Saturday, April 24, 2010

SWITZERLAND - Country profile

LOCATION OF SWITZERLAND IN THE WORLD



MAP OF SWITZERLAND



FLAG OF SWITZERLAND



The flag of Switzerland consists of a red flag with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center. It is one of only two square sovereign-state flags, the other being the flag of the Vatican City. (The civil and state ensign, used by Swiss ships and boats, has more traditional proportions of 2:3.)

Only the dimensions of the cross are formally established since 1889: "The coat of arms of the federation is, within a red field, an upright white cross, whose [four] arms of equal length are a sixth longer than their width." The size of the cross in relation to the field is not formally established except on the naval ensign. A relation of 2:3 or 7:10 to the span of the flag is usual.



NATIONAL ANTHEM OF SWITZERLAND

video

The Swiss Psalm is the national anthem of Switzerland. It was composed in 1841, by Alberich Zwyssig (1808-1854). Since then it has been frequently sung at patriotic events. The Federal Council declined however on numerous occasions to accept the psalm as the official anthem. This was because the council wanted the people to express their say on what they wanted as a national anthem.

From 1961 to 1981 it provisionally replaced Rufst Du, mein Vaterland ("When You call, my Country", French O Monts indépendants; Italian Ci chiami o patria, Romansh E clomas, tger paeis) the anthem by Johann Rudolf Wyss (1743-1818) which was set to the melody of God Save the Queen.

Finally on April 1, 1981 the Swiss Psalm was declared the official Swiss national anthem.



PROFILE OF SWITZERLAND


Official Name:
Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German)
Confederation Suisse (French)
Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)
short form: Suisse, Schweiz, Svizzera
int'l long form: Swiss Confederation
int'l short form: Switzerland

ISO Country Code: ch

Capital City: Bern (Berne)
Berne (pop. 123 000)
The Municipality of Berne.

Major Cities:
Basel, Genève (Genf, Genève, Geneva), Luzern, Lausanne, Lugano, Zürich.

Government:
Type: Federal republic.
Independence: The first Swiss Confederation was founded in August 1291 as a defensive alliance among three cantons. The Swiss Confederation established independence from the Holy Roman Empire in 1499.
Constitution: 1848; extensively amended in 1874; fully revised in 2000
Federal Charter of 1291
Document of the Federal Charter.
National Day (Bundesfeier/fête nationale/festa nazionale): 1. August (Celebrates the Oath of 1291, which is considered the start of the Swiss Confederation).

Geography:
Location: Central Europe, south of Germany, east of France and north of Italy.
Area: 41 285 sq. km. (15 941 sq. mi.)
Terrain: 60% mountains, the remainder hills and plateau. Switzerland straddles the central ranges of the Alps.

Climate: From Central European in the north to Mediterranean in the south, varying with altitude and season.

People:
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Swiss.
Population: 7.3 million.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 33 168
Ethnic groups: Mixed European--German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%, other.
Religions: Roman Catholic 42%, Protestant 33%, Muslim 4.3%, others 5.4%, no religion 11%.
Languages: German 63.7%, French 20.4%, Italian 6.5%, Romansch 0.5%, are official languages, other 9.4%.
Literacy: 100%.

Natural resources: Waterpower, timber, salt.

Agricultural Products: Dairy, livestock, grains, fruit and vegetables, potatoes, wine.

Industries: Machinery, chemicals, watch-making, textiles, precision instruments.

Exports partners: Germany 20.8%, USA 11.3%, France 8.7%, Italy 8.3%, UK 4.9%, Japan 4% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 32.3%, France 10.8%, Italy 10.7%, USA 5.5%, Netherlands 5%, Austria 4.2%, UK 4.1% (2003)

Currency: Swiss Franc (CHF)

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