Switzerland is a small European country known for its beautiful, snow-capped mountains and freedom-loving people. The Alps and the Jura Mountains cover more than half of Switzerland. However, most of the Swiss people live on a plateau that extends across the middle of the country between the two mountain ranges. In this region are most of Switzerlands capital, Bern, and largest city, Zurich, are also there. The Swiss have a long tradition of freedom. About 700 years ago, people in what is now central Switzerland agreed to help each other stay free from foreign rule.
Gradually, people in nearby areas joined them in what became to be known as the Swiss Confederation. Various Swiss groups speak different languages. Switzerland has three official languages German, French, and Italian. The Latin name for Switzerland, Helvetia, appears on Swiss coins and postage stamps. The Swiss now show great pride in their long independence. Switzerland has no regular army, but almost all the men receive military training yearly.
They keep their weapons and uniforms at home, and can be called up quickly in an emergency. Local marksmanship contests are held frequently. In the early 1500 s, Switzerland established a policy of not taking sides in the many wars that raged in Europe. During World Wars I and II, Switzerland remained an island of peace. Almost all the nations around it took part in the bloody struggles.
Switzerland provided safety for thousands who fled from the fighting, or from political persecution. The nations neutrality policy helped the Swiss develop valuable banking services to people of countries throughout the world, where banks are less safe. The League of Nations, the major world organization of the 1920 s and 1930 s, had its headquarters in the Swiss City of Geneva. Today, many international organizations, including various United Nations agencies, have headquarters in Geneva. Switzerland has limited natural resources, but it is a thriving industrial nation.
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Using imported raw materials, the Swiss manufacture high-quality goods including electrical equipment, machine tools, and watches. They also produce chemicals, drugs, chocolate, and cheese and other dairy products. Government The government of Switzerland is based on the Swiss Constitution of 1848, which was changed greatly in 1874. The Constitution establishes a federal republic in which political powers are divided between the central government and cantonal (state) governments.
In some ways, the Swiss government is one of the most democratic in the world. Swiss citizens enjoy close control over their laws through the rights of the referendum and the initiative. The referendum allows the people to demand a popular vote on laws passed by the legislature. A vote must be held if 50, 000 people request it. The people can then accept or veto the law. The initiative gives Swiss citizens the right to bring specific issues before the people for a vote.
Such a vote may force a change in government policy or may amend the Constitution. An initiative requires a petition by at least 100, 000 citizens. All voters must be at least 20 years old. Cantonal and local government. Swiss voters elect executive councils and legislatures in the cantons, half-cantons, and cities.
The countrys six half-cantons were originally three undivided cantons. They split into separate political units with as much power of self-government as the full cantons. But each half-canton sends only one representative to the national legislatures Council of States, instead of two. In one canton and in four of the half-cantons, the people vote by a show of hands at open-air meeting called a Landsgemeinde. Similar meetings of voters are held in the small towns and villages.
Switzerland is a republic governed under a constitution adopted on May 29, 1874, and amended many times since. The Swiss political system combines direct and indirect democracy with the principles of sovereignty of the people, separation of powers, and proportional representation. In federal elections, all citizens age 18 or older are eligible to vote; women gained suffrage in national elections ...
Politics. Switzerland has a wide range of political parties. However, there are few differences among the large ones. Therefore, the parties cooperate easily. The three largest political parties have about an equal degree of strength. They are the Christian Democratic Party, the Radical Democratic Party, and the Social Democratic Party.
Defense. Switzerland has a militia (citizens army) instead of regular armed forces. Swiss men are required to begin a series of military-training periods at the age of 20. They can be called into service until the age of 50. Men whose health or work makes them unable to serve in the militia and men who live out of the country must pay a special tax. People Even after the Swiss began to join forces about 700 years ago to defend themselves, people from different areas kept their own ways of life.
They defended these ways of life in the same spirit of independence that has made Switzerland famous. Therefore, the Swiss still differ greatly among themselves in language, customs, and traditions. These variations are apparent from region to region, and even among some small communities. In the past, the local patriotism of the Swiss was so strong that most of them thought of themselves as part of their own local area more than of their country. They considered the Swiss of other areas almost foreign rivals, and feuds among various areas lasted for hundreds of years. But at most when their country faced danger, the Swiss stood together as one people.
Today, local patriotism has largely been replaced by national patriotism. Population. Switzerland has about 7 million people. About 1 million of the people are foreign-born. Nearly a third of the countrys foreign-born population came from Italy. Large groups of people from France, West Germany, and Spain also reside in Switzerland.
Switzerland has a larger percentage of foreign-born residents than any other European country. Foreign workers have been recruited to fill newly created jobs, because Switzerlands economy has grown faster than its domestic population.
Establishment mode means that the MNE starts its operations from scratch in the foreign country usually through a wholly owned subsidiary where as in entry mode; this can be accomplished by a subsidiary or through partnership with a local party which involves shared ownership. In this study the authors examine the effect of same variables on both these choices available to a company. They do it ...