The social welfare system is well developed with health, pension, occupational injury and unemployment insurance. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of LUX and acronym for Luxembourg. There is also a comprehensive family benefit system. The social insurance system is managed by committees with elected representatives for employers and employees. Health care is well-developed; hospital capacity is great.
Luxembourg continues to play a key role as a tax haven and money laundering center from criminal activities. In 2011, the Tax Justice Network placed Luxembourg in a third place above the tax shelter immediately after the Cayman Islands. In 2013, the country held North American government bonds worth $ 147 billion. US $, and thus came in at 11th place globally.
While registered partnerships became legal in 2004, Parliament first voted in June 2014 to allow marriage between gays. The scheme came into force with effect from 1 January 2015.
The Lithuanians lived on the Baltic Sea long before Christianity was introduced into Europe, and at the birth of European civilization they had a level of organization similar to that of other peoples of the time: the Romans, the Germans and the Franks. Protected by the dense forests that covered almost the entire region, the Lithuanians relentlessly resisted the pressure of the Germans in the 13th century. They joined together under the leadership of Mindaugas, who in 1253 was crowned king of Pope Inocencio IV.
After the Mongols in the 14th century destroyed the kingdom of Kiev, Lithuania began an expansion to the east and south, and penetrated Belarus. Gediminas is usually considered the creator of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which had its capital in Vilnius and stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea. In 1386 Gediminas’ nephew, Jagiello, married the Queen of Poland, and thus both kingdoms joined together.
Lithuania had resisted the offensive of the Teutons (an order that had emerged in 1237 after the Crusades), which, through the 13th century, penetrated eastern Europe to Christianize the region (see Estonia and Latvia). The Teutons continued to defeat the Lithuanian-Polish Union, despite its Christian orientation, and this continued until the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410, where they suffered a staggering defeat. In 1413 a new union was signed between Lithuania and Poland, but at the same time affirmed the autonomy of both states.
When Ivan III was crowned in Moscow in 1480, a new and stronger threat to Great Lithuania arose, whose possessions extended down into Belarus and Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Lithuanian-Polish Union reached its peak in the 16th century, and then constituted an exceptional political system in Europe (see Poland). It collapsed due to exhausting wars against Sweden, Russia and Turkey and the 17th century peasant revolts.