Royal wedding gives Luxembourg a turn in spotlight

Prince will marry Belgian countess

Luxembourg is a linguistically complicated country, a reflection of its complicated past. It began as a Roman fortress. It has, at one time or another, fallen under the control of Spain, France and Austria.

In 1839, it gained its independence from the Netherlands, but lost more than half its territory to Belgium, which now has a province of the same name.

In the 20th century, Germany swept through Luxembourg twice despite its protestations of neutrality.
Luxembourg, an important financial center and home to the world’s largest steel manufacturer, continues to prosper despite Europe’s economic trouble.

The country has the second-highest gross domestic product per capita in the world, more than $80,000 — though its population of about 510,000 people is still smarting from having lost the No. 1 spot to Qatar. The capital city has 80,000 inhabitants and 120,000 jobs.

For that reason, more than 43 percent of the people in Luxembourg are foreign nationals, compared to a European Union average of 6.4 percent.

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