National Geographic : 1981 Feb
Several years ago the government decided that firms wishing to expand must do so abroad. The reason? A self-imposed labor shortage. Today 35 percent of the popula tion is foreign born, and to preserve the na tional identity, the government refuses to let that percentage increase. Most of the for eigners are either Swiss or Austrian, but also represented are Germans, Italians, Greeks, Yugoslavs. And at least one American. Percy Whitstone is 81 years old, though I would have guessed 65. After a career as a plant manager for Republic Steel in Cleve land, Ohio, he and his Liechtenstein-born wife, Lydia, retired to Vaduz and a deluxe apartment 17 years ago. "If I'd stayed in America, I don't think I'd have lived," said Percy. "I was smoking, and the doctor told me I had an ulcer. I knew that already; at night it lit up and said, 'Eat at Joe's.' Well, as you see, I'm pretty fit now. I walk every day, and swim. "I like it here. The country's nice and the people are nice. The only thing I miss is foot ball. Those Cleveland Browns! I used to play the horses too. It's just as well they don't have 'em here, with the dollar so low. Let me tell you something: When I first came here, I changed a lot of dollars into francs, and I'm damn lucky I did. "Have a glass of wine before you go. It's good French wine. I don't drink the local stuff. Can't stand it." Granted that taste is in the buds of the imbiber, few people would agree with Percy's opinion of the local wine. Into the Princely Cellars Introduced by the Duke of Rohan during the Thirty Years' War, the Blue Burgundy vines yield a dry, very pleasant wine. Thir teen hectares (32.5 acres) are devoted to viti culture, and of those the prince owns four. His vineyard, something of a national land mark, spreads up a sunny slope just outside All the better to eat the competitionwith, the Ivoclar company each year produces some 50 million artificialteeth (above). Though Liechtenstein must import raw materials,it leads the world in per capita exports. Of the country's 50 light-to medium industries,the heaviest is Hoval, whose innovative home furnaces (left) can burn oil, gas, coal, and even wood. The nation's biggestfirm, Hilti AG, headed by Martin Hilti (right), makes fastening tools used in construction.As the largest employer in a land where unemployment is unknown, Mr. Hilti notes: "We have never had a strike or even the threat of one. We don't know what they are."
1981 Feb 28