Obtaining Austrian citizenship is no easy task. It has some of the toughest laws in the EU, but a change in the law will hopefully make the whole process a little bit easier.
I’ve always been interested in little countries, and Liechtenstein is no exception. Don’t know about this small principality? Here are some facts:
- It is landlocked between Switzerland and Austria
- Its area is 160 km²
- It has only 36,304 residents
- German is the official language, but locals use two Alemannic dialects
- Prince Hans-Adam II von Liechtenstein is the head of state
- Their currency is the Swiss Franc
Being very mountainous means it is a great winter sports destination. Its low corporate tax rate of 12.5% attracts many companies. Furthermore it has one of the highest GDPs in the world, not to mention a very low unemployment rate of 1.5%.
Check out Liechtenstein’s tourism website for activities and places to visit in the country.
The recessions in Spain and Portugal have led to the immigration of skilled young people unable to find jobs, also known as ‘the brain drain’. Whilst some opt for fellow EU countries such as Austria, others are willing to go further afield such as Africa and Latin America and find work in their burgeoning economies.
Fancy a trip to Hell? You don’t need to wait until death. There’s a village called Hell in Norway and according to Wikipedia, Hell has a few amenities such as a petrol station and a grocery store, so it can’t be all that bad!
Belgium has a ‘Silly’ village which is home to the Silly brewery, whilst neighbouring France boasts some ruder village names such as Bitche, which is known for its large citadel, and Condom, which fortunately is not the same word in French.
Do you know any other funny place names in or outside of Europe?
Who recycles the most in Europe?
The European Environment Agency recently revealed that Austria and Germany have the highest rates of recycling with 63% and 62% respectively. Other countries with high recycling rates include Belgium (58%), the Netherlands (51%) and Switzerland (51%). Countries to drastically improve their rates include the United Kingdom which rose from 12% to 39% and Ireland which rose from 11% to 36% from 2001 to 2010.
2010 saw 35% of waste in the whole of the EU being recycled, which was up from 23% in 2001. the 2020 target is to recycle half of all household waste.
Do you think this target is reasonable?
A survey by Bloomberg this year highlights the top 20 best countries for business.
Europe is on top form with the following rankings taken by countries within Europe:
10) United Kingdom
What can help a European country make it into the top 3?
A recent survey by the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 by the World Economic Forum found that Iceland welcomes tourists the most. Other European countries to feature in the top ten include Macedonia, Austria, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ireland.
Russia, Latvia, Slovakia and Bulgaria were found to be the least welcoming of tourists in Europe.
Have you had any experience in these countries? Do you agree or disagree with the statistics?