Introduction to the Principality of Villadedino
Villadedino is a tiny sovereign Principality, located in the centre of Western Europe. Legend has it that it arose from the settlement of Saint Dino who led a small community there in 239AD after being exiled from Rome following excommunication. Rumour has it that his wife was a courtesan of the then Pope who took his revenge on Dino by conspiring with the emperor to send him into exile.
Much larger European neighbours, the largest of which is Figas, border Villadedino. The tiny Principality has an area of 2.8 square miles and a population of 26,000. The official language is English deriving from a lost battalion of English soldiers who arrived there after taking a wrong turn during one of the many European wars in the 1500s. Villadedino is a Principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with the King, Eugene III, as head of state. Although the King is a constitutional monarch, his family having ruled Villadedino since 1653, he enjoys immense political power.
Economic development and the tourism industry fell into disarray in the late 19th century when Villadedino fell out of favour with the aristocracy, the rich and famous of Europe, who vacationed in Villadedino because of its grand castle hotels and bracing mountain air. However, in more recent years Villadedino has been forced, through a series of financial misfortunes, to reinvent itself to become a major centre for people who, for a variety of reasons, wish to end their lives and has now successfully diversified its economy in the death and dying industry. The state, unlike other nations, has no laws against assisted suicide, instead it passed a law that permitted assisted dying and suicide to take place under the ‘Conduct of Assisted Dying Act 2021’. This unique standpoint is based on the early teachings of Saint Dino that underpins the country’s political system, among other matters. The country’s economy has relied totally in the last 15 years since 2021 on suicide tourism. In 2035 it was one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP (per capita), with a figure comparable to the most developed European regions and with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe and no national debt.