Liechtenstein profile - Timeline


A chronology of key events:

1719 - Liechtenstein acquires its present name and becomes an independent principality of the Holy Roman Empire.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The princely castle sits high above Vaduz, one of Europe's smallest capitals

1815 - Liechtenstein becomes a member of the German Confederation until 1866.

1866 - Liechtenstein becomes fully independent.

1919 - The Hapsburg monarchy of Austria is abolished. Switzerland replaces Austria as the representative of Liechtenstein's interests abroad.

1921 - Liechtenstein adopts Swiss currency.

1923 - Liechtenstein enters customs union with Switzerland.

1938 - Prince Franz Josef II ascends to the throne.

1939 - Outbreak of World War II. Liechtenstein remains neutral.

1984 - Prince Franz Josef II hands over executive power to his son, Crown Prince Hans-Adam II. A referendum grants women the right to vote in national elections.

1989 - Prince Franz Josef II dies. He is succeeded by Hans-Adam II.

1990 - Liechtenstein joins the United Nations.

1991 - Liechtenstein joins European Free Trade Association.

1993 - Mario Frick becomes Europe's youngest prime minister at the age of 28.

1997 - Frick is re-elected.

New millennium

2000 - G7 group of nations and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development criticise Liechtenstein for not cooperating in fight against money-laundering. Liechtenstein changes its banking laws.

2001 February - Otmar Hasler's Progressive Citizens Party wins elections. Hasler is sworn in as prime minister in April.

2002 April - Sanctions threaten after OECD includes Liechtenstein on list of seven states failing to meet financial transparency and information exchange standards.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Banking plays a major role in the tiny principality's economy

2003 March - People vote in referendum to give sweeping new political powers to Crown Prince Hans-Adam.

2004 August - Prince Hans-Adam hands over day-to-day running of Liechtenstein to his son Prince Alois while remaining head of state.

2005 February - International Court of Justice throws out Liechtenstein's claim for damages from Germany over assets it claims were handed by Germany to Czechoslovakia in 1945.

2005 April - Parliament approves new government following elections. Otmar Hasler of Progressive Citizens Party continues as prime minister, this time in coalition with Patriotic Union.

Government-commissioned report finds that Liechtenstein banks' dealings with Nazis during World War II were above board. It also finds that slave labour from Nazi concentration camps was used on Crown estates in Austria, but describes the principality as a bystander rather than a perpetrator.

2005 November - Referendum vote strongly endorses legalization of abortion in early stages of pregnancy.

2006 July - Liechtenstein celebrates "200 years of sovereignty" since the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.

2006 December - Officials establish that the country is bigger than previously thought after re-measuring its borders.

Tax matters

2008 March - Liechtenstein issues international arrest warrant for Heinrich Kieber, ex-employee of LGT Bank, over the alleged theft of client data at heart of major tax evasion probe in Germany, Britain and other countries.

2008 August - Government agrees to OECD demands to cooperate more fully on tax matters after long-standing European Union and US complaints about the opacity of its behaviour as a tax haven.

2009 March - Patriotic Union forms new government on its own after winning an absolute majority in parliamentary elections in January. The new PM, Klaus Tschuetscher, promises OECD full cooperation on tax affairs.

2009 April - G20 summit increases pressure on tax havens to be more transparent. Liechtenstein subsequently signs agreements on the sharing of financial information with a number of countries including the US, UK and Germany.

2009 May - OECD removes Liechtenstein from blacklist of uncooperative countries.

2011 September - Crown Prince and regent Alois sparks controversy by threatening to veto a proposal to decriminalise abortion if approved in a referendum.

2012 July - Liechtensteiners vote down a proposal to abolish the prince's power of veto on national referendum results, held as a result of a campaign sparked by last year's controversial vote on abortion.