• Short Summary

    In France on Thursday (23 November) Liechtenstein became the twenty-first member of the Council of Europe.

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    In France on Thursday (23 November) Liechtenstein became the twenty-first member of the Council of Europe. The country's head of government, Hans Brunhart, also signed the European Convention on Human Rights and promised new efforts to give voting rights to women in Liechtenstein.

    SYNOPSIS: The ceremony, in Strasbourg preceded a meeting of the Council's Foreign Minister. Hans Brunhart, in the centre, the head of the Liechtenstein government led his country's delegation attending the ceremony. Liechtenstein is a tiny Principality sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland. The official language is German, and most of its twenty-five thousand inhabitants are Catholics. Liechtenstein shares customs and immigration legislation with Switzerland, and Swiss diplomats represent the Principality's interests abroad.

    Herr Brunhart has been head of government since elections in February. A major aim of the council of Europe is to uphold the principles of parliamentary democracy. In previous years, denial of voting rights to women in Liechtenstein has been the main obstacle to Council membership. But Herr Brunhart told a news conference in Strasbourg that his government was determined to give women the vote.

    Liechtenstein is famous as a tax haven and tourist centre, but in recent years industry, has expanded and exports have shown a huge upsurge. Liechtenstein will have two representatives in the one hundred and sixty-eight member parliamentary assembly. Its share of the Council budget will be point one-two percent the same as Cyprus and Malta.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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