[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 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.
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.
Switzerland has no territories or colonies.
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