Liechtenstein

Article

October 17, 2021

The Principality of Liechtenstein (German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is a microstate in central Europe. It is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east. The mountainous country is a winter sports resort and also a tax haven. Like Switzerland, Liechtenstein is not a member of the European Union. However, the country is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). This is an agreement between the countries of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association, with the exception of Switzerland. The agreement promotes free movement of persons, goods, services and capital between the participating countries. There is also cooperation in the economic field. Since December 19, 2011, Liechtenstein has been a Schengen country.

History

In 1699 the Bohemian prince Johan Adam Andreas of Liechtenstein bought the lordship of Schellenberg and in 1712 the county of Vaduz from the counts of Hohenems. In 1707 he also got a seat on the royal bank of the Swabian Kreits for a loan of 250,000 guilders. On January 23, 1719, Emperor Charles VI united the lordships of Vaduz and Schellenberg into a principality, called Liechtenstein. Finally, in 1723, the new principality was given a seat and a vote in the Reichstag. On July 12, 1806, Liechtenstein was one of the signatories of the Rhine Bond Act, through which the principality broke away from the Holy Roman Empire and became sovereign. The Congress of Vienna established in 1815 that the principality became part of the German Confederation. This situation lasted until the abolition of the German Confederation in 1866. Until the end of World War I, the country had close ties with Austria, but the economic slump caused by this war forced Liechtenstein to enter into a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since the Second World War, in which Liechtenstein remained neutral under Prince Franz Joseph II, the low tax rates have brought the country great economic growth. Liechtenstein was the first country in the world to abolish the death penalty in practice. The last death penalty was carried out in 1798. The legal abolition of this punishment did not follow until 1985.

Geography

Liechtenstein is located in the Rhine Valley in the Alps. From north to south, the country is at most 24 kilometers long. With an area of ​​160,475 km², Liechtenstein is the ninth smallest country on earth. The borders with Austria and Switzerland are together 77.9 kilometers long. Incidentally, the territory and borders of Liechtenstein were only accurately measured in 2006 using modern technology, so that Liechtenstein turned out to be half a square kilometer larger than previously thought. In the west, the Rhine forms the border with Switzerland. The eastern part of the country is the highest. The Grauspitz (2599 meters) is the highest point in the country. Although the country is located in the Alps, the climate is quite mild due to the south wind. In winter, the mountain slopes offer the opportunity to practice various winter sports. Besides Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein is the only inner state of which all neighboring countries are also inner states. This means that at least two other countries have to be crossed to reach the coast of an open sea.

Politics

Liechtenstein is a parliamentary democracy, led by the monarch. The current monarch is Hans Adam II, who succeeded his father after his death in 1989. On August 15, 2004, the monarch transferred his powers, but without abdicating, to his son, Hereditary Prince Alois. The parliament of Liechtenstein, the Landtag, is made up of 25 representatives elected by the people. The cabinet, which consists of five members, is responsible for the day-to-day management. Liechtenstein is, next to Switzerland, one of the two countries where there is direct democracy at the national level. The country has had women's suffrage since 1984. However, the monarch can send both parliament and cabinet home. on 16 ma

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