeals to the Vatican, the Pope restores San Marino's independence.

1797 - Napoleon invades Italy, but respects the rights of San Marino.

Independence recognised

1815 - Congress of Vienna, which follows the Napoleonic Wars, recognises San Marino's independence.

1849 - San Marino gives refuge from Austrian forces to Italian soldier and nationalist, Garibaldi.

1862 - San Marino signs customs union and treaty of friendship and cooperation with Italy.

1940-45 - World War II: Neutral San Marino hosts some 100,000 refugees from neighbouring parts of Italy.

1988 - San Marino joins the Council of Europe.

1992 - San Marino joins the United Nations.

Tax haven status

2002 - San Marino signs treaty with OECD to provide greater transparency in banking and taxation, as a result of which it is removed from the OECD's blacklist list of tax havens and placed on the "grey list" (consisting of countries that have pledged to comply with rules on sharing tax information but have yet to do so).

2008 July - UN adds San Marino's historic centre and Mount Titano to its World Heritage List of protected sites.

2008 November - Centre-right coalition wins parliamentary election.

2009 April - G20 leaders agree on tougher measures against tax havens in response to global financial crisis.

2009 May - Five senior executives at San Marino's largest bank and oldest financial institution, the Cassa di Risparmio, are arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

2009 July - In an effort to discourage tax evasion, Italy announces a tax amnesty for its citizens who repatriate assets held in offshore bank accounts.

2009 August - San Marino government says it is taking steps to ensure the country complies with OECD rules on financial transparency so as to be removed from tax haven "grey list".

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