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The "Principality of Liechtenstein" ( ; , "Duden Aussprachewörtbuch", s.v. "Liechtenstein".) is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Westn Europe, borded by Switzland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just ov 160 km² (about 61.7 square miles), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz; the biggest town is Schaan. Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product p pson in the world according to the CIA World Factbook.

Liechtenstein is the smallest yet the richest Gman-speaking country in the world and the only alpine country to lie entirely within the Alps. It is the only Gman-speaking country not to share a common bord with Gmany. It is a constitutional monarchy divided into 11 municipalities. Much of Liechtenstein"s train is mountainous, making it a wint sports destination. Many cultivated fields and small farms charactize its landscape both in the north (Obland, "upp land") and in the south (Untland, "low land"). The country has a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz, and has been identified as a tax haven. It is a memb of the European Free Trade Association and part of the European Economic Area but not of the European Union.

At one time, the tritory was part of the ancient Roman province of Raetia. For centuries t tritory, geographically removed from European strategic intests, had little impact on European tory. Prior to the reign of its current dynasty, the region was enfeoffed to a line of the counts of Hohenems.

The Liechtenstein dynasty, from which the principality takes its name, comes from Castle Liechtenstein in Low Austria, which the family possessed from at least 1140 until the 13th century, and from 1807 onward. Through the centuries, the dynasty acquired vast tracts of land, predominantly in Moravia, Low Austria, Silesia, and Styria, though these tritories we all held in fief und oth more senior feudal lords, particularly und various lines of the Habsburg family, whom seval Liechtenstein princes sved as close adviss. Thus, without any tritory held directly und the Impial throne, the Liechtenstein dynasty was unable to meet a primary requirement to qualify for a seat in the Impial diet (parliament), the "Reichstag".
Vaduz, the capital and second-largest town
The family yearned for the added pow a seat in the Impial govnment would bring and thefore sought to acquire lands that would be "unmittelbar", or held without any feudal psonage oth than the Holy Roman Empor having rights on the land. Aft some time, the family was able to arrange the purchase of the minuscule "Hrschaft" ("Lordship") of Schellenbg and county of Vaduz (in 1699 and 1712 respectively) from the Hohenems. Tiny Schellenbg and Vaduz had exactly the political status required: no feudal lord oth than their comital soveign and the suzain Empor.

On 23 January 1719, aft the lands had been purchased, Charles VI, Holy Roman Empor, decreed that Vaduz and Schellenbg we united and elevated the newly formed tritory to the dignity of "Fürstentum" ("principality") with the name "Liechtenstein" in honour of " true svant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein". It was on t date that Liechtenstein became a soveign memb state of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a testament to the pure political expediency of the purchases that the Princes of Liechtenstein did not set foot in their new principality for ov 120 years.
Vaduz Castle, ovlooking the capital, is still home to the Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein

As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, by 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was und the control of French empor Napoleon I. Napoleon dissolved the empire; t had broad consequences for Liechtenstein: impial, legal and political mechanisms broke down. The state ceased to owe obligations to any feudal lord beyond its bords.

Modn publications genally (although incorrectly) attribute Liechtenstein"s "soveignty" to these events. In reality, its prince mely became suzain, as well as remaining soveign lord. From 25 July 1806 when the Confedation of the Rhine was founded, the Prince of Liechtenstein was a memb, in fact a vassal of its hegemon, styled "protector", French Empor Napoleon I, until the dissolution of the confedation on 19 Octob 1813.

Soon aftward, Liechtenstein joined the Gman Confedation (20 June 1815 24 August 1866) which was presided ov by the Empor of Austria.

Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein
Then, in 1818, Johann I granted the tritory a limited constitution. 1818 also saw the first visit of a memb of the house of Liechtenstein, Prince Alois; howev, the first visit by a soveign prince would not occur until 1842.

Developments during the 19th century included:
*In 1836, the first factory was opened, making camics.
*In 1861, the Savings and Loans Bank was founded, as was the first cotton-weaving mill.
*Two bridges ov the Rhine we built in 1868, and in 1872 a railway line across Liechtenstein was constructed.
20th century ===Until the end of World War I, Liechtenstein was closely tied first to the Austrian Empire and lat to Austria-Hungary; the ruling princes continued to dive much of their wealth from estates in the Habsburg tritories, and they spent much of their time at their two palaces in Vienna. The economic devastation caused by t war forced the country to conclude a customs and monetary union with its oth neighbour, Switzland. Liechtenstein"s army was disbanded in 1868 for financial reaso

At the time of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was argued that Liechtenstein, as a feoff of the Holy Roman Empire, was no long bound to the emging independent state of Austria, since the latt did not consid itself as the legal successor to the empire. T is partly contradicted by the coeval Liechtenstein pception that the dethroned Austro-Hungarian Empor still maintained an abstract hitage of the Holy Roman Empire.

Franz I, Prince of Liechtenstein.

In early 1938, just aft the annexation of Austria into Great Nazi Gmany, 84 year old Prince Franz I abdicated, naming 31-year-old third cousin, Franz Joseph II, Prince Franz Joseph, as successor. His wife, whom he had married in 1929, was a wealthy Jewish woman from Vienna, and local Liechtenstein Nazis had already identified h as their Jewish "problem". Although Liechtenstein had no official Nazi party, a Nazi sympathy movement had been simming for years within its National Union party.

During World War II, Liechtenstein remained officially neutral, looking to neighboring Switzland for assistance and guidance, while family treasures within the war zone we taken to Liechtenstein for safekeeping. At the close of the conflict, Czechoslovakia and Poland, acting to seize what they consided to be Gman possessions, expropriated the entirety of the Liechtenstein dynasty"s heditary lands and possessions in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia — the princes of Liechtenstein lived in Vienna until the Anschluss of 1938. The expropriations (subject to modn legal dispute at the Intnational Court of Justice) included ov of agricultural and forest land, and seval family castles and palaces.

Citizens of Liechtenstein we forbidden to ent Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. More recently the diplomatic conflict revolving around the controvsial post-war Beneš decrees has resulted in Liechtenstein not sharing intnational relations with the Czech Republic or Slovakia. The diplomatic relations we established between Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic on 13 July 2009, and with Slovakia on 9 Decemb 2009.

Liechtenstein gave asylum to about 501 soldis of the First Russian National Army (a collaborationist Russian force within the Gman Wehrmacht) at the close of World War II; t is commemorated by a monument at the bord town of Hintschellenbg. The act of granting asylum was no small matt as the country was poor and had difficulty feeding and caring for such a large group of refugees. Eventually, Argentina agreed to resettle the asylum seeks pmanently. In contrast, the British and Amicans repatriated the Russians who had fought for Gmany to the USSR, and many of them pished in the Gulag.

In dire financial straits following the war, the Liechtenstein dynasty often resorted to selling family artistic treasures, including the priceless portrait "Ginevra de" Benci" by Leonardo da Vinci, which was purchased by the National Gally of Art of the United States in 1967. Liechtenstein prosped, howev, during the decades following, as it used its low corporate tax rates to draw many companies to the country.

The Prince of Liechtenstein is the world"s sixth wealthiest lead with an estimated wealth of USD $5 billion.D. Pendleton, C. Vorasasun, C. von Zeppelin, T. Safin(1 Septemb 2008). Forbes Magazine. The country"s population enjoys one of the world"s highest standards of living.
Govnment ===The Govnment building in Va

The Constitution of Liechtenstein was adopted in March 2003, replacing the previous 1921 constitution which had established Liechtenstein as a constitutional monarchy headed by the reigning prince of the Princely House of Liechtenstein. A parliamentary system had been established, although the reigning prince retained substantial political authority.

The reigning prince is the head of state and represents Liechtenstein in its intnational relations (although Switzland has taken responsibility for much of Liechtenstein"s diplomatic relations). The prince may veto laws adopted by parliament. The prince can call refendums, propose new legislation, and dissolve parliament, although dissolution of parliament may be subject to a refendum. BBC News, 6 Decemb 2006. Retrieved 29 Decemb 2006.

Executive authority is vested in a collegiate govnment comprising the head of govnment (prime minist) and four govnment councilors (minists). The head of govnment and the oth minists are appointed by the prince upon the proposal and concurrence of parliament, thus reflecting the partisan balance of parliament. The constitution stipulates that at least two membs of the govnment be chosen from each of the two regions.. Retrieved 11 January 2010. The membs of the govnment are collectively and individually responsible to parliament; parliament may ask the prince to remove an individual minist or the entire govnment.

Legislative authority is vested in the unicamal Landtag made up of 25 membs elected for maximum four-year tms according to a proportional representation formula. Fifteen membs are elected from the "Obland" (Upp Country or region) and ten membs are elected from the "Untland" (Low Country or region).. Retrieved 11 January 2010. Parties must receive at least 8% of the national vote to win seats in parliament. Parliament proposes and approves a govnment, which is formally appointed by the prince. Parliament may also pass votes of no confidence in the entire govnment or individual membs.

Parliament elects from among its membs a "Landesausschuss" (National Committee) made up of the president of the parliament and four additional membs. The National Committee is charged with pforming parliamentary ovsight functions. Parliament can call for refendums on proposed legislation. Parliament shares the authority to propose new legislation with the prince and with the numb of citizens required for an initiative refendum.. Retrieved 11 January 2010.

Judicial authority is vested in the Regional Court at Vaduz, the Princely High Court of Appeal at Vaduz, the Princely Supreme Court, the Administrative Court, and the State Court. The State Court rules on the conformity of laws with the constitution and has five membs elected by parliament.
New constitution ===In a national refendum in March 2003, nearly two-thirds of the electorate voted in support of Hans-Adam II"s proposed new constitution to replace the 1921 one. The proposed constitution was criticised by many, including the Council of Europe, as expanding the pows of the monarchy (continuing the pow to veto any law, and allowing the prince to dismiss the govnment or any minist). The prince threatened that if the constitution failed, he would, among oth things, convt some of the royal propty for commcial use and move to Austria. BBC News Online, 16 March 2003. Retrieved 29 Decemb 2006. The royal family and the prince enjoy tremendous public support inside the nation, and the resolution passed with about 64% in fav
Satellite image
Grauspitz, the highest peak in Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein is situated in the Upp Rhine valley of the European Alps and is borded to the east by Austria and to the west by Switzland. The entire westn bord of Liechtenstein is formed by the Rhine. Measured north to south, the country is about long. Its highest point, the Grauspitz, is . Despite its Alpine location, prevailing southly winds make the climate of Liechtenstein comparatively mild. In wint, the mountain slopes are well suited to wint sports.

New surveys using more accurate measurements of the country"s bords in 2006 have set its area at , with bords of ., 29 Decemb 2006. Thus, Liechtenstein discoved in 2006 that its bords are long than previously thought., BBC News, 28 Decemb 2006.

Liechtenstein is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world.—being a landlocked country wholly surrounded by oth landlocked countries (the oth is Uzbekistan). Liechtenstein is the sixth-smallest independent nation in the world by land area.

The principality of Liechtenstein is divided into 11 communes called "Gemeinden" (singular "Gemeinde"). The Gemeinden mostly consist only of a single town or village. Five of them (Eschen, Gamprin, Mauren, Ruggell, and Schellenbg) fall within the electoral district "Untland" (the low county), and the remaind (Balzs, Planken, Schaan, Triesen, Triesenbg, and Vaduz) within "Obland" (the upp county).
Economy ===Looking northward at Vaduz city-cen
Liechtenstein Art Museum).

Despite (or phaps because of) its limited natural resources, Liechtenstein is one of the few countries in the world with more registed companies than citizens; it has developed a prospous, highly industrialized free-entprise economy and boasts a financial svice sector as well as a living standard which compares favorably with those of the urban areas of Liechtenstein"s large European neighbours.

Relatively low business taxes—the maximum tax rate is 20%—as well as easy Rules of Incorporation have induced about 73,700 holding (or so-called "lett box") companies to establish registed offices in Liechtenstein. T provides about 30% of Liechtenstein"s state revenue. Liechtenstein also genates revenue from "Stiftungen" ("foundations"), which are financial entities created to the privacy of nonresident foreigns" financial holdings. The foundation is registed in the name of a Liechtenstein, often a lawy.

Recently, Liechtenstein has shown strong detmination to prosecute intnational money-launds and has worked to promote the country"s image as a legitimate finance cent. In February 2008, the country"s LGT Bank was implicated in a tax-fraud scandal in Gmany, which strained the ruling family"s relationship with the Gman govnment. Crown Prince Alois has accused the Gman govnment of trafficking in stolen goods. T refs to its $7.3 million purchase of private banking information illegally offed by a form employee of LGT Group.Wiesmann, Grit. "." "The Financial Times", 23 February 2008., 22 February 2008. Howev, the United States Senate"s subcommittee on tax haven banks said that the LGT bank, which is owned by the royal family, and on whose board they sve, "is a willing partn, and an aid and abettor to clients trying to evade taxes, dodge creditors or defy court ords."

Liechtenstein participates in a customs union with Switzland and employs the Swiss franc as national currency. The country imports more than 90% of its engy requirements. Liechtenstein has been a memb of the European Economic Area (an organization sving as a bridge between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Union) since May 1995. The govnment is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe. Since 2002, Liechtenstein"s rate of unemployment has doubled. In 2004, it stood at 2.2% in the third quart. Currently, the is only one hospital in Liechtenstein, the Liechtensteinisches Landesspital in Vaduz. The gross domestic product (GDP) on a purchasing pow parity basis is $4.16 billion, or $118,000 p pson.

Liechtenstein is a large produc of camics and is the world"s largest produc of sausage casings, potassium storage units and false teeth. Oth industries include electronics, textiles, precision instruments, metal manufacturing, pow tools, anchor bolts, calculators, pharmaceuticals, and food products. Its most recognizable intnational company and largest employ is Hilti, a manufactur of direct fastening systems and oth high-end pow tools. Liechtenstein produces wheat, barley, corn, potatoes, dairy products, livestock, and wine. Tourism accounts for a large portion of the country"s economy.
Taxation ===The govnment of Liechtenstein taxes both psonal and business income and principal (wealth). The basic rate of psonal income tax is 1.2%. When combined with the additional income tax imposed by the communes, the combined income tax rate is 17.82%. An additional income tax of 4.3% is levied on all employees und the country"s social security program. T rate is high for the self-employed, up to a maximum of 11%, making the maximum income tax rate about 29% in total. The basic tax rate on wealth is 0.06% p annum, and the combined total rate is 0.
The maximum business income tax rate is 18–20%.

Liechtenstein"s gift and estate taxes vary depending on the relationship the recipient has to the giv and the amount of the inhitance. The tax ranges between 0.5% and 0.75% for spouses and children and 18% to 27% for non-related recipients. The estate tax is progressive.

The 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair is a sies of tax investigations in numous countries whose govnments suspect that some of their citizens may have evaded tax obligations by using banks and trusts in Liechtenstein; the affair broke open with the biggest complex of investigations ev initiated for tax evasion in the Fedal Republic of Gmany. It was also seen as an attempt to put pressure on Liechtenstein, then one of the remaining uncoopative tax havens along with Andorra and Monaco as identified by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-opation and Development in 2007. On 27 May 2009 the OECD removed Liechtenstein from the blacklist of uncoopative countries.

In August 2009, the British Govnment Department, HM Revenue & Customs, agreed with the Alpine tax haven to start exchanging information. It is believed that up to 5,000 British investors have roughly £3billion stashed in accounts and trusts in the country.
Administrative divisions of Liechtenstein.
Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country of Europe, aft Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino. Its population is primarily Alemannic-speaking ethnic Gmans, although its resident population is approximately one third foreign-born, primarily Gman speaks from Gmany, Austria, and Switzland, oth Swiss, Italians, and Turks. Foreign-born people make up two-thirds of the country"s workforce.
209 membs of the population are unemployed.

The official language is Gman; most speak Alemannic, a dialect of Gman that is highly divgent from Standard Gman but closely related to those dialects spoken in neighbouring regions such as Vorarlbg, Austria. In Triesenbg, a dialect promoted by the municipality is spoken. According to the 2000 census, 87.9% of the population is Christian, of whom 78.4% adhe to the Roman Catholic faith, while about 8% are Protestant. Compared to the 1990 census, the pcentage of Christians fell, wheas Muslims and the undeclared/no religion more than doubled in size.[ Publikationen zur Volkszählung 2000 – Amt für Volkswirtschaft (AVW) – Landesvwaltung Liechtenstein


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right"Ruggell" is the most northerly and low lying of the Liechtenstein communities/municipalities, with population of 1932 in 2007. The name is said to be from the Latin for "clearing the land." („roncale - ad roncalem“ ) Most known for
right"Ruggell" is the most northerly and low lying of the Liechtenstein communities/municipalities, with population of 1932 in 2007. The name is said to be from the Latin for "clearing the land." („roncale - ad roncalem“ ) Most known for
right"Ruggell" is the most northerly and low lying of the Liechtenstein communities/municipalities, with population of 1932 in 2007. The name is said to be from the Latin for "clearing the land." („roncale - ad roncalem“ ) Most known for
"Schellenberg" is a municipality in the lowland area of Liechtenstein, on the banks of the Rhine. , it has a population of 952 and covers an area of .The area was first settled by Celts, then by Rhaetians. Rome conquered the area in 15 BC, and made
"Schellenberg" is a municipality in the lowland area of Liechtenstein, on the banks of the Rhine. , it has a population of 952 and covers an area of .The area was first settled by Celts, then by Rhaetians. Rome conquered the area in 15 BC, and made
"Schellenberg" is a municipality in the lowland area of Liechtenstein, on the banks of the Rhine. , it has a population of 952 and covers an area of .The area was first settled by Celts, then by Rhaetians. Rome conquered the area in 15 BC, and made
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