SWITZERLAND





Swiss Confederation
[French] Suisse; (Confédération Suisse); [German] Schweiz; (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft); [Italian] Svizzera; (Confederazione Svizzera) ; [Romanish] Svizra (Confederaziun Helvetica)

CAPITAL : Bern

FLAG : The national flag consists of an equilateral white cross on a red background, each arm of the cross being one-sixth longer than its width.

ANTHEM : The Swiss Hymn begins "Trittst in Morgenrot daher, Seh' ich dich in Strahlenmeer" ("Radiant in the morning sky, Lord, I see that Thou art nigh").

MONETARY UNIT : The Swiss franc (SwFr) of 100 centimes, or rappen, is the national currency. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 centimes and 1, 2, and 5 francs, and notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 francs. SwFr—1 = $0.7634 (or $1 = SwFr1.31) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.

HOLIDAYS : New Year, 1–2 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Christmas, 25–26 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension, and Whitmonday.

TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.


FISHING

Fishing is relatively unimportant but is carried on in many Swiss rivers and on lakes Constance, Neuchâtel, and Geneva. The total catch was 1,659 tons in 2000. Rainbow trout, whitefish, and perch are the main species. Local fish supply about 12% of domestic needs.

HOUSING

Although housing standards are comparatively high, there are shortages in certain areas. In the mid-1990s, less than 40,000 new dwellings per year were constructed in communities of 2,000 or more inhabitants, down from 44,228 in 1985. The total housing stock in 2001 was 3,604,340 dwellings.

DEPENDENCIES

Switzerland has no territories or colonies.

Read about the Culture of Switzerland. More about Switzerland's Culture.

Read about the Geography of Switzerland.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gretler, Arnold, and Pierre-Emeric Mandl. Values, Trends and Alternatives in Swiss Society. New York: Praeger, 1973.

Diem, Aubrey. Switzerland: Land, People, Economy . Kitchener, Ont.: Media International, 1994.

Hilowitz, Janet Eve (ed.). Switzerland in Perspective. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.

International Smoking Statistics: A Collection of Historical Data from 30 Economically Developed Countries. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Linder, Wolf. Swiss Democracy: Possible Solutions to Conflict in Multicultural Societies . Houndsmills, U.K.: Macmillan, 1994.

Lloyd, William Bross, Jr. Waging Peace: The Swiss Experience. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1958.

Luck, J. Murray (ed.). Modern Switzerland. Palo Alto, Calif.: Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship, 1978.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Meier, Heinz K. Switzerland. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1990.

Schimel, Carol L. Conflict and Consensus in Switzerland. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.

Schwarz, Urs. The Eye of the Hurricane: Switzerland in World War II. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1980.

Sectoral Trends in the Swiss Economy . Zurich: Union Bank of Switzerland, Dept. of Economic Research. 1995.

Soloveytchik, G. Switzerland in Perspective. 1954. Reprint, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1982.

Steinberg, Jonathan. Why Switzerland? 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Story, A. T. Swiss Life in Town and Country. 1902. Reprint, New York: AMS, 1983.

Switzerland: An Inside View: Politics, Economy, Culture, Society, Nature. Zurich: Der Alltag/Scalo Verlag, 1992.

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