Everything you need to know about Liechtenstein: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more
Liechtenstein: Tiny European Country and Tax Haven
Liechtenstein was founded in 1719, however its inhabitants are descendents of the Alemanni tribe that came to the region after 500 A.D. It was part of the German Confederation from 1815 to 1866 and formally abolished its army in 1868 and has adopted a neutral stance since then, which includes the two World Wars. The Liechtenstein is a known tax haven and many companies have opened their offices in the country to avail of the tax benefits. The Roman Catholic Church exerts a strong influence in the affairs of the country, as does the absolutist monarchy represented by Prince Hans Adam II.
Liechtenstein Facts and Figures:
The warm Fohn wind blowing from the south has moderated the Liechtenstein climate, which is not as severe as other countries in the region. The annual Liechtenstein temperature varies from –4.5 °C in January to 20 °C in July whereas the annual rainfall measures 41 inches.
Liechtenstein Culture and Economy:
Liechtenstein on account of its small size and landlocked status has been strongly influenced by external cultures, most notably from the German speaking areas like Austria, Bavaria, Switzerland and Tyrol. Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is the largest museum in Liechtenstein, designed by Swiss architects, and has preserved the important elements of Liechtenstein life and tradition. Liechtenstein culture gives prime importance to music and theatre and celebrates the annual Guitar Day. The Roman Catholic Church strongly influences Liechtenstein citizens daily life and abortion was illegal until 2005 when the country’s parliament legalised it.
Liechtenstein is a tax haven that previously offered anonymous bank accounts. It is among the few countries in the world that has more number of registered companies (77,000) than people. Most of these companies are just ‘letter box’ companies that have opened nominal offices to benefit from the lax tax laws of Liechtenstein. As a result of the criticism from international agencies the Liechtenstein government has recently brought in tax reforms and stringency in its financial regulations to check fraudulent practices.
Liechtenstein Tourist Attractions:
Despite its small size Liechtenstein offers some enticing places to visit and things to do. Vaduz, the capital of this diminutive country has some interesting tourist attractions like the Liechtenstein Art Museum, which has a good collection of private memorabilia of Liechtenstein’s royal family. It also has a beautiful Schloss Vaduz castle in the wooded hillside that dates back to the 14th century. If you still want to explore further remember to visit the 19th century Cathedral of St Florin.
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