Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan.
Flexibility and openness to global commerce have been the cornerstones of Liechtenstein’s modern and efficient economy. The country’s vigorous defense of property rights, coupled with a strong tradition of minimum tolerance for corruption, strongly sustains the foundations of economic freedom and keeps the dynamic economy competitive.
For years, Liechtenstein’s secretive banking laws offered individuals a place to store their wealth out of sight and reach of their own tax authorities. The country defended its laws even as Germany opened a tax-evasion inquiry last year aimed at secret Liechtenstein accounts. Bowing to pressure from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which maintains a blacklist of uncooperative tax havens, Liechtenstein has increased cooperation and, with Andorra and Monaco, was removed from the blacklist in May. The agreement Tuesday follows a deal by Liechtenstein to share information on taxes with Germany last month and a similar agreement with the United States in December.
The principality of Liechtenstein has decided to make itself available to private clients, from $70,000 (£43,000) a night, complete with customised street signs and temporary currency. [...] Since then they have woken up to the marketing opportunities of their mountainous landscape. The price tag includes accommodation for 150 people, although the 35,000 inhabitants would remain.
Prince Hans-Adam, a successful banker, became head of state following the death of his father, Prince Franz Josef, in 1989. In August 2004 he handed over the day-to-day running of the principality to his son, Crown Prince Alois, while remaining titular head of state.
The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719; it became a sovereign state in 1806. Until the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to conclude a customs and monetary union with Switzerland.
Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral) the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth.
When engaging in international dialogue and balancing its interests in foreign policy, Liechtenstein as a small State still relies more than others on compliance with international law, fairness in international relations, and the willingness to compromise.
Liechtenstein is also known as the Principality of Liechtenstein and it is divided into 11 municipalities. These municipalities are individually called 'gemeinden', they are all single towns. Five municipalities come under the electoral of the Unterland district and the rest comes under the Oberland district.
Liechtenstein is a small principality, which is located in Western Europe. The country is boarded on Switzerland in the west and on Austria in the east. The entire western border of Liechtenstein is formed by the river Rhine. It is considered to be the only one alpine country, which lies entirely within the Alps. The inland country remains bounded entirely by lands from all the sides. It is interesting that Liechtenstein is German-speaking country, but it doesn’t have the boundary with Germany itself.
With an area of 160 sq. km/61.8 sq miles, Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest state in Europe. Despite its size, the country can look back on a very eventful history. It is a history of rapid development, from an agrarian country to a highly industrialized state.
Interestingly, it was not until 1984 that women in Liechtenstein received the right to vote. Since 1992, gender equality has been anchored in the Liechtenstein Constitution.
The Liechtenstein nationals are to a great extent the descendants of families which are long established in the Liechtenstein territory. Even of the Liechtenstein inhabitants do not have their own Liechtenstein languor and clearly distinct culture, they do have a subjective we-consciousness. The Liechtenstein nationals, to the exclusion of the foreign inhabitants, are also anxious to preserve their own identity so as not to be overwhelmed by foreigners.
Though we joke about being able to see all of Liechtenstein in a day, it's actually possible to see the entire nation in little under six hours.
Liechtenstein has a rich cultural life, supported by royal patrons and the cooperation of neighboring countries. Though open to foreign influences through commerce and cultural exchanges as well as through tourism, Liechtenstein maintains its unique national identity by severely restricting citizenship. Any foreigner wishing to become a citizen must first be approved by a majority of the commune he or she intends to live in; then his or her application must be approved by parliament, ad then by the monarch. The process is obviously meant to discourage immigration.