Ah Liechtenstein, the alpine valley with a thousand delights. Hidden away in a tiny valley (just 6km by 24km) between Austria and Switzerland, poor Liechtenstein is sadly neglected. No airport, the inter-city train that crosses the country doesn't bother to stop and even the princely family of Liechtenstein didn't bother to visit for 120 years after (literally) buying the country in 1699. That's all changed now of course, the Prince of Liechtenstein seems to be doing very well indeed - with a net wealth of US$5 billion, he is the world's sixth wealthiest leader. Perhaps that has something to do with the laws he passed making the basic tax rate on wealth only 0.06%? Some say that it is a tax haven, with the 40,000 registered companies based there disproportionate to the total population of only 30,000.
But just go to the museum and you'll soon find out that Liechtenstein exports to the world - the Hilti-brand power-drill and the majority of the world's production of false teeth. Liechtenstein also has a thriving tourism industry which (in actual fact) largely consists of tourists arriving by bus and sending a post-card from Liechtenstein, which we duly did.
Perhaps surprisingly, many visitors stay much longer, with a large foreign component to the Liechtenstein workforce (over 60%). They don't have much chance of becoming a true Liechtensteiner though, as citizenship requires a referendum of the locals to judge your credentials. This made it so difficult that families were living in the country for generations without ever being granted citizenship. Thankfully, the Prince has thoughtfully brought in the "easier procedure for long-term residents"
. Now someone is allowed to petition the Prince for citizenship after merely living in Liechtenstein for 30 years and renouncing their original citizenship!