An important financial hub is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a tiny nation bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany.
With origins dating back to the 10th century, Luxembourg's history is intricately entwined with that of its more powerful neighbors, particularly Germany.
The majority of its residents are trilingual in Luxembourgish, German, and French.
Luxembourg was occupied by Germany during both World Wars despite its neutrality being declared.
Luxembourg abandoned its neutrality after being occupied again during World War Two and turned into a leading proponent of international cooperation.
Historically, the production of steel has been the foundation of Luxembourg's prosperity. Luxembourg diversified as a result of the decline of that sector, and today it is best known for being the most influential investment management hub in Europe.
- in capital letters. City of Luxembourg.
- Area:. 2,586 sq km.
- Population:. 645,400.
- Languages:. French, German, and Luxembourgish are also spoken.
- duration of life: 79 years old for men and 84 for women.
Henri, Grand Duke, is the ruler.
After his father Jean abdicated in 2000, the current Grand Duke of Luxembourg assumed the position. Since 1998, he had already used the monarch's constitutional authority.
In Geneva, where he studied politics and met his Cuban wife Maria Teresa, the future Grand Duke Henri was born in 1955. Later, he received officer training at Britain's Sandhurst Academy.
The constitutional role of the head of state is primarily ceremonial. After a bitter debate over euthanasia, the Grand Duke's veto powers were removed in 2008 after Henri objected to the pro-euthanasia law on religious grounds.
Xavier Bettel is the current premier.
After holding impromptu elections in October, Xavier Bettel established a government in December 2013 with a slim victory over the Christian Social Party, which had been the largest overall party.
The vote was called after Jean-Claude Juncker, the leader of the Christian Social Party and the country's former prime minister since 1995, lost the support of the majority of lawmakers when the Socialists left his coalition in the wake of a phone-tapping scandal in July 2013.
Since 1979, the Christian Social Party had been in power.
The nation's first openly gay prime minister is Xavier Bettel, who served as Luxembourg City's mayor from 2011 to 2013.
Following his coalition's narrow victory in the parliamentary elections under the leadership of his liberals, he was sworn in for a second term in December 2018.
Luxembourg has a stronghold in the media and a long history of running radio and TV services for audiences across Europe, including those in France, Germany, and the UK.
British listeners have grown up with Radio Luxembourg, which broadcast pop music shows into the country. Even though "The Great 208" is no longer around, media company RTL is still a major player in the European media markets.
The media oligarchy of Luxembourg reaches the skies. It is where Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES), the largest satellite operator in Europe, is based and runs the Astra fleet from.
Several significant dates in Luxembourg's history are as follows:.
1839 . The Treaty of London grants Belgium, a newly formed state, the western portion of the country, giving Luxembourg its current borders.
1866. - The Luxembourg crisis nearly leads to war between France and Prussia because neither country is willing to give the other's rival influence in Luxembourg. An agreement on Luxembourg's independence and neutrality is reached at the Second Treaty of London in 1867, which resolves the crisis.
1914 . - The beginning of World War One. Germany occupies Luxembourg from 1914 to 1918.
1920 . - The League of Nations welcomes Luxembourg.
1921 . - Belgium and Luxembourg form an economic union. In Luxembourg, you are free to use Belgian money.
1940-44. - In World War Two, Germany takes over Luxembourg once more.
1948 . - The Benelux countries, comprising of Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other nations, give up their neutrality and form an economic union.
1949 . Luxembourg enlists in NATO.
1957 . - In January 1958, the European Economic Community, which is now the European Union, officially adopts Luxembourg as a founding member.
1964 . - Grand Duchess Charlotte abdicates in favor of Grand Duke Jean, her son.
1992 . - The Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union, is ratified in Luxembourg.
2000 . - Following his father Jean's abdication, Crown Prince Henri takes on the role of Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
2002 . - The euro was adopted as the national currency.
2008 . Following a constitutional crisis caused by Grand Duke Henri's threat to veto a bill legalizing euthanasia, Parliament approves reform limiting the monarch to a purely ceremonial role.
2009 . - The G20 includes Luxembourg in its list of nations with dubious banking practices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) soon after praises Luxembourg for increasing financial transparency through agreements with a dozen nations.
2014 . - The same-sex marriage amendment is approved by the parliament of Luxembourg. The 'LuxLeaks' scandal has shed light on how Luxembourg helped save billions of dollars in taxes for hundreds of multinational corporations, including Apple, Ikea, and Pepsi.
2016. - In a related development to the infamous LuxLeaks scandal, two former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees who leaked private documents revealing corporate tax deals have been sentenced to prison with a suspended sentence.