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Liechtenstein:
Geography

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Background
Definition
The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman Empire in 1719. Occupied by both French and Russian troops during the Napoleanic wars, it became a sovereign state in 1806 and joined the Germanic Confederation in 1815. Liechtenstein became fully independent in 1866 when the Confederation dissolved. Until the end of World War I, it was closely tied to Austria, but the economic devastation caused by that conflict forced Liechtenstein to enter into a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. Since World War II (in which Liechtenstein remained neutral), the country's low taxes have spurred outstanding economic growth. In 2000, shortcomings in banking regulatory oversight resulted in concerns about the use of financial institutions for money laundering. However, Liechtenstein implemented anti-money-laundering legislation and a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the US went into effect in 2003.
Location
Definition
Central Europe, between Austria and Switzerland
Geographic coordinates
Definition
47 16 N, 9 32 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 160 sq km
land: 160 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 76 km
border countries: Austria 34.9 km, Switzerland 41.1 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (doubly landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
continental; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow or rain; cool to moderately warm, cloudy, humid summers
Terrain
Definition
mostly mountainous (Alps) with Rhine Valley in western third
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Ruggeller Riet 430 m
highest point: Vorder-Grauspitz 2,599 m
Natural resources
Definition
hydroelectric potential, arable land
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 75% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
NA
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note
Definition
along with Uzbekistan, one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world; variety of microclimatic variations based on elevation


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