Liechtenstein History

Liechtenstein History

Early period up to the 19th century

The area of ​​what is now Liechtenstein belonged to since the 1st century BC. to the Roman province of Rhaetia until the Germanic tribes around the 5th century AD. the rule of the Romans ended. Since the early Middle Ages, the Alemannic people have lived here. In the late Middle Ages, the counties of Vaduz and Schellenberg, which were founded by Emperor Karl VI. (1711 to 1740) in 1719 to form the Principality of Liechtenstein, which was directly linked to the Reich. The name came from the noble family of the Liechtensteiners, who originally came from Lower Austria, and acquired the territories Schellenberg and Vaduz in 1699 and 1712, respectively.

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19th and early 20th centuries

In 1806 Liechtenstein achieved full sovereignty. In 1815, the country joined the German Confederation, founded at the Vienna Congress, which consisted of 39 German states and was dominated by Austria. The close ties to Austria that had already begun under Prince Johann I (1813-1836) continued to deepen. His son Prince Alois II (1836-1858) concluded a customs union with the neighboring country (1852).

After the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866, Liechtenstein became an independent state. From 1876 to 1918, Liechtenstein formed a common customs and tax area with Austria. After the end of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918, the country had to reorient itself. Under Prince Johann II (1858-1929), Liechtenstein closely connected to Switzerland. In 1923 and 1924, a customs and currency union was closed and Switzerland took over the foreign policy representation of the small country. Two years earlier, a new constitution replaced the old one in 1862, and the constitutional hereditary monarchy was established on a parliamentary-democratic basis.

From World War I to the 1990s

According to AbbreviationFinder, Liechtenstein was neutral in both world wars (the country had no standing army since 1868). In 1955 the country became a member of the UN. Hans-Adam II has been in charge of government in the country since August 1984, and in 1989 he became Prince of Liechtenstein after the death of his father Franz Joseph II. A constitutional amendment gave women full voting and voting rights in 1984. At the beginning of the 1990s, the people of Liechtenstein spoke in favor of the country joining the European Economic Area (EEA).

Political events in Liechtenstein are determined by the two major parties: the Progressive Citizens’ Party (FBP, founded in 1918) and the Patriotic Union (VU, founded in 1936). From 1938 to 1997, the country was ruled by a coalition of both parties before the FBP went into opposition in 1997. In parliamentary elections in February 2001, in which around 16,500 of the country’s approximately 32,000 residents were called for election, the FBP surprisingly won the absolute majority (13 out of a total of 25 seats), after which Prime Minister Mario Frick (VU) resigned after eight years in office Announced resignation. The turnout was just under 90%. The head of government was Otmar Hasler (FBP). In the 2005 elections, the FBP won twelve seats and the VU ten.There was another grand coalition.

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Liechtenstein as a financial center

Thanks to the favorable tax legislation, which attracts many foreign investors and companies, Liechtenstein is one of the so-called “tax havens”. In November 1999 there were disagreements with Germany when an unofficial study by the Federal Intelligence Service became known: Liechtenstein was assumed to indirectly support mafia organizations and South American drug cartels with its financial system and to invite them to laundering money. In June 2000, the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Liechtenstein) – and another 13 tax havens – again accused of lacking cooperation in the fight against money laundering and put the dwarf state on the so-called black list of not cooperative countries. The government then attempted to crack down on organized crime and money laundering (July 2000 abolition of anonymous accounts). The following year, Liechtenstein was removed from the black list, but at the beginning of 2008 there was another affair about tax evasion in Liechtenstein, in which investigations were carried out in nine OECD countries, including Germany. After the signing of twelve tax information exchange agreements, Liechtenstein was also removed from the OECD gray list in November 2009. At the end of 2008, Liechtenstein joined the Schengen zone.

The Principality’s head of government has been Adrian Hasler of the FBP since March 2013. As in the past, the FBP and VU have agreed to continue the grand coalition, this time under the leadership of the FBP.

Liechtenstein President