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Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(/ˈlɪktənstaɪn/ ( listen); LIK-tən-styne; German: [ˈlɪçtn̩ʃtaɪn]), officially the Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
(German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein),[7] is a doubly landlocked German-speaking microstate in Central Europe.[8] The principality is a constitutional monarchy headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is bordered by Switzerland
Switzerland
to the west and south and Austria
Austria
to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), the fourth smallest in Europe, and an estimated population of 37,000. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz
Vaduz
and its largest municipality is Schaan. Economically, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has one of the highest gross domestic products per person in the world when adjusted for purchasing power parity,[9] and the highest when not adjusted by purchasing power parity. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the world at 1.5%. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has been known in the past as a billionaire tax haven; however, it is no longer on any blacklists of uncooperative tax haven countries (see taxation section). An Alpine country, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is mainly mountainous, making it a winter sport destination. Many cultivated fields and small farms are found both in the south (Oberland, upper land) and north (Unterland, lower land). The country has a strong financial sector centered in Vaduz. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is a member of the United Nations, European Free Trade Association, and the Council of Europe, and while not being a member of the European Union, the country participates in both the Schengen Area
Schengen Area
and European Economic Area. It also has a customs union and a monetary union with Switzerland.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Foundation of a dynasty 1.3 Principality 1.4 20th century 1.5 Financial centre

2 Government

2.1 New constitution 2.2 International awards

3 Geography 4 Economy

4.1 Taxation

5 Demographics

5.1 Languages 5.2 Religion

6 Education 7 Transport 8 Culture 9 Media 10 Sports

10.1 Youth

11 Security and defence 12 See also 13 References 14 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Liechtenstein

Gutenberg Castle, Balzers, Liechtenstein.

Vaduz
Vaduz
Castle, overlooking the capital, is home to the Prince of Liechtenstein

Johann I Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
from 1805 to 1806 and 1814 to 1836.

Early history[edit] The oldest traces of human existence in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
date back to the Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
era.[10] Neolithic
Neolithic
farming settlements were initially founded in the valleys around 5300 BCE. The Hallstatt and La Tène cultures flourished during the late Iron Age, from around 450 BCE—possibly under some influence of both the Greek and Etruscan civilisations. One of the most important tribal groups in the Alpine region were the Helvetii. In 58 BCE, at the Battle of Bibracte, Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
defeated the Alpine tribes, therefore bringing the region under close control of the Roman Empire. By 15 BCE, Tiberius—destined to be the second Roman emperor—with his brother, Drusus, conquered the entirety of the Alpine area. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was then integrated into the Roman province
Roman province
of Raetia. The area was maintained by the Roman military, who also maintained large legionary camps at Brigantium (Austria), near Lake Constance, and at Magia (Swiss). A Roman road
Roman road
which ran through the territory was also created and maintained by these groups. In 259/60 Brigantium was destroyed by the Alemanni, a Germanic people
Germanic people
who settled in the area in around 450 CE. In the Early Middle Ages, the Alemanni
Alemanni
settled the eastern Swiss plateau by the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps
Alps
by the end of the 8th century, with Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
located at the eastern edge of Alemannia. In the 6th century, the entire region became part of the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
following Clovis I's victory over the Alemanni
Alemanni
at Tolbiac
Tolbiac
in 504.[11][12] The area that later became Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
remained under Frankish hegemony (Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties), until the empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun
Treaty of Verdun
in 843 AD, following the death of Charlemagne.[10] The territory of present-day Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was under the possession of East Francia. It would later be reunified with Middle Francia
Middle Francia
under the Holy Roman Empire, around 1000 CE.[10] Until about 1100, the predominant language of the area was Romansch, but thereafter German began to gain ground in the territory. In 1300, an Alemannic population—the Walsers, who originated in Valais—entered the region and settled. The mountain village of Triesenberg
Triesenberg
still preserves features of Walser dialect into the present century.[13] Foundation of a dynasty[edit] By 1200, dominions across the Alpine plateau were controlled by the Houses of Savoy, Zähringer, Habsburg, and Kyburg. Other regions were accorded the Imperial immediacy
Imperial immediacy
that granted the empire direct control over the mountain passes. When the Kyburg dynasty fell in 1264, the Habsburgs under King Rudolph I ( Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
in 1273) extended their territory to the eastern Alpine plateau that included the territory of Liechtenstein.[11] This region was enfeoffed to the Counts of Hohenems
Hohenems
until the creation of the Liechtenstein dynasty
Liechtenstein dynasty
in 1699. In 1396 Vaduz
Vaduz
(the southern region of Liechtenstein) was raised to the status of "imperial immediacy" and as such made subject to the Holy Roman Emperor alone.[14] The family, from which the principality takes its name, originally came from Liechtenstein Castle
Liechtenstein Castle
in Lower Austria
Austria
which they had possessed from at least 1140 until the 13th century (and again from 1807 onwards). The Liechtensteins acquired land, predominantly in Moravia, Lower Austria, Silesia, and Styria. As these territories were all held in feudal tenure from more senior feudal lords, particularly various branches of the Habsburgs, the Liechtenstein dynasty
Liechtenstein dynasty
was unable to meet a primary requirement to qualify for a seat in the Imperial diet (parliament), the Reichstag. Even though several Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
princes served several Habsburg
Habsburg
rulers as close advisers, without any territory held directly from the Imperial throne, they held little power in the Holy Roman Empire. For this reason, the family sought to acquire lands that would be classed as unmittelbar (immediate) or held without any intermediate feudal tenure, directly from the Holy Roman Emperor. During the early 17th century Karl I of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was made a Fürst (prince) by the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
Matthias after siding with him in a political battle. Hans-Adam I was allowed to purchase the minuscule Herrschaft ("Lordship") of Schellenberg
Schellenberg
and county of Vaduz
Vaduz
(in 1699 and 1712 respectively) from the Hohenems. Tiny Schellenberg
Schellenberg
and Vaduz
Vaduz
had exactly the political status required: no feudal lord other than their comital sovereign and the suzerain Emperor. Principality[edit]

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On 23 January 1718, after the lands had been purchased, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, decreed that Vaduz
Vaduz
and Schellenberg
Schellenberg
were united and elevated the newly formed territory to the dignity of Fürstentum (principality) with the name "Liechtenstein" in honour of "[his] true servant, Anton Florian of Liechtenstein". It was on this date that Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
became a sovereign member state of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a testament to the pure political expediency of the purchase that the Princes of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
never visited their new principality for almost 100 years. By the early 19th century, as a result of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
in Europe, the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
came under the effective control of France, following the crushing defeat at Austerlitz by Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1805. Emperor Francis II abdicated, ending more than 960 years of feudal government. Napoleon
Napoleon
reorganized much of the Empire into the Confederation of the Rhine. This political restructuring had broad consequences for Liechtenstein: the historical imperial, legal, and political institutions had been dissolved. The state ceased to owe an obligation to any feudal lord beyond its borders.[15] Modern publications generally attribute Liechtenstein's sovereignty to these events. Its prince ceased to owe an obligation to any suzerain. From 25 July 1806, when the Confederation of the Rhine
Confederation of the Rhine
was founded, the Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
was a member, in fact, a vassal, of its hegemon, styled protector, the French Emperor Napoleon
Napoleon
I, until the dissolution of the confederation on 19 October 1813. Soon afterward, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
joined the German Confederation
German Confederation
(20 June 1815 – 24 August 1866), which was presided over by the Emperor of Austria. In 1818, Prince Johann I granted the territory a limited constitution. In that same year Prince Aloys became the first member of the House of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
to set foot in the principality that bore their name. The next visit would not occur until 1842. Developments during the 19th century included:

1836, the first factory, for making ceramics, was opened. 1861, the Savings and Loans Bank was founded along with the first cotton-weaving mill. 1868, the Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Army was disbanded for financial reasons. 1872, a railway line between Switzerland
Switzerland
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire was constructed through Liechtenstein. 1886, two bridges over the Rhine
Rhine
to Switzerland
Switzerland
were built.

20th century[edit] Until the end of World War I, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was closely tied first to the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
and later to Austria-Hungary; the ruling princes continued to derive much of their wealth from estates in the Habsburg territories, and they spent much of their time at their two palaces in Vienna. The economic devastation caused by this war forced the country to conclude a customs and monetary union with its other neighbour, Switzerland. At the time of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was argued that Liechtenstein, as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire, was no longer bound to the emerging independent state of Austria, since the latter did not consider itself as the legal successor to the empire. This is partly contradicted[original research?] by the Liechtenstein perception that the dethroned Austro-Hungarian Emperor still maintained an abstract heritage of the Holy Roman Empire.

Franz I, Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
from 1929 to 1938.

In 1929, 75-year-old Prince Franz I succeeded to the throne. Franz had just married Elisabeth von Gutmann, a wealthy woman from Vienna
Vienna
whose father was a Jewish businessman from Moravia. Although Liechtenstein had no official Nazi party, a Nazi sympathy movement arose within its National Union party. Local Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Nazis identified Elisabeth as their Jewish "problem".[16] In March 1938, just after the annexation of Austria
Austria
by Nazi Germany, Prince Franz named as regent his 31-year-old first cousin twice removed and heir-presumptive, Prince Franz Joseph. Franz died in July that year, and Franz Joseph succeeded to the throne. Franz Joseph II first moved to Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
in 1938, a few days after Austria's annexation.[14] During World War II, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
remained officially neutral, looking to neighbouring Switzerland
Switzerland
for assistance and guidance, while family treasures from dynastic lands and possessions in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia
Silesia
were taken to Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
for safekeeping. At the close of the conflict, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
and Poland, acting to seize what they considered to be German possessions, expropriated the entirety of the Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
dynasty's properties in those three regions. The expropriations (subject to modern legal dispute at the International Court of Justice) included over 1,600 km2 (618 sq mi) of agricultural and forest land (most notably the UNESCO listed Lednice–Valtice Cultural Landscape), and several family castles and palaces. In 2005 it was revealed that Jewish labourers from the Strasshof concentration camp, provided by the SS, had worked on estates in Austria
Austria
owned by Liechtenstein's Princely House.[17] Citizens of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
were forbidden to enter Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. More recently the diplomatic conflict revolving around the controversial post-war Beneš decrees
Beneš decrees
resulted in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
not sharing international relations with the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Diplomatic relations were established between Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
and the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
on 13 July 2009,[18][19][20] and with Slovakia
Slovakia
on 9 December 2009.[21] Financial centre[edit] Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was in dire financial straits following the end of the war in Europe. The Liechtenstein dynasty
Liechtenstein dynasty
often resorted to selling family artistic treasures, including the portrait "Ginevra de' Benci" by Leonardo da Vinci, which was purchased by the National Gallery of Art of the United States
United States
in 1967 for $5 million ($37 million in 2017 dollars), then a record price for a painting. However, by the late 1970s, it used its low corporate tax rates to draw many companies to the country, becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The Prince of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
is the world's eighth wealthiest monarch with an estimated wealth of 3.5 billion USD.[22] The country's population enjoys one of the world's highest standards of living. Government[edit]

Administrative divisions of Liechtenstein

The centre of government in Vaduz.

Main article: Politics of Liechtenstein

Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, as pictured by Erling Mandelmann in 1974.

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has a constitutional monarch as Head of State, and an elected parliament which enacts the law. It is also a direct democracy, where voters can propose and enact constitutional amendments and legislation independent of the legislature. The Constitution of Liechtenstein
Constitution of Liechtenstein
was adopted in March 2003, replacing the previous 1921 constitution which had established Liechtenstein
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 international relations (although Switzerland
Switzerland
has taken responsibility for much of Liechtenstein's diplomatic relations). The Prince may veto laws adopted by parliament. The Prince can call referenda, propose new legislation, and dissolve parliament, although dissolution of parliament may be subject to a referendum.[23] Executive authority is vested in a collegiate government comprising the head of government (prime minister) and four government councilors (ministers). The head of government and the other ministers 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 members of the government be chosen from each of the two regions.[24] The members of the government are collectively and individually responsible to parliament; parliament may ask the Prince to remove an individual minister or the entire government. Legislative authority is vested in the unicameral Landtag made up of 25 members elected for maximum four-year terms according to a proportional representation formula. Fifteen members are elected from the "Oberland" (Upper Country or region) and ten members are elected from the "Unterland" (Lower Country or region).[25] Parties must receive at least 8% of the national vote to win seats in parliament, i.e. enough for 2 seats in the 25-seat legislature. Parliament proposes and approves a government, which is formally appointed by the Prince. Parliament
Parliament
may also pass votes of no confidence in the entire government or individual members. Parliament
Parliament
elects from among its members a "Landesausschuss" (National Committee) made up of the president of the parliament and four additional members. The National Committee is charged with performing parliamentary oversight functions. Parliament
Parliament
can call for referenda on proposed legislation. Parliament
Parliament
shares the authority to propose new legislation with the Prince and with the number of citizens required for an initiative referendum.[26] 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 members elected by parliament. On 1 July 1984, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
became the last country in Europe
Europe
to grant women the right to vote. The referendum on women's suffrage, in which only men were allowed to participate, passed with 51.3% in favour.[27] New constitution[edit] In a national referendum in March 2003, nearly two-thirds of the electorate voted in support of Hans-Adam II's proposed new constitution to replace the 1921 version. The proposed constitution was criticised by many, including the Council of Europe, as expanding the powers of the monarchy (continuing the power to veto any law, and allowing the Prince to dismiss the government or any minister). The Prince threatened that if the constitution failed, he would, among other things, convert some of the royal property for commercial use and move to Austria.[28] The princely family and the Prince enjoy tremendous public support inside the nation, and the resolution passed with about 64% in favour.[29] A proposal to revoke the Prince's veto powers was rejected by 76% of voters in a 2012 referendum.[30] Few national constitutions provide a right of secession, but municipalities in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
are entitled to secede from the union by majority vote.[31] International awards[edit] In the year 2013, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
won for the first time a SolarSuperState Prize in the category Solar recognizing the achieved level of the usage of photovoltaics per population within the state territory.[32] The SolarSuperState Association justified this prize with the cumulative installed photovoltaic power of some 290 Watt per capita at the end of 2012. This level placed Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
second in the world after Germany. Also in the year 2014, the SolarSuperState Association awarded the 2. SolarSuperState Prize in the category Solar to Liechtenstein.[33] In the years 2015 and 2016, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
was honored with the 1. SolarSuperState Prize in the category Solar because the state had the world's biggest cumulative installed photovoltaic power per population.[34][35] Geography[edit] Main article: Geography of Liechtenstein

The Rhine: border between Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
and Switzerland
Switzerland
(view towards the Swiss Alps).

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is situated in the Upper Rhine
Rhine
valley of the European Alps
Alps
and is bordered to the east by Austria, and to the south and west by Switzerland. The entire western border of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is formed by the Rhine. Measured south to north the country is about 24 km (15 mi) long. Its highest point, the Grauspitz, is 2,599 m (8,527 ft). Despite its Alpine location, prevailing southerly winds make the climate of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
comparatively mild. In winter, the mountain slopes are well suited to winter sports. New surveys using more accurate measurements of the country's borders in 2006 have set its area at 160 km2 (61.776 sq mi), with borders of 77.9 km (48.4 mi).[36] Thus, it was discovered in 2006 that Liechtenstein's borders are 1.9 km (1.2 mi) longer than previously thought.[37] Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world[38] — being a landlocked country wholly surrounded by other landlocked countries (the other is Uzbekistan). Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is the sixth-smallest independent nation in the world by land area. The principality of Liechtenstein
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 Schellenberg) fall within the electoral district Unterland (the lower county), and the remainder (Balzers, Planken, Schaan, Triesen, Triesenberg, and Vaduz) within Oberland (the upper county). Economy[edit]

Looking southward at Vaduz
Vaduz
city centre

Main article: Economy of Liechtenstein Despite its limited natural resources, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is one of the few countries in the world with more registered companies than citizens; it has developed a prosperous, highly industrialized free-enterprise economy and boasts a financial service sector as well as a living standard that compares favourably with those of the urban areas of Liechtenstein's much larger European neighbours. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
participates in a customs union with Switzerland
Switzerland
and employs the Swiss franc
Swiss franc
as the national currency. The country imports about 85% of its energy. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has been a member of the European Economic Area
European Economic Area
(an organization serving as a bridge between the European Free Trade Association
European Free Trade Association
(EFTA) and the European Union) since May 1995. The government is working to harmonize its economic policies with those of an integrated Europe. In 2008, the unemployment rate stood at 1.5%. Currently, there is only one hospital in Liechtenstein, the Liechtensteinisches Landesspital in Vaduz. As of 2014 the CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook
estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) on a purchasing power parity basis to be $4.978 billion. As of 2009 the estimate per capita was $139,100, which is the highest listed for the world.[38] Industries include electronics, textiles, precision instruments, metal manufacturing, power tools, anchor bolts, calculators, pharmaceuticals, and food products. Its most recognizable international company and largest employer is Hilti, a manufacturer of direct fastening systems and other high-end power tools. Liechtenstein produces wheat, barley, corn, potatoes, dairy products, livestock, and wine. Tourism accounts for a large portion of the country's economy. Taxation[edit]

Since 1923, there has been no border control between Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
and Switzerland.

The government of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
taxes personal, business income, and principal (wealth). The basic rate of personal income tax is 1.2%. When combined with the additional income tax imposed by the communes, the combined income tax rate is 17.82%.[39] An additional income tax of 4.3% is levied on all employees under the country's social security programme. This rate is higher 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% per annum, and the combined total rate is 0.89%. The tax rate on corporate profits is 12.5%.[38] Liechtenstein's gift and estate taxes vary depending on the relationship the recipient has to the giver and the amount of the inheritance. 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. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has previously received significant revenues from Stiftungen ("foundations"), which are financial entities created to hide the true owner of nonresident foreigners' financial holdings. The foundation is registered in the name of a Liechtensteiner, often a lawyer. This set of laws used to make Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
a popular tax haven for extremely wealthy individuals and businesses attempting to avoid or evade taxes in their home countries.[40] In recent years, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has displayed a stronger determination to prosecute international money-launderers and has worked to promote the country's image as a legitimate finance center. In February 2008, the country's LGT Bank was implicated in a tax-fraud scandal in Germany, which strained the ruling family's relationship with the German government. Crown Prince Alois has accused the German government of trafficking in stolen goods, referring to its $7.3 million purchase of private banking information offered by a former employee of LGT Group.[41][42] However, the United States
United States
Senate's subcommittee on tax haven banks said that the LGT bank, which is owned by the princely family, and on whose board they serve, "is a willing partner, and an aider and abettor to clients trying to evade taxes, dodge creditors or defy court orders".[43] The 2008 Liechtenstein tax affair
2008 Liechtenstein tax affair
is a series of tax investigations in numerous countries whose governments suspect that some of their citizens have evaded tax obligations by using banks and trusts in Liechtenstein; the affair broke open with the biggest complex of investigations ever initiated for tax evasion in the Federal Republic of Germany.[44] It was also seen as an attempt to put pressure on Liechtenstein, then one of the remaining uncooperative tax havens—along with Andorra
Andorra
and Monaco—as identified by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
in 2007.[45] On 27 May 2009 the OECD removed Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
from the blacklist of uncooperative countries.[46] In August 2009, the British government department HM Revenue & Customs agreed with Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
to start exchanging information. It is believed that up to 5,000 British investors have roughly £3 billion deposited in accounts and trusts in the country.[47] In October 2015, the European Union
European Union
and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
signed a tax agreement to ensure the automatic exchange of financial information in case of tax disputes. The collection of data started in 2016, and is another step to bring the principality in line with other European countries with regard to its taxation of private individuals and corporate assets.[48] Demographics[edit] Main articles: Demographics of Liechtenstein
Demographics of Liechtenstein
and Religion in Liechtenstein Population-wise, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is the fourth smallest country of Europe; only Vatican City, San Marino, and Monaco
Monaco
have fewer residents. Its population is primarily Alemannic-speaking, although one third is foreign-born, primarily German speakers from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, along with other Swiss, Italians, and Turks. Foreign-born people make up two-thirds of the country's workforce.[49] Liechtensteiners have an average life expectancy at birth of 80.31 years, subdividing as male: 76.86 years, female: 83.77 years (2011 est.). The infant mortality rate is 4.64 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to recent estimates. Languages[edit] The official language is German; most speak an Alemannic dialect of German that is highly divergent from Standard German
Standard German
but closely related to those dialects spoken in neighbouring regions such as Switzerland
Switzerland
and Vorarlberg, Austria. In Triesenberg, a dialect promoted by the municipality is spoken. However, Swiss Standard German is understood and spoken by most people within the country. Religion[edit]

Religion in Liechtenstein in 2010[50]   Roman Catholic (75.9%)   Protestant (8.5%)   Other Christian
Christian
(1.4%)    Muslim
Muslim
(5.4%)   Other religion (0.8%)   Undeclared (2.6%)    Irreligion (5.4%)

According to the Constitution of Liechtenstein, the Roman Catholic Church is the official state religion of Liechtenstein:

The Catholic Church
Catholic Church
is the State Church and as such shall enjoy the full protection of the State — Constitution of Liechtenstein[51]

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
offers protection to adherents of all religious beliefs, and considers the "religious interests of the people" a priority of the government.[51] In Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
schools, although exceptions are allowed, religious education in Roman Catholicism or Protestantism (either Reformed
Reformed
or Lutheran, or both) is legally required.[52] Tax exemption is granted by the government to religious organizations.[52] According to the Pew Research Center, social conflict caused by religious hostilities is ranked low in Liechtenstein, and so is the amount of government restriction on the practice of religion.[53] According to the 2010 census, 85.8% of total population is Christian, of whom 75.9% adhere to the Roman Catholic faith, forming the exempt Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vaduz, while 9.6% are either Protestant, mainly organized in the Evangelical Church in Liechtenstein (a United church, Lutheran
Lutheran
& Reformed) and the Evangelical Lutheran
Lutheran
Church in Liechtenstein, or Orthodox, mainly organized in the Christian-Orthodox Church. The largest minority religion is Islam (5.4% of total population). Roman Catholicism is, by far, the predominant religion of people with Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
citizenship (87.0%).[50]

Religion[54] 2010 2000 1990

Catholics 75.9% 78.4% 84.9%

Protestants 8.5% 8.3% 9.2%

Christian-Orthodox Churches 1.1% 1.1% 0.7%

Other Christian
Christian
Churches 0.3% 0.1% 0.2%

Muslims 5.4% 4.8% 2.4%

Other religions 0.8% 0.3% 0.2%

No religion 5.4% 2.8% 1.5%

Undeclared 2.6% 4.1% 0.9%

Education[edit] Main article: Education in Liechtenstein

University of Liechtenstein

The literacy rate of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is 100%.[38] In 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment report, coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ranked Liechtenstein's education as the 10th best in the world.[55] In 2012, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
had the highest PISA-scores of any European country.[56] Within Liechtenstein, there are four main centres for higher education:

University of Liechtenstein Private University in the Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Institute International Academy of Philosophy, Liechtenstein

There are nine public high schools in the country. These include:

Liechtensteinisches Gymnasium in Vaduz. Realschule
Realschule
Vaduz
Vaduz
and Oberschule
Oberschule
Vaduz, in the Schulzentrum Mühleholz II in Vaduz[57] Realschule
Realschule
Schaan
Schaan
and Sportschule Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
in Schaan[57]

Transport[edit] There are about 250 kilometres (155 miles) of paved roadway within Liechtenstein, with 90 km (56 miles) of marked bicycle paths.

Balzers
Balzers
Heliport

A 9.5 km (5.9 mi) railway connects Austria
Austria
and Switzerland through Liechtenstein. The country's railways are administered by the Austrian Federal Railways
Austrian Federal Railways
as part of the route between Feldkirch, Austria, and Buchs, Switzerland. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is nominally within the Austrian Verkehrsverbund Vorarlberg[58] tariff region. There are four stations in Liechtenstein, namely Schaan-Vaduz, Forst Hilti, and Nendeln and Schaanwald, served by an irregularly stopping train service that runs between Feldkirch and Buchs provided by the Austrian Federal Rail Service. While EuroCity
EuroCity
and other long distance international trains also travel along the route, they do not normally stop at the stations within the borders of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein Bus
Liechtenstein Bus
is a subsidiary of the Swiss Postbus system, but separately run, and connects to the Swiss bus network at Buchs and at Sargans. Buses also run to the Austrian town of Feldkirch. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has no airport. The nearest large airport is Zürich Airport near Zürich, Switzerland
Switzerland
(130 km/80 mi by road). The nearest small airport is St. Gallen Airport (50 km/30 mi). Friedrichshafen Airport
Friedrichshafen Airport
also provides access to Liechtenstein, as it is 85 km away. Balzers
Balzers
Heliport is[59][60] available for chartered helicopter flights. Culture[edit] See also: Music of Liechtenstein

Part of a series on the

Culture of Liechtenstein

History

People

Languages

Mythology and folklore

Mythology

Cuisine

Festivals

Religion

Music and performing arts

Music

Media

Television

Sport

Symbols

Flag Coat of arms

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
portal

v t e

City-centre with Kunstmuseum ( Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Art Museum)

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
National Museum

As a result of its small size, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has been strongly affected by external cultural influences, most notably those originating in the southern German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Switzerland, and specifically Tirol and Vorarlberg. The "Historical Society of the Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein" plays a role in preserving the culture and history of the country. The largest museum is the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, an international museum of modern and contemporary art with an important international art collection. The building by the Swiss architects Morger, Degelo, and Kerez is a landmark in Vaduz. It was completed in November 2000 and forms a "black box" of tinted concrete and black basalt stone. The museum collection is also the national art collection of Liechtenstein. The other important museum is the Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
National Museum (Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum) showing permanent exhibition on the cultural and natural history of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
as well as special exhibitions. There is also a stamp museum, ski museum, and a 500-year-old Rural Lifestyle Museum. The Liechtenstein State Library is the library that has legal deposit for all books published in the country. The most famous historical sites are Vaduz
Vaduz
Castle, Gutenberg Castle, the Red House and the ruins of Schellenberg. The Private Art Collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein, one of the world's leading private art collections, is shown at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna. On the country's national holiday all subjects are invited to the castle of the head of state. A significant portion of the population attends the national celebration at the castle where speeches are made and complimentary beer is served.[61] Media[edit] The primary internet service provider and mobile network operator of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is Telecom Liechtenstein, located in Schaan. There is only one television channel in the country, the private channel 1FLTV created in 2008. At the moment, 1FLTV
1FLTV
is not a member of the European Broadcasting Union. L-Radio, which was established in 2004, serves as Liechtenstein's radio station and is based in Triesen. L-Radio has a listener base of 50,000 and began as "air Radio Liechtenstein" on 15 October 1938. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
also has two major newspapers; Liechtensteiner Volksblatt and Liechtensteiner Vaterland. The primary multimedia company in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is ManaMedia, located in Vaduz. Amateur radio
Amateur radio
is a hobby of some nationals and visitors. However, unlike virtually every other sovereign nation, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
does not have its own ITU prefix. It uses Switzerland's callsign prefixes (typically "HB") followed by a zero. Music and theatre are an important part of the culture. There are numerous music organizations such as the Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Musical Company, the annual Guitar Days, and the International Josef Gabriel Rheinberger Society, which play in two main theatres. Sports[edit] See also: Rugby union in Liechtenstein

Marco Büchel, the first Liechtensteiner alpine skier to compete at six Winter Olympics.

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
football teams play in the Swiss football leagues. The Liechtenstein Football Cup allows access for one Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
team each year to the UEFA Europa League; FC Vaduz, a team playing in the Swiss Challenge League, the second division in Swiss football, is the most successful team in the Cup, and scored their greatest success in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1996 when they drew with and defeated the Latvian team FC Universitate Riga by 1–1 and 4–2, to go on to a lucrative fixture against Paris Saint-Germain F.C., which they lost 0–3 and 0–4. The Liechtenstein national football team
Liechtenstein national football team
is regarded as an easy target for any team drawn against them; this was the basis for a book about Liechtenstein's unsuccessful qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup by British author, Charlie Connelly. In one surprising week during autumn 2004, however, the team managed a 2–2 draw with Portugal, who only a few months earlier had been the losing finalists in the European Championships. Four days later, the Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
team traveled to Luxembourg, where they defeated the home team 4–0 in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match. In the qualification stage of the European Championship 2008, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
beat Latvia
Latvia
1–0, a result which prompted the resignation of the Latvian coach. They went on to beat Iceland
Iceland
3–0 on 17 October 2007, which is considered one of the most dramatic losses of the Icelandic national football team. On 7 September 2010, they came within seconds of a 1–1 draw against Scotland in Glasgow, having led 1–0 earlier in the second half, but Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
lost 2–1 thanks to a goal by Stephen McManus
Stephen McManus
in the 97th minute. On 3 June 2011, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
defeated Lithuania
Lithuania
2–0. On 15 November 2014, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
defeated Moldova
Moldova
0-1 with Franz Burgmeier's late free kick goal in Chișinău. As an alpine country, the main sporting opportunity for Liechtensteiners to excel is in winter sports such as downhill skiing: the country's single ski area is Malbun. Hanni Wenzel
Hanni Wenzel
won two gold medals and one silver medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics (she won bronze in 1976), her brother Andreas won one silver medal in 1980 and one bronze medal in 1984 in the giant slalom event, and her daughter Tina Weirather
Tina Weirather
won a bronze medal in 2018 in the Super-G. With ten medals overall (all in alpine skiing), Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
has won more Olympic medals per capita than any other nation.[62] It is the smallest nation to win a medal in any Olympics, Winter or Summer, and the only nation to win a medal in the Winter Games but not in the Summer Games. Other notable skiers from Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
are Marco Büchel, Willi Frommelt, Paul Frommelt and Ursula Konzett. Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
is also the home country of Stephanie Vogt, a professional women's tennis player. Youth[edit] Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
competes in the Switzerland
Switzerland
U16 Cup Tournament, which offers young players an opportunity to play against top football clubs. Security and defence[edit] The Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
National Police is responsible for keeping order within the country. It consists of 87 field officers and 38 civilian staff, totaling 125 employees. All officers are equipped with small arms. The country has one of the world's lowest crime rates. Liechtenstein's prison holds few, if any, inmates, and those with sentences over two years are transferred to Austrian jurisdiction. The Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
National Police maintains a trilateral treaty with Austria
Austria
and Switzerland
Switzerland
that enables close cross-border cooperation among the police forces of the three countries.[63] Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
follows a policy of neutrality and is one of the few countries in the world that maintain no military. The army was abolished soon after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, in which Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
fielded an army of 80 men, although they were not involved in any fighting. The demise of the German Confederation
German Confederation
in that war freed Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
from its international obligation to maintain an army, and parliament seized this opportunity and refused to provide funding for one. The Prince objected, as such a move would leave the country defenceless, but relented on 12 February 1868 and disbanded the force. The last soldier to serve under the colors of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
died in 1939 at age 95.[64] During the 1980s the Swiss army fired off shells during an exercise and mistakenly burned a patch of forest inside Liechtenstein. The incident was said to have been resolved "over a case of white wine".[61] In March 2007, a 170-person Swiss infantry unit got lost during a training exercise and inadvertently crossed 1.5 km (0.9 miles) into Liechtenstein. The accidental invasion ended when the unit realized their mistake and turned back.[65] The Swiss army later informed Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
of the incursion and offered official apologies.[66] See also[edit]

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
portal

Outline of Liechtenstein

References[edit]

^ Raum, Umwelt und Energie Archived 12 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein. Accessed on 2 October 2011. ^ a b c "Amt für Statistik, Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein" (PDF). Llv.li. Retrieved 26 May 2015.  ^ " Liechtenstein
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in Figures : 2016" (PDF). Llv.li. Retrieved 2017-08-03.  ^ a b c Key Figures for Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Archived 17 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein. Accessed on 1 July 2012. ^ a b c World Development Indicators, World Bank. Accessed on 1 July 2012. Note: "PPP conversion factor, GDP (LCU per international $)" and "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)" for Switzerland were used. ^ "2016 Human Development Report". United Nations
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history Nationsencyclopedia.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-27 ^ History of Switzerland
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Nationsonline.org. Retrieved on 2009-11-27 ^ P. Christiaan Klieger, The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World (2014), p. 41 ^ a b Eccardt, Thomas (2005). Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe. Hippocrene Books. p. 176. ISBN 0-7818-1032-9.  ^ "History, creation of Liechtenstein". liechtenstein.li. Liechtenstein
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Principality
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Liechtenstein
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Liechtenstein
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Liechtenstein
– Leaders BBC News, 6 December 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2006. ^ " Principality
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of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
– Government". Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2010. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) . Retrieved 11 January 2010. ^ " Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
website – Parliamentary elections". Archived from the original on 7 August 2004. Retrieved 11 January 2010. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) . Retrieved 11 January 2010. ^ " Principality
Principality
of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
website – Parliamentary Organization". Archived from the original on 11 October 2004. Retrieved 11 January 2010. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) . Retrieved 11 January 2010. ^ " Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Women Win Right to Vote" The New York Times, 2 July 1984. Retrieved 8 July 2011. ^ Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Prince wins powers BBC News
BBC News
Online, 16 March 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2006. ^ "IFES Election Guide – Election Profile for Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
– Results". Electionguide.org. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  ^ " Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
votes to keep prince's veto". Reuters. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  ^ "Constitution of Liechtenstein" (PDF). Web.archive.org. 1 February 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 December 2013. Chapter I, Article 4  ^ "Auszeichnung für das Land Liechtenstein". Volksblatt. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2017.  ^ "Fotovoltaik: Eigenverbrauch soll stärker forciert werden". Volksblatt. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2017.  ^ "Wir sind Solarstrom-Weltmeister 2015". Volksblatt. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2017.  ^ " Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
erneut Solar-Weltmeister". Liechtensteiner Vaterland. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.  ^ "Tiny Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
gets a little bigger", 29 December 2006. ^ Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
redraws Europe
Europe
map, BBC News, 28 December 2006. ^ a b c d " The World Factbook
The World Factbook
— Central Intelligence Agency". Ca.gov. Retrieved 3 August 2017.  ^ Encyclopedia of the Nations. Nationsencyclopedia.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ "Billionaire Tax Haven Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Loses on Bank Reforms". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 3 August 2017.  ^ Wiesmann, Gerrit. "Lilliput's giant-slayer." Financial Times, 23 February 2008. ^ "Pro Libertate: A Parasite's Priorities (Updated, February 23)". Freedominourtime.blogspot.com. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2017.  ^ "Four Corners – 06/10/2008: Tax Me If You Can". Abc.net.au. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2010-06-06.  ^ "Skandal gigantischen Ausmaßes". Süddeutsche Zeitung
Süddeutsche Zeitung
(in German). 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-17.  ^ Esterl, Mike; Simpson, Glenn R.; Crawford, David (2008-02-19). "Stolen Data Spur Tax Probes". The Wall Street Journal. Google Groups. Retrieved 2008-02-20.  ^ Removal from OECD List of Unco-operative Tax Havens. Oecd.org. Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ UK signs Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
tax deal . BBC News
BBC News
(2009-08-11). Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ EU and Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
sign deal on automatic exchange of tax data. European Council. Press releases and statement. Retrieved 15 August 2017. ^ "WT/TPR/S/280 • Switzerland
Switzerland
and Liechtenstein" (PDF). WTO. Retrieved 26 January 2015.  ^ a b "Volkszählung 2010". Llv.li. Retrieved 2017-08-03.  ^ a b Jeroen Temperman (30 May 2010). State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance. BRILL. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-90-04-18148-9. Retrieved 31 July 2012.  ^ a b Aili Piano (30 September 2009). Freedom in the World 2009: The Annual Survey of Political Rights & Civil Liberties. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 426. ISBN 978-1-4422-0122-4. Retrieved 31 July 2012.  ^ "Global Restrictions on Religion" (PDF). Pew Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2017.  ^ "Statistisches Jahrbuch Liechtensteins" (PDF). Llv.li. 2014. p. 80. Retrieved 2017-08-03.  ^ Range of rank on the PISA 2006 science scale. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-12-24 ^ "PISA 2012 Results in Focus" (PDF). Oecd.org. Retrieved 2017-08-03.  ^ a b "Weiterführende Schulen Schaan." Commune of Schaan. Retrieved on 12 May 2016. " Realschule
Realschule
Schaan
Schaan
Duxgass 55 9494 Schaan" and "Sportschule Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Duxgass 55 9494 Schaan" and "Realschule Vaduz
Vaduz
Schulzentrum Mühleholz II 9490 Vaduz" and " Oberschule
Oberschule
Vaduz Schulzentrum Mühleholz II 9490 Vaduz" ^ Verkehrsverbund Vorarlberg. Vmobil.at. Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ Heliport Balzers
Balzers
FL LSXB. Tsis.ch. Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ Heliports – Balzers
Balzers
LSXB – Heli-Website von Matthias Vogt. Heli.li. Retrieved on 2011-12-24. ^ a b Letzing, John. "On Closer Inspection, Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
Shrinks - Then Shrugs." The Wall Street Journal. 17 April 2014. ^ "Per Capita Olympic Medal Table". Retrieved 2009-01-24.  ^ " Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
– facts and figures" (PDF). Archived from the original on 7 January 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2010. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) . Office for Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein ^ Beattie, David (2004). Liechtenstein: A Modern History. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 30. ISBN 1-85043-459-X.  ^ CBC News (2 March 2007). "Not-so-precise Swiss army unit mistakenly invades Liechtenstein". CBC News. Retrieved 18 September 2011.  ^ Hamilton, Lindsay (3 March 2007). "Whoops! Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein". ABC News. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 

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from UCB Libraries GovPubs Liechtenstein
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