July 10, 2006

THE ANOMALY IS THE POINT:

Quirky Liechtenstein marks bicentennial (SAM CAGE, 7/10/06, Associated Press)

Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein can see almost his entire realm from the castle — mountain ridge to mountain ridge and down to the capital below.

In a Europe of nations coming together in a vast continental superstate, Liechtenstein is a quirk of history that harks back to an older world — of separateness, neutrality and sharp survival instincts.

Created by Napoleon in 1806, it has managed to avoid the upheaval of the past century to celebrate its bicentennial, starting Wednesday, in peace and prosperity.

This wedge of central Europe is no fairy tale kingdom, however, but a banking and tax haven which, like other constitutional anomalies such as Monaco and the Isle of Man, has done well out of the world economy.


Had all of Europe avoided the past two centuries it would be in similarly good shape.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 10, 2006 5:00 PM
Comments

One of Liechtenstein's main advantages is that nobody can find it.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 11, 2006 6:47 AM
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