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Switzerland NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2018 Google Inc.Sun, 16 Dec 2018 04:17:29 GMTGoogle News
Switzerland after sundown - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

By day, photographer Dominic Büttner works with light to capture the best shots for his clients. By night, however, he seeks out darker corners, ...

swissinfo.ch
Gisin ‘stable enough’ to fly back to Switzerland after crash  The News & Observer

Swiss skier Marc Gisin was hospitalized Saturday and is in "stable enough" condition to return to Switzerland for more tests following a nasty crash in a World ...

The News & Observer
Plans for all foreigners in Switzerland to get credit-card style photos IDs  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss government announced on Friday it wants to phase out the paper permits still held by many foreigners in Switzerland.

The Local Switzerland
Mercury plunges to -36C in central Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Switzerland has just shivered through its coldest night since February with temperatures a long way below freezing at higher altitudes.

The Local Switzerland
Solidarity campaign "One Million Stars" marked in Bern, Switzerland - Xinhua | English.news.cn  Xinhua

A girl walks between candles during the "One Million Stars" event at the Parliament Square in Bern, Switzerland, Dec. 15, 2018. Squares, bridges and buildings ...

Xinhua
UK and Switzerland agree to transition trade agreement after Brexit  GOV.UK

The UK Government and the Swiss Federal Council have approved the transition of a trade agreement, allowing businesses to continue trading freely after the ...

GOV.UK
Switzerland holds ultra-low rates in face of weakening inflation  Financial Times

The Swiss National Bank has reiterated it views the country's currency as highly valued and maintained its loose policy stance, rounding out a fourth year of ...

Financial Times
Switzerland sets legal foundations for blockchain industry  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss government has announced a wide-ranging blockchain strategy that aims to create a legal foundation for the new technology.

swissinfo.ch
Kaley Cuoco and Husband Karl Cook Take Belated 'Dream' Honeymoon Trip to Switzerland  PEOPLE.com

Kaley Cuoco is finally getting that dream honeymoon. Nearly six months after tying the knot, the Big Bang Theory star and husband Karl Cook have jetted off to ...

PEOPLE.com
Zurich is the 'fines capital' of Switzerland for 2019  The Local Switzerland

Zurich is budgeting on receiving 152 Swiss francs (€135) per person as a result of fines handed out by the city's police next year.

The Local Switzerland
PHOTOS: Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook honeymoon in Switzerland  Calgary Sun

Actress Kaley Cuoco and her new husband Karl Cook have finally embarked on their honeymoon, five months after tying the knot.The couple married in June, ...

Calgary Sun
Switzerland Plays for Time in Stock Market Standoff With EU  Bloomberg

In its game of brinkmanship with the European Union, Switzerland is playing for time.

Bloomberg
Pakistan loans 200-year old Budha Shakyamuni sculpture to Switzerland  The News International

Pakistan has loaned the 2,000-year old Buddha Shakyamuni sculpture from Peshawar Museum to Switzerland for an exhibition at the Rietberg Museum in ...

The News International
Switzerland delays decision on EU ties with public consultation  The Local Switzerland

Switzerland on Friday shrugged off a deadline set by the European Union to agree on future ties, despite Brussels taking a hard line on economic links unless ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland gets first-ever female defence minister  The Local Switzerland

One of Switzerland's new federal councillors, Viola Amherd of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CVP), has been named the country's first female defence ...

The Local Switzerland
Buddha statue display in Switzerland to promote religious tourism in KP  The News International

PESHAWAR: Display of an ancient Buddha statue from Peshawar Museum at the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, is expected to revive and promote ...

The News International
Switzerland's richest get richer to reach record wealth high  The Local Switzerland

The 300 richest people or families in Switzerland have seen their wealth grow by CHF 1.7 billion in the past year.

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland to test 'hyperloop' train technologies  swissinfo.ch

An industrial zone in canton Valais has been chosen as the first European site to test a high-speed "hyperloop" transport system. A test track is due to be built at ...

swissinfo.ch
'Federal city' Why is Bern the capital of Switzerland?  swissinfo.ch

Many people are surprised when they hear that little Bern is the Swiss capital. Wouldn't industrial Zurich or international Geneva be more logical?

swissinfo.ch
Federer: I never thought Laver Cup would be held in Switzerland so soon  Tennis World USA

Roger Federer looks forward to playing the Laver Cup in Geneva in September 2019.

Tennis World USA
Switzerland’s Most Jaw-Dropping Castle Hotels  Architectural Digest

Switzerland's history as a wealthy (and politically neutral) nation has resulted in more than its fair share of castles, palaces, and fortresses—some real, some of ...

Architectural Digest
Switzerland experiences its coldest night since last February  Le News

Tuesday night brought a chill to Switzerland. The temperature in the town of Brévine in the Jura plunged to -20 degrees. © Guasor | Dreamstime.com. In Glattalp ...

Le News
Nine wonderful winter activities in Switzerland that aren't skiing  The Local Switzerland

Looking for a few winter options that don't involve skiing or snowboarding? Read on for a few of our suggestions...

The Local Switzerland
Cresta Run: Women allowed to race iconic track in Switzerland  BBC Sport

Women will be allowed to race the Cresta Run in Switzerland after 89-year ban is overturned.

BBC Sport
Europe’s best Christmas markets: Swiss treats and crafts in Basel  USA TODAY

BASEL, Switzerland – It is early evening in the Swiss city and its two Christmas markets are bathed in a golden glow. Thousands of sparkling lights cast a ...

USA TODAY
Switzerland shields financial centre amid stand-off with EU  Financial Times

Switzerland has stepped up preparations to defend the country's financial centre against possible reprisals from Brussels if its government fails to agree soon a ...

Financial Times
Switzerland's Vevey among National Geographic's hot destinations for 2019  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss town of Vevey on the shores of Lake Geneva has been honoured with a place on National Geographic's 'Best Trips 2019' list.

The Local Switzerland
Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas to spend their honeymoon in Switzerland after Dec 20 reception in Mumbai  Hindustan Times

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas have decided on a honeymoon destination and will head to Switzerland at the end of this month.

Hindustan Times
Anger as amazon.com stops most deliveries from US to Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Purchases made on the US-based amazon.com website will no longer be delivered to Switzerland as of December 26th with only digital products like eBooks ...

The Local Switzerland
Glance around Switzerland: 'Swiss Brexit' back on, people too 'stupid' for bins, spider art stolen and SBB double deckers  The Local Switzerland

Our round up of stories that you might have missed this week include the Mouxit, smart bins and stupid people, an underground bike station, SBB double ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland urged to be more flexible on vulnerable refugees  swissinfo.ch

Switzerland is being urged to stop sending vulnerable asylum seekers back to Italy so long as adequate reception for them is not guaranteed there.

swissinfo.ch
London’s Stock Traders Get a Brexit Warning From Switzerland  Bloomberg

The City of London is getting a warning from Switzerland about just how fraught its dealings with the European Union could become after Brexit.

Bloomberg
Kulturama – Zurich, Switzerland  Atlas Obscura

Discover Kulturama in Zurich, Switzerland: Zurich's evolution museum hosts a unique collection of skeletons among its natural history treasures.

Atlas Obscura
A look at unusual past referendums in Switzerland  Fox News

Unlike other countries, Switzerland regularly gives its voters a direct say on issues large and small, and sometimes outlandish or quirky.

Fox News
Venezuelan ex-minister hoarded money in Switzerland - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

As US justice authorities investigate corruption among Venezuela's former leaders, there is evidence that embezzled funds flowed into Swiss banks.

swissinfo.ch
Glance around Switzerland: Holocaust deniers, veins for coffee, no gifts for hospital workers and cash hunters  The Local Switzerland

Our round-up of stories you might have missed this week includes a bitcoin ATM found in the woods, parents saving an international school, no presents for ...

The Local Switzerland
What's on: English-speaking events in Switzerland in December  The Local Switzerland

From Christmas theatre shows to networking lunches and sake tasting, here are some of the English-speaking events on in Switzerland this month.

The Local Switzerland
How to Start a New Business in Switzerland as an Expat  Entrepreneur

After moving to Switzerland for my husband's job, I found it easier to start a business than find a job.

Entrepreneur
Live Nation Acquires Switzerland's Mainland Music  Digital Music News

Expanding its reach in Switzerland, Live Nation has confirmed it will acquire Swiss promoter Mainland Music, with the latter continuing to operate normally.

Digital Music News
Glance around Switzerland: Jewish attacks, Swiss wine drinkers, viral railway video & child abuse  The Local Switzerland

Our round up of stories you might have missed this week include attacks on Jewish institutions, a teacher who spent 70000CHF of his own money on students, ...

The Local Switzerland
Swiss people vote to defend human rights in referendum  Amnesty International

The Swiss people vote emphatically to defeat of the so-called 'initiative for self-determination', a proposal to put Swiss law above international law.

Amnesty International
Switzerland amazing Äscher restaurant gets new managers  The Local Switzerland

New managers have been found for Switzerland's famous cliff-face Äscher restaurant several months after the previous tenants said they were moving on ...

The Local Switzerland
Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales to visit Turkey and Switzerland for training camps  BBC Sport

Wales' preparations for the 2019 World Cup in Japan will include training camps in Switzerland and Turkey. The squad will return for two weeks to the Swiss ...

BBC Sport
Switzerland vs. Belgium - Football Match Report - November 18, 2018  ESPN

Get a report of the Switzerland vs. Belgium UEFA Nations League, League A football match.

ESPN
Switzerland's People Power  Washington Post

Attention disgruntled citizens: If you feel no one's been listening to your concerns, Switzerland's got a strategy for you. The Swiss system of ballot initiatives ...

Washington Post
Watch: US tourist’s harrowing hang glider flight in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Chris Gursky had to hang on for his life after he left the ground unattached to his hang glider on the very first day of a recent trip to Switzerland. A video of the ...

The Local Switzerland
Travel - Switzerland's artfully tedious job  BBC News

The tradition of tavillonnage, or wood-shingled roofs, can only be found across the landscape of French-speaking Fribourg and Vaud, two of Switzerland's ...

BBC News
Should Cows Have Horns? Switzerland Will Decide  The Wall Street Journal

Swiss voters have been asked over the years to consider weighty matters such as immigration, assisted suicide and taxes. On Sunday they decide on a different ...

The Wall Street Journal
Switzerland voters reject Swiss law supremacy referendum  JURIST

Voters in Switzerland rejected the Self-determination Initiative (also known as the “Swiss law, not foreign judges” initiative) on Sunday. The initiative was rejected ...

JURIST
Swiss vote on going it alone in sovereignty referendum  BBC News

The Swiss love their referendums, but a proposal being put to voters about Swiss sovereignty on Sunday morning has upset almost the whole of the political ...

BBC News
Assisted suicide: Wait list for new members of Switzerland's Exit  The Local Switzerland

A shortage of volunteers means new members of Swiss assisted suicide organization Exit will have to wait to use its services.

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland says its national blockchain will be more secure than Bitcoin  The Next Web

Switzerland's state-run postal and telecoms services are hellbent on building a national blockchain in a bid to recruit local businesses to convert to distributed ...

The Next Web
The Swiss World Federalist Association is now Democracy Without Borders Switzerland  Democracy Without Borders

The Association of World Federalists of Switzerland has joined the international organization of Democracy Without Borders (DWB) and renamed itself ...

Democracy Without Borders
Brits will have to pay for travel permits to EU and Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

British travellers are set to have to pay €7 for a three-year pre-travel authorisation to visit the EU – and Switzerland – after Brexit.

swissinfo.ch
Glance around Switzerland: anti-refugee comments, fake meat, sports deaths and major SBB repairs  The Local Switzerland

Our round up of stories you might have missed this week include calls for a municipal secretary to be dismissed after social media comments, major SBB repairs, ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland: publication of the 4th Advisory Committee Opinion  Council of Europe

The Fourth Opinion on Switzerland of the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities has ...

Council of Europe
Switzerland Wants More Gold Trade Transparency  Kitco News

(Kitco News) - The Swiss Federal Council is calling for more transparency when it comes to its future gold imports, citing concerns around environmental and ...

Kitco News
Switzerland lifts targeted sanctions against Eritrea  swissinfo.ch

Following a recent United Nations Security Council resolution, the Swiss government has decided to lift targeted sanctions against Eritrea.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland is having a referendum on saving cow and goat horns  CNN

Switzerland's love of direct democracy is out in force this weekend when millions go to the polls to vote on important and pressing issues -- like cow and goat ...

CNN
Switzerland gets first female defence minister  swissinfo.ch

Viola Amherd has become Switzerland's first female defence minister just a few days after being elected to the seven-member Federal Council. The Swiss ...

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland Votes On Bid To Preserve Cow Horns  NDTV News

Switzerland was voting Sunday on an eclectic range of measures including a proposed constitutional amendment to preserve cow horns spearheaded by a ...

NDTV News
Brexit: what would Switzerland do?  swissinfo.ch

The Brexit deal appears likely to fail in the British parliament and what happens next is unclear. What would direct democracy veteran Switzerland do?

swissinfo.ch
Why Switzerland is worried about UK trade after Brexit  BBC News

Switzerland may not be a European Union member - but has good reason to closely watch Brexit proceedings.

BBC News
Switzerland votes: key facts about the social detective referendum  The Local Switzerland

This coming Sunday, Swiss voters will vote on whether to accept changes to the social security law which give 'social detectives' extensive powers to observe ...

The Local Switzerland
Paraglider killed in crash near Interlaken, Switzerland  BBC News

Adam Macpherson, who lived in Bern, reportedly grew up in South Yorkshire.

BBC News
Three of seven of Switzerland's executive will soon be women  Le News

Two members of Switzerland's Federal Council announced they would step down earlier this year. Last week, two women were elected to replace them.

Le News
Withholding tax Switzerland likes to tax differently from Europe  swissinfo.ch

From 1 January 2019, Switzerland will be the only country in Europe where employees' taxes are not deducted directly from their wages.

swissinfo.ch
Torrid time predicted for Switzerland by 2060 - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

What effects will global warming have on society, tourism in the Alps, and the environment in Switzerland?

swissinfo.ch
Voters Allow Farmers to Keep Dehorning Cattle in Switzerland  Drovers Magazine

Voters in Switzerland have voted against a proposed rule that would have subsidized leaving horns on cattle and other horned animals.

Drovers Magazine
Carbon bank the size of Switzerland found in the Great Barrier Reef deep water seagrass  ABC News

Researchers have found a surprising level of carbon sequestration by a deep water seagrass bed the size of Switzerland on the Great Barrier Reef.

ABC News
Brussels puts Switzerland on notice over EU integration deal  Financial Times

Brussels has served a stark ultimatum to Switzerland on trade, warning that its stock exchanges will be cut off from EU traders unless Bern on Friday explicitly ...

Financial Times
These Countries Are the Best in the World at Attracting Talent  Bloomberg

Switzerland once again clinched the top spot in a global survey on fostering and attracting talent, in a top 10 list that includes Canada but not the U.S., and no ...

Bloomberg
Switzerland's global status is in jeopardy  swissinfo.ch

Three recent Swiss diplomatic controversies have raised questions about whether the country can still be considered a moral voice in world affairs.

swissinfo.ch
Crime drops under open borders in Switzerland - SWI  swissinfo.ch

Crime has fallen by more than 20% since the introduction of the Schengen/Dublin agreement in Switzerland ten years ago.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland v Belgium: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview  Goal.com

Belgium will be looking to maintain their 100 percent winning record in the UEFA Nations League when they travel to Switzerland - check out all the team news, ...

Goal.com
Uefa Nations League live: Switzerland v Belgium, plus Spain v Bosnia-Herzegovina - Live  BBC Sport

Belgium travel to Switzerland in the Uefa Nations League, while Spain host Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly - follow live text commentary.

BBC Sport
Switzerland's 'Crypto Valley' Zug Ranked 'Fastest-Growing' Tech Hub in Europe  Cointelegraph

News. The Swiss city of Zug, home to crypto and blockchain development hub “Crypto Valley,” has been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe.

Cointelegraph
Kanye West Photography Exhibit Begins In Switzerland  HotNewHipHop

If you've ever wanted to be in a room surrounded by photographs of Kanye West, you've got your chance. All you'll need to do is book your travel to Switzerland ...

HotNewHipHop
Switzerland returns ancient treasures to Egypt  swissinfo.ch

Switzerland has returned 26 archaeological treasures to Egypt in line with its obligations under a UNESCO convention.

swissinfo.ch
Bankers are no longer Switzerland's top earners  swissinfo.ch

The pharmaceutical industry and insurance companies have overtaken banking as the best paid sectors in Switzerland.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland labels homophobia a criminal offence  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss parliament has extended the scope of anti-racism laws to include discrimination based on sexual orientation.

swissinfo.ch
Switzerland delays final decision on UN migration pact  Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Swiss government says the country won't attend a conference next month at which a U.N.-backed agreement on migration is to be approved because it ...

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Conference Interpreter Elected to Switzerland's Top Government Post  Slator

On December 5, 2018, Switzerland elected a former conference interpreter to its top government job. Karin Keller-Sutter, an alumni of The Institute of Translation ...

Slator
Sauriermuseum Aathal – Seegräben, Switzerland  Atlas Obscura

Discover Sauriermuseum Aathal in Seegräben, Switzerland: Europe's largest dinosaur museum was founded by a passionate autodidact.

Atlas Obscura
The winners and losers of Switzerland's Airbnb boom  swissinfo.ch

The number of people renting Airbnb accommodation in Switzerland has tripled in the last three years to reach more than 900000 guests,

swissinfo.ch
Hat-trick hero Seferovic: Switzerland's striking solution?  FIFA.com

After his hat-trick against Belgium, is Seferovic the answer for Switzerland?

FIFA.com
Switzerland's 2019 motorway vignette goes on sale  Le News

Every year the vignette is a different colour. This year it's metallic sky blue. Valid from 1 December 2018 until 31 January 2020, the new stickers will be available ...

Le News
UBS lures more money from U.S. super rich to Switzerland  KFGO News

By Angelika Gruber ZURICH (Reuters) - A decade after a U.S. crackdown ended Swiss banking secrecy, rich Americans are flocking back to UBS as they look to ...

KFGO News
Medicines: Is Switzerland too rich to save money?  swissinfo.ch

Switzerland could save millions of francs by prescribing low-priced biotech drug copies, known as biosimilars, instead of expensive biologicals.

swissinfo.ch
New Cryptocurrency-Based ETP Arrives in Switzerland  Bitcoin Magazine

Amun AG, a startup in Zug, Switzerland, has received a license from Swiss authorities to offer a new cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP). An ETP is a ...

Bitcoin Magazine
Flying more than 10% of Switzerland's greenhouse gas  Le News

More than 10% of greenhouse gas emitted by Switzerland comes from flying, according to data from the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). © Tuayai _ ...

Le News
Scenic train journeys: Switzerland's Christmas markets  Telegraph.co.uk

Get into the festive spirit with a Grand Tour of Switzerland pass. A rail tour around the country is the best way to visit its most beautiful Christmas markets.

Telegraph.co.uk
SWISS CRISIS: Switzerland PUSHED towards deal by EU - WARNING for Brexit Britain  Express.co.uk

THE European Union is pushing for Switzerland to strike an updated treaty deal by the end of the year despite the nation facing “some major unresolved issues” ...

Express.co.uk
The Council of Europe calls on Switzerland to further strengthen the rights of national minorities and to combat hate speech  Council of Europe

Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities Strasbourg ...

Council of Europe
What Buhari told Switzerland about Nigeria's stolen funds  Daily Post Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerian government remains deeply grateful to the government and people of Switzerland for their support in resuscitating.

Daily Post Nigeria
Close to Home: Save America by studying Switzerland  Santa Rosa Press Democrat

America's democracy is under duress. Our country is polarized. Civility is strained. We know all these things. The question is what are we going to do about it?

Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Watches Of Switzerland Expands In The U.S. With Stores In New York And Las Vegas  Forbes

The dominate luxury watch retailer in the U.K. has entered the U.S. market in a big way with two branded boutiques and with separate Omega and Breitling ...

Forbes
Homophobia is now a crime in Switzerland, offenders risk 3 years jail term  Nairobi News

Anyone who violates the law, either with racist or homophobic acts, will now risk up to 3 years in prison. The Swiss parliament has announced that it is extending ...

Nairobi News
Shawn Raboutou climbs Off the Wagon Low, first 8C+ in Switzerland  Planetmountain

American climber Shawn Raboutou has made the long-awaited first ascent of Off the Wagon Low, in Valle Bavona. Reportedly graded 8C+, this is now the ...

Planetmountain
Secret Fork: Why Ode to Food and Drinks is the Switzerland of downtown restaurants  Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Scenario: A group of friends finds themselves downtown in the 7:30-7:45 range. What started as a brief stop for happy hour or some holiday get together has ...

Sioux Falls Argus Leader
 

Switzerland Videos

10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland - Travel Video
14:14:06
10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland - Travel Video
Switzerland In Rs. 75,000 - 10 Days 10 Cities - A Budget Trip from India - All You Need to Know
14:57:45
Switzerland In Rs. 75,000 - 10 Days 10 Cities - A Budget Trip from India - All You Need to Know
SWITZERLAND | 5 things NOT to do
15:04:50
SWITZERLAND | 5 things NOT to do
Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
21:39:31
Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
22:45:09
Zurich, Switzerland
Travel To Switzerland | History And Documentary Switzerland In Urdu & Hindi | سوئٹزرلینڈ کی سیر
11:19:52
Travel To Switzerland | History And Documentary Switzerland In Urdu & Hindi | سوئٹزرلینڈ کی سیر
10 Things You Didn't Know About Switzerland
21:13:52
10 Things You Didn't Know About Switzerland
स्विट्ज़रलैंड एक खूबसूरत देश // Amazing facts about Switzerland in hindi
05:51:35
स्विट्ज़रलैंड एक खूबसूरत देश // Amazing facts about Switzerland in hindi
Living in Switzerland vs. America |  20 Major Differences
15:49:28
Living in Switzerland vs. America | 20 Major Differences
Switzerland trip - spring season.
18:08:01
Switzerland trip - spring season.
 

Switzerland Images

Mountains landscapes nature trees houses Switzerland Bern ...
Mountains landscapes nature trees houses Switzerland Bern ...
Vevey, Switzerland on Lake Geneva | An amazing viewpoint ...
Vevey, Switzerland on Lake Geneva | An amazing viewpoint ...
Rivaz
Rivaz
File:Švýcarsko-pahýl.svg - Wikimedia Commons
File:Švýcarsko-pahýl.svg - Wikimedia Commons
Monte Brè - Sam Ferrara
Monte Brè - Sam Ferrara
A Taste of Alsace in Strasbourg and Colmar - Adventurous ...
A Taste of Alsace in Strasbourg and Colmar - Adventurous ...
File:Schliersee um 1900.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File:Schliersee um 1900.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
McDonald's Pommes Frites | McDonald's Schweiz Pommes ...
McDonald's Pommes Frites | McDonald's Schweiz Pommes ...
Google Images
Google Images
RAOnline Schweiz - Switzerland: Panorama-Bilder - Jura ...
RAOnline Schweiz - Switzerland: Panorama-Bilder - Jura ...
 

Switzerland WebSites

 

Switzerland Wiki

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic situated in western, central and southern Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (land area 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi)). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight-and-a-half million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer.