According to Countryaah, the country’s judiciary is based on Western civil law, inspired by Swiss, Austrian and German legislation with respect for local peculiarities.
Its economy is closely integrated into the Swiss, since no customs controls exist between the two countries. Banking and finance is the most important economic activity in the country and is the basis of most of the per capita income of US $ 35,000 annually – one of the highest in the world. The combination of low taxes, uncomplicated financial transactions and extensive banking secrecy in the last decades of the 20th century turned the country into a favored financial paradise, turning it into a series of financial scandals around money laundering in the 1990’s.
In 2000, the German intelligence agency, BND, published a report that ranked the country as the most important money laundering company in Europe and one of the most important in the world. It was therefore included on the black list of criminal financial paradise.
Only after the country adopted a new and tougher financial law the following year was it removed from the black list. During the first 7 months of 2001, it received 107 requests from abroad for assistance in investigating criminal financial activities. This was made possible by the new legislation, and the country’s own judiciary for the first time handed down judgment in a case of money laundering from drug trafficking.
Nevertheless, overseas and international organizations have continued their pressure to further tighten Liechtenstein’s legislation, which continues to allow for money laundering and tax evasion. However, the bankers – including the Duke himself who owns the country’s largest bank, LGT Bank – are opposed to tougher legislation, which according to. they will be able to pull the foundation under the $ 70 billion. US $ as the country’s banks administer.
The Duke does not have direct control over the government or the courts, and therefore he has threatened to move to Vienna and move his family’s economic activities abroad if the government succumbs to the pressure of abroad. A referendum conducted in March 2003 conferred several political rights on the Duke. The new constitution was criticized by both the Council of Europe and human rights organizations as it was a step away from democracy.
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In August 2003, the Duke announced that on August 15, 2004, he would hand over power to his son, Alois, even though he continues as head of state. The transfer took place in 2004 as planned. Alois is the eldest of the four sons of the princess. studied at the Sandhurst Military Academy in the UK. In 2003, the Council of Europe had criticized Liechtenstein for the constitutional changes that increased the power of the royal family. With the amendments, the king has the right to veto new laws and to dismiss ministers at his own discretion. Alois supported his father’s position on the constitutional issue and declared that Liechtenstein would leave the Council of Europe if it insisted on monitoring democracy in the country.