BC: That's Switzerland for ya!
FC: BY: ALEXANDRA DJONOVIC
1: DID YOU KNOW? Switzerland is the banking and finance capital of the world!
2: ECONOMY | -Switzerland generally has a lack of resources. -Poverty is nearly nonexistent -The 2008 global financial crisis did require money from UBS (largest Swiss bank) but came back very strong. -Tourism in Switzerland is vital and helps the country grow. -The Swiss make very fine watches, cheeses, chocolates, textiles, machinery, and are generally known for fine craftsmanship. -Switzerland does donate money, internationally. -Switzerland’s currency is the franc (CHF) -They have voted not to join the EU. -In 1992, they have proposed to not join the European Economic Area (EEA) -Swiss voters did choose to vote for trading ties with the EU.
3: The Alps
4: ECONOMY | - UBS is the largest bank in Switzerland. It is also found in many other countries such as Singapore and other countries in Asia. -There were many allegations about Swiss banks selling private banking to wealthy Americans, in which allowed them to demolish taxes. -Switzerland is a hot spot for wealthy people who try to get get away from paying taxes and hide their money. -The act of doing this is illegal. -Example: If I make one million dollars in Croatia and save my money in Hong Kong (where there are no specific laws on bank secrecy and no taxes for money that has no been made in Hong Kong) UBS paid $780 million for them to drop the case.
5: -The International Red Cross is sponsored by the Swiss. -They are a popular location for peace conferences and summits. -Crops: grains, fruits, vegetables. -Natural resources: hydropower, timber, salt. People: Population: 7,523,934 Ethnicities: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%. Languages: German, French, Italian (official); Romansch (semi-official). Religions: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 35%. FUN FACT: Switzerland can be dated to 1291 where it was a Roman province of Helvetia
6: POLITICS | -Switzerland is one of the oldest democracies. Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden (some cantons) declared that they would get independence from Hapsburg Empire for the right to make their own laws. -By the cantons joining together, they hoped to accomplish peace, no attack, and power. -Overtime, more cantons joined the Swiss Confederation. -In 1874, they decided on a total democracy. -The first of August is celebrated as Swiss National Day. -Since the 19th century, they abide by the neutrality rule. -This rule means they will NOT get into wars with over nations. -During both world wars, Swiss soldiers guarded the boarders to protect from invasion -They were armed and ready in case of an attack from the opposing countries (did not happen)
7: -All of the power resides in each canton (state) and local communities. -Each canton has its own constitution and control over certain things (school systems, police, welfare, and local issues) -Also, local communities have constitutional amendments and are voted on (majority wins) -At those levels, decisions are made directly by the people. -The Democracy is very representative. -Federal assembly = two houses. -One with representatives of the cantons (26 seat Council of States). -Members of both places are elected for a four year term. -Several parties have legislative (power to make laws) representation. -These include the Radical Free Democratic Party (FDP), Social Democratic Party (SPS), Christian Democratic Peoples Party (CVP), and Swiss Peoples Party (SVP)
8: -The Federal (having to do with several states uniting) Council constitutes the executive (being able to make laws) branch. They are elected by the Federal Assembly for a four year term. -The council selects one presidents to serve them and it is very ceremonial and has much meaning to the people of Switzerland. -That person has a one year term. -Vice president is also chosen for one year. -President Doris Leuthard’s term last until the end of 2010. -The federal government has full responsibility regarding the cantons and foreign policy. | POITICS
9: -In 1550’s Switzerland was a Roman Catholic nation and so everything was ruled by that religion. -The church ran EVERYTHING (schools, taxes, etc) -The Protestant Reformation (Christian Reform group) moved to Switzerland. -This movement was what lessened the church's power in politics, primarily. -The Swiss were put out in the open when they were accused of keeping millions belonging to Jews killed by the Nazis. (During World War II) They agreed to pay only 1.25 million
12: -Switzerland has both private and public hospitals. -Government provides health benefits for the elderly. However, there is no formal health insurance. -Each canton (state) has different rules and regulations regarding health insurance. -The majority pay for private health insurance. -Everyone is required to have health insurance. -The Swiss celebrate good health -Age expectancy in Switzerland is 83 years old for women and for men it is 78. -Switzerland has one of the highest rates of drug addiction in Europe. However they proposed that they would not legalize heroin and other narcotics. | HEALTH
13: EDUCATION | -Each canton has there own laws regarding education. -Education is free and mandatory until 15. -Three parts: primary, secondary, and gymnasia (high school) -Schools are rounded towards college preparation. -After secondary school many people continue on employment or “vocational” school. -Many private schools in addition to state schools. -University of Basel (built in 1460) is the oldest university in Switzerland. -A lot of students come from abroad for advanced training.