Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation (Confœderatio Helvetica in Latin, hence its ISO codes are CH and CHE), is a landlocked country located in central Europe and has a population of 7.725.200 inhabitants (2009).
Switzerland is a federal republic of 26 states, called cantons. Bern is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country’s financial centres are located in the cities of Zurich, Basel and Geneva. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world according to its per capita GDP of us $ 67,384. For their part, Zurich and Geneva are in second place in the best quality of life in the world.
Switzerland is bordered to the north by Germany, to the West by France, to the South by Italy and to the East by Austria and Liechtenstein. The country is characterized by its neutral foreign relations policy, without having actively participated in any international conflict since 1815, and is home to several international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and one of the two UN offices in Europe. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but has been part of the Schengen area since 2005.; it is a multilingual nation and has four national languages: German, French, Italian and romanche.
The date of creation of Switzerland as a nation was set on 1 August 1291 in accordance with tradition, hence every year the national holiday is celebrated that same day.
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