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Switzerland


    • Names:

        conventional long form:
        Swiss Confederation

        conventional short form:
        Switzerland

        local long form:
        Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German) Confederation Suisse (French) Confederazione Svizzera (Italian)

        local short form:
        Schweiz (German) Suisse (French) Svizzera (Italian)

    • Digraph:
      SZ

    • Type:
      federal republic

    • Capital:
      Bern

    • Administrative divisions:
      26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; kantone, singular - kanton in German); Aargau, Ausser-Rhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubunden, Inner-Rhoden, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Vaud, Zug, Zurich

    • Independence:
      1 August 1291

    • National holiday:
      Anniversary of the Founding of the Swiss Confederation, 1 August (1291)

    • Constitution:
      29 May 1874

    • Legal system:
      civil law system influenced by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts, except with respect to federal decrees of general obligatory character; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    • Suffrage:
      18 years of age; universal

    • Executive branch:

        chief of state and head of government:
        President Kaspar VILLIGER (1995 calendar year; presidency rotates annually); Vice President Jean-Pascal DELAMURAZ (term runs concurrently with that of president)

        cabinet:
        Federal Council (German - Bundesrat, French - Censeil Federal, Italian - Consiglio Federale); elected by the Federal Assembly from own members

    • Legislative branch:
      bicameral Federal Assembly (German - Bundesversammlung, French - Assemblee Federale, Italian - Assemblea Federale)

        Council of States:
        German - Standerat, French - Conseil des Etats, Italian - Consiglio degli Stati; elections last held throughout 1991 (next to be held NA 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (46 total) FDP 18, CVP 16, SVP 4, SPS 3, LPS 3, LdU 1, Ticino League 1

        National Council:
        German - Nationalrat, French - Conseil National, Italian - Consiglio Nazionale; elections last held 20 October 1991 (next to be held NA October 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (200 total) FDP 44, SPS 42, CVP 37, SVP 25, GPS 14, LPS 10, AP 8, LdU 6, SD 5, EVP 3, PdA 2, Ticino League 2, other 2

    • Judicial branch:
      Federal Supreme Court

    • Political parties and leaders:
      Free Democratic Party (FDP), Franz STEINEGGER, president; Social Democratic Party (SPS), Peter BODENMANN, president; Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP), Anton COTTIER, president; Swiss People's Party (SVP), Hans UHLMANN, president; Green Party (GPS), Verena DIENER, president; Freedom Party (FPS), Roland BORER, president; Liberal Party (LPS), Christoph EYMANN, president; Alliance of Independents' Party (LdU), Monica WEBER, president; Ticino League, Giuliano BIGNASCA, president; and other minor parties including the Automobile Party (AP), Swiss Democratic Party (SD), Workers' Party (PdA), and the Evangelical People's Party (EVP); note - see elections

    • Member of:
      AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, ECE, EFTA, ESA, FAO, G- 8, G-10, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIH, UNOMIG, UNPROFOR, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

    • Diplomatic representation in US:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Carlo JAGMETTI

        chancery:
        2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

        telephone:
        [1] (202) 745-7900

        FAX:
        [1] (202) 387-2564

        consulate(s) general:
        Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pago Pago (American Samoa), and San Francisco

    • US diplomatic representation:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador M. Larry LAWRENCE

        embassy:
        Jubilaeumstrasse 93, 3005 Bern

        mailing address:
        use embassy street address

        telephone:
        [41] (31) 357 70 11

        FAX:
        [41] (31) 357 73 44

        branch office:
        Geneva

        consulate(s) general:
        Zurich

    • Flag:
      red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center that does not extend to the edges of the flag






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