Liechtenstein





Basic Data

Liechtenstein

Official Country Name: Principality of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein

Region (Map name): Europe
Population: 32,207
Language(s): German, Alemannic
Literacy rate: 100%

The Imperial Free Territory of Schellenberg (1699) and the County of Vaduz (1712), purchased by the German princely family of Liechtenstein, were merged to form modern Liechtenstein in 1719. Liechtenstein was, successively, a member state of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine from 1807 to 1815, and the German Confederation until 1866. Geographically separated from a united Germany by Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein opted for a custom's union, first with Austria and since 1923 with Switzerland. The first Liechtenstein Prince to take up permanent residence in the principality was Francis Joseph II, who reigned from 1938 to 1989.

Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy with a reigning prince; since 1989 this has been Hans Adam II. The government is centered in the capital, Vaduz, where a 25-member Diet, or legislature, represents the principality's population of over 32,000 residents. Article 40 of the Constitution of Liechtenstein guarantees each person the right to freely express his opinions and to communicate his ideas verbally, in writing, and in print, or by picture, within the limits of the laws and of morality. The same Article 40 rejects censorship except in public performances and exhibitions.

Although a small nation, Liechtenstein has a highly developed industrialized economy based on the free-enterprise system. Low business taxes and easy incorporation rules have enabled almost 74,000 companies to establish offices within the principality. Liechtenstein's workforce is divided among the service industry, agriculture, fishing, foresting, horticulture, and industry, trade, and building, and the country's workers are among Europe's highest wage earners.

Newspapers and periodicals and radio and television represent the media in Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein's two daily newspapers are Zeitungen ( www.vaterland.li ), with a 1995 circulation of 8,920, and the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt ( www.lol.li/Volksblatt ), with 8,700 readers in 1995. The Liechtensteiner Woche is a weekly newspaper with a 1998 circulation of 13,900. Liechtenstein prints two weekly periodicals of general interest, Liechtensteiner Anzeigere, which had a 1995 circulation of 29,000, and the Liechtensteiner Wochenzeitung, with 13,880 readers in 1995. Liechtenstein has only one radio station, Radio Liechtenstein (Radio L, www.radio.li ), and only one television station, XML Television. The three press bureaus in Liechtenstein are L-Press, Mediateam, and Pressburo Vaduz. The population of Liechtenstein also has ready access to newspapers, periodicals, radio stations, and television stations published and/or broadcast from outside the borders of the principality. Liechtenstein citizens considering a career in the media usually attend universities in neighboring Switzerland, Austria, or Germany.

Bibliography

Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein. Vaduz: Gutenberg, 1982.

Kranz, Walter, ed. The Principality of Liechtenstein. Vaduz: Government Printing Office, n.d.

Seger, Otto. A Survey of Liechtenstein History. Vaduz: Government Printing Office, n.d.

World Mass Media Handbook, 1995 ed. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, 1995.

William A. Paquette

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