Over the weekend, I met a couple of guys that actually lived (and one still living) in the city-state of Luxemburg. There’s around half a million of people residing in all of the 999 square miles of the country. But in the word of the young French banker-type, “the real Luxemburgish are all in hiding.”
Over the years, the country has literally been taken over by the neighbouring Italians, Germans and French, not to count the influx of Eastern Europeans once the EU borders opened. Most work in banking and related service industries. Taxes are lower (both consumption and income), wages are higher, so many make the 1-2 hour cross-border commutes everyday back to their home countries.
Both of these guys described the country as an incredibly dull place, with little to do except making money and going out to bars, and with no redeeming qualities of other well-known banking countries (and tax havens) like Switzerland and Monaco. Nor were they kind about the locals – red-neck farmers driving Ferraris – since selling their land to the banking businesses, and I’m guessing from some of the rich mineral deposits in the south of the country too.
I look forward to visiting someday.