Ah Switzerland ... Did you know?
- There are a lot of mountains in Switzerland, some of them harboring glaciers.
- There are a lot of lakes in Switzerland, the largest which is totally within
the Swiss borders is Lac NeuchaĆel.
- There are only about 7 million people in Switzerland (7.164 million as of Dec 1999).
- About 20% of the people living in Switzerland are foreigners (19.6 in 1999).
- That the Swiss system of government was patterned after the US Constitution? Unfortunately, the US courts
have invalidated many important parts of the US Constitution whereas Switzerland
still upholds those principles.
- 100,000 Swiss can demand via referendum that the Constitution be revised.
- A new president of Switzerland is elected every year.
- There are seven members of the Swiss Federal Council (Executive branch) who
are elected for four years. A new President is elected from these seven each year.
- The president of Switzerland for 1999 was a woman and Jewish. Her name is Ruth Dreifuss.
- To see who is the current president of Switzerland,
- There are four official languages in Switzerland:
German, French, Italian, and Romanch. English is sort of an unofficial
fifth language, and you will find this selection of five languages
on the main Swiss Government Web Page.
- The Swiss voted in favor of a new Constitution 18 April 1999.
- There really is no lake named: Lake Geneva. It's real name is Lake Leman.
The five largest Swiss cities and their populations are:
|at the end of the year,
in % 1998
The Swiss Federal Web site can be found at www.admin.ch
where there is a lot of information in English, though it is not as complete
as the German, French and Italian versions. For more complete statistical data
than presented here, try
the Statistical Administration site, and pay particular notice to the really
reasonable average taxation rates toward the bottom of the report.
The best all around site for information on Switzerland that I have found is
Contact: kern at sibbald dot com