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Topic: Geography
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Switzerland is a small country in central Europe surrounded by Italy, France, Austria and Tyskland.De official languages ​​in Switzerland are German, spoken by two-thirds of pray-population, French, spoken by about 20%, Italian spoken of about 8% and Romansh, which is spoken by less than one percent.
Switzerland's official name is Confederatio Helvetica, giving Swiss nationality letter CH.

The Swiss flag is completely square and consists of a white cross on a red background. 1/6 Cross arms are longer than they are wide. It was developed 1815th

Swiss capital city Bern and is located almost in the middle of the country. Bern has about
140 000 inhabitants.

In the southwestern corner is Geneva, which is the largest city in the French-speaking area. UN, WHO, WTO, the Red Cross, which was founded in 1864 by Henry Dunant, CERN and many other international organizations have their headquarters here.

Other important cities in Schewiz are:

Zurich, commercial and industrial center, has 350 000 inhabitants.

Basel, gateway to France and Germany, is situated on the Rhine, which facilitates transport. Here are the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Lausanne, International Olympic Committee keeps a house here, the federal court.

Davos, the world famous ski resort
Despite the many international organizations, Switzerland is not a member of neither the UN General Assembly or the EU. Switzerland is however a member of the OECD and EFTA, and many other international organizations, such as WHO and the IMF. Neutrality has always been a pillar of Swiss foreign policy.

1994 Switzerland about seven million inhabitants and 1.1 million of these were foreigners.

The average life expectancy was 78 years. The number of children per woman was about 1.6.

Switzerland consists of 26 cantons:

Aargau, Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden, Appenzell Inner-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Glarus, Graubunden, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn,

Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug and Zurich.


Switzerland has many lakes and is situated between two mountain ranges, the Alps and the Jura. The highest peak is part of the Monte Rosa and called Dufourspitze. It stretches 4634 meters and is 157 meters higher than the Matterhorn. The country's lowest point is Lake Maggiore in southern Switzerland, only 193 meters above sea level.
The country has no natural resources, in addition to salt, water (electricity) and stone. The most important export products are machines, chemical and pharmaceutical products, various instruments, such as in measurement technology and optics, as well as watches. Other income from banking and tourism. It also exported small electricity.

Swiss tourists spend about ten billion francs abroad, whereas tourists from other countries makes of thirteen billion francs in Switzerland.


Day Switzerland was inhabited by the Celts in 15 BC conquered by and incorporated into the Roman Empire. When the latter collapsed started Germanic tribes immigrate to Switzerland north and west.
From the 500s and about 300 years, Switzerland was part of the Frankish Empire.
On August, which has become the country's National Day, 1291 included the leaders of the cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden a covenant, known as the Swiss Confederation. They promised to help each other against potential attackers and to some extent serve as an independent state. This was the beginning of modern Switzerland.

In the following centuries developed in Switzerland to a large military force and grew to its current size until 1515, when it was beaten back by France.

1536 Lausanne revolted against the duchy of Savoy and refused, with John Calvin in the forefront, recognizing papal supremacy. The result was that the inhabitants chose to become Swiss, when there was religious freedom in there. Between 1541 and 1564, the Geneva Protestant main stronghold.

Although Switzerland is not participating in the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648, was recognized Switzerland as a neutral country at the Peace of Westphalia 1648th

1798 conquered the land of France, who, however, lost it at the Vienna-Congress in 1815, when Switzerland was guaranteed independence and "perpetual" neutrality.
The borders are largely unchanged since then. This neutrality survived both World Wars, and has not yet been broken.


The political system is divided into three levels: municipal, state and federal. Voters have the right to actively participate through elections, petitions, propose new laws and referendum, and of course by setting up as candidates to these bodies.
Politically elected officials are re-elected every four years. It is usually held four to six ballots each year. Women and men have equal rights.


All of the 18 voting members, in some cantons, such as Neuchâtel, have also foreigners they lived there long as the right to vote. Usually this means that you are entitled to vote also that it is optional (except foreigners, who can not be elected to certain senior positions).


All Swiss citizens over 18 are entitled to vote, they are also selectable. The cantons are very independent. Each canton has its own political model, and generalization is possible only to a certain point. Voting rights of foreigners have been discussed in Appenzell Ausser-Rhoden, Neuchatel and Geneva, but has not been introduced yet. Some cantons (German-speaking) has a special Democratic Rally, Landsgemeinde, where all important decisions are made. People gather on the square in the canton's capital and voting.


The Federal Constitution of 1848 is similar to that in the United States: a parliament consisting of the people and government representatives. The voting is the same as the cantons. There is Bundesversammlung, the legislative part, consisting of two chambers; Nationalrat and Ständerat. The members of both chambers are elected by the people, the procedures for the elections to the various chambers, however, is different: each canton has a certain number of seats in the Nationalrat in proportion to its population .Valsättet proportional. Ständerat should, however, represent the cantons (two senators per canton, a half-cantons) and members elected by regulations which vary from canton to canton, usually by majority vote. From the beginning, this chamber to prevent a single canton (Zurich for the German-speaking areas, or Geneva in the French speaking) controlled decisions. A bill becomes law if it passes both chambers, provided that it shall not be subject to referendum. Disagreements between the different chambers dissolved in a consultation committee. Switzerland has no regeringsrätt and federal laws can sometimes clash with what is in konstutionen. When no other help can the Federal Court step in and legislate on particular cases and create precedents.

The executive power lies with the Bundesrat, which consists of seven directors, all directors of a federal department. President and vice president are held each year by a new member of the Bundesrat (in sequence). Bundesrat are elected by Bundesversammlung after propositions from the larger parties

The current president named Jean-Pascal Delamuraz.

Bundesrat differs from the executive committee of the other countries. Although it resembles a cabinet, there are differences:

(1) There is no prime. All seven members of the Council have equal status.

(2) The Council can not be subjected to a confidence vote in parliament. Theoretically, Switzerland is not a parliamentary democracy.

(3) The Parliament appoints councilors every four years. These can not be removed during his term of office.

(4) It has no influence on what the government does, because its most activities are secret.

Switzerland has been governed by a coalition since 1959. There is a basic rule for the composition of the coalition, that means it must include at least four representatives from the German-speaking part, two from the French-speaking and preferably one from the Italian-speaking too. Another rule says that there should be more than representative from each canton.

The four largest parties, which are constantly represented in the Bundesrat, called Schweizerische Volkspartei, die Sozialdemokraten, die Freisinnig-Democrat and die Christlichdemokraten.


All cantons decide how the program should look like, as long as it meets certain requirements. More important is this in high school, then a baccalaureate guaranteed place at university. Despite this, not many students - only 15%. In many schools, Latin is mandatory - no matter which study-orientation we have.

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