Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January 30, 1998.
LIECHTENSTEINThe Principality of Liechtenstein is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The reigning Prince is the Head of State; all legislation enacted by the popularly elected Parliament (Landtag) must have his concurrence. The Landtag elects and the Prince appoints the members of the Government and of the functionally independent judiciary. The Interior Ministry effectively oversees the regular and auxiliary police forces. There is no standing military force. Despite its small size and limited natural resources, Liechtenstein has developed during recent decades from an agrarian society into a prosperous, highly industrialized, free-enterprise economy with a vital service sector. It participates in a customs union with Switzerland and uses the Swiss franc as its national currency. Liechtenstein is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). Citizens enjoy a very high standard of living. Unemployment was only 1.4 percent in 1997. The Government respects the human rights of its citizens provided for in the Constitution, and the law and judiciary provide effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. The Government is working to eliminate societal discrimination against women.