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Europe's Smallest Countries: - LIECHTENSTEIN

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Author Topic: Europe's Smallest Countries: - LIECHTENSTEIN  (Read 920 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2008, 09:03:13 am »









Human development



Liechtensteiners have an average life expectancy at birth of 79.68 years (76.1 years for males; 83.28 years for females). The infant mortality rate is 4.64 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to recent estimates. An estimated 100 percent of the population, age 10 and older, can read and write.[6] The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Liechtenstein's education as the 10th best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average.





Demographics



Liechtenstein is the fourth smallest country of Europe, after the Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino. Its population is primarily ethnic Alemannic, although its resident population is approximately one third foreign-born, primarily German speakers from the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, and the Swiss Confederation, other Swiss, Italians, and Turks. Foreign-born people make up two-thirds of the country's workforce. Nationals are referred to by the plural: Liechtensteiners.

The official language is German; most speak Alemannic, a dialect of German that is highly divergent from Standard German (see Middle High German), but closely related to those dialects spoken in neighbouring regions. In Triesenberg a quite distinct dialect, promoted by the municipality, is spoken. According to the 2000 census, 87.9% of the population is Christian, of which 76% adhere to the Roman Catholic faith, while about 7% are Protestant. The religious affiliation for most of the remainder is Islam - 4.8%, undeclared - 4.1% and no religion - 2.8%
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Bianca
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2008, 09:05:40 am »









                                                           Culture
 




As a result of its small size Liechtenstein has been strongly affected by external cultural influences, most notably those originating in the southern German-speaking areas of Europe, including Austria, Bavaria, Switzerland, and Tyrol. The Historical Society of the 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 National Museum (Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum) showing permanent exhibition on the cultural and natural history of Liechtenstein as well as special exhibitions. There are also a Stamp and a Ski Museum.

The most famous historical sites are Vaduz Castle, Gutenberg Castle, the Red House and the ruins of Schellenberg.

Music and theatre are an important part of the culture. There are numerous music organisations such as the Liechtenstein Musical Company, the annual Guitar Days and the International Josef Gabriel Rheinberger Society; and two main theatres.

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.








                                                                  Sport





Liechtenstein football teams play in the Swiss football leagues. The Liechtenstein Cup allows access to one Liechtenstein team each year in the UEFA Cup; FC Vaduz, a team playing in the Swiss Challenge League (i.e. the second level of 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 defeated the Latvian team FC Universitate Riga by 1–1 and 4–2, to go on to a lucrative fixture against Paris St Germain, which they lost 0–4 and 0–3.

The Liechtenstein national football team has traditionally been regarded as an easy target for any team drawn against them, a fact that served as 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, headed by Patrick Nikodem, managed a 2–2 draw with Portugal, which only a few months earlier had been the losing finalists in the European Championships. Four days later, the Liechtenstein team travelled to Luxembourg where they defeated the home team by 4 goals to 0 in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match. They are still considered by many to be an easier touch than most, however, they have been steadily improving over the last few years, and are now considered the best of the European "minnows". In the qualification stage of the European Championship 2008, Liechtenstein beat Latvia 1-0, score which prompted the resignation of the Latvian coach. They went on to beat Iceland 3-0 (October 17, 2007), which is considered one of the most dramatic losses of the Icelandic national soccer team.

As an alpine country, the main opportunity for Liechtensteiners to excel is in winter sports such as downhill skiing: The country's single ski area is Malbun. Hanni Wenzel won two gold and one silver medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics (she won bronze in 1976), whereas her brother, Andreas , won one silver medal (1980) and one bronze medal 1984 in the Giant Slalom event. With nine medals overall (all in alpine skiing), Liechtenstein has won more Olympic medals per capita than any other nation[citation needed]. It is also the smallest nation to win a medal in any Olympics, Winter or Summer. Other notable skiers from Liechtenstein are Marco Büchel, Willi Frommelt, Paul Frommelt and Ursula Konzett.

Vaduz, Liechtenstein, is considering a bid for either the 2018 Winter Olympics or 2022 Winter Olympics
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Bianca
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2008, 09:08:31 am »








                                                              Tourism





In June 2003 the state tourism agency decided to give a boost to the country's tourism by offering to rent out the country to businesses and other organizations for conference hosting, weddings, or other such events. The company will be given keys to the capital city and be offered team-building/tourist activities and attractions, such as wine-tasting, tobogganing, and full access to one of the country's royal castles.

Karl Schwarzler, along with the entire nation of Liechtenstein, was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Economics in 2003 for this unique enterprise.








                                                            Military





Liechtenstein follows a policy of neutrality and is one of few countries in the world to have no army, having abolished it in 1868 due to high costs. While the CIA World Factbook claims that the defense of Liechtenstein is the responsibility of Switzerland, Switzerland actually has no defense agreement with Liechtenstein.

No defense treaty is mentioned in a description of the bilateral relationships between the two countries provided on Liechtenstein's official website.





 See also


List of Liechtensteiners

European microstates


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liechtenstein
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 09:09:27 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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