Switzerland

One of the world’s most prosperous countries, Switzerland sits at the center of Europe. It has retained its neutral status through every major European conflict since 1815.


Geography:

Mostly mountainous, with river valleys. 

The Alps cover 60% of its area; the Jura in the west cover 10%. 

Lowlands lie along the east–west axis.

Climate:

Most rain falls in the warm summer months. 

Winters are snowy, but milder and foggy away from the mountains. 

Avalanches are a problem.

People & Society:

Switzerland is composed of distinct German-Swiss, French-Swiss, and ItalianSwiss linguistic groups. 

In the east, a 35,000-strong minority speaks Romansch. 

The country is divided into 26 autonomous cantons (states), each with control over housing and economics. 

Public referendum are widely used to decide policies. 

Society is conservative; marriage is common but divorce is above the EU average rate.

Economy:

Diversified economy relies on services – the banking sector manages over a quarter of the world’s offshore private wealth – and specialized industries (engineering, watches, etc).

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