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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Diminutive Luxembourg owes its continued existence to a mixture of good fortune and good diplomacy, which have prevented it from being permanently absorbed into the territories of its larger neighbours.By the time that Luxembourg's independence was finally confirmed in 1867, however, the Grand Duchy was left with such a tiny territory that its people had to look across its borders for economic survival. This has resulted in a cosmopolitan attitude, exemplified not only by the fact that the nation has the highest percentage of foreigners of any EU country, but also by the trilingual ability of its people.It is an attractive country with a green and picturesque landscape of rolling hills and valleys, and many closely packed historical sites. Visitors will also discover forests, vineyards and striking sandstone rock formations here. The capital, Luxembourg-Ville, is split into two districts: the delightful old centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), complete with fortress towers, turrets and winding, cobblestone streets; and the modern downtown area on the Plâteau du Kirchberg, home to Luxembourg's renowned international finance businesses. Proud of its role as a founding member of the EU, Luxembourg sees itself as playing a prominent position in European affairs and there are a number of European Union institutions based in Luxembourg-Ville