Switzerland. Did Switzerland escape occupation during the war by being Nazi Germany’s financial runners-up? The issue was fueled by new information that Nazi leaders deposited stolen gold worth billions in Swiss banks before the end of the war. Jewish groups demanded that the banks report what European Jews deposited into secret accounts in 1933-45 before falling victim to the Nazi terror. The Jewish World Congress, WJC, believes that the vaults in Switzerland can hide close to seven billion US dollars, hitherto inaccessible to the owners’ survivors. Two expert commissions were appointed to seek the missing bank money.
The economy continued at half speed, and the Swiss franc’s strong course hampered the competitiveness of exporting companies. Unemployment was set at just over 4%, a figure high for Switzerland. A proposal to increase employment by abolishing the industry’s women’s ban at night and giving companies the right to freer opening hours was rejected in a referendum in December. Mad Cow Disease (BSE) hit hard on agriculture, and Switzerland was reported to be Europe’s worst BSE-affected country after the UK with 230 cases. However, a government proposal for the slaughter of 230,000 cows to eradicate the infection did not go through. Parliament decreed in December that the slaughter of 1,100 animals was enough.
In October, the government decided that Switzerland from 1997 should be part of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Partnership Program (PFP).
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does SZ stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Switzerland. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
During World War II, European powers recognized the armed neutrality of Switzerland, which, despite pressure from Nazi Germany, remained on the edge of the conflict. After the war, the West blamed Switzerland for being in contact with Germany, and the Soviet Union refused to reestablish relations with the country that had been discontinued in 1918. After all, Switzerland’s economic strength made it easier for the country to rejoin the international community. During the Cold War, Switzerland stood on the western side, but in order to maintain its neutrality, the country did not join the UN.
The Swiss economy experienced an incredible boom in the post-war period. Export industries with goods such as chemical products, foodstuffs and machine parts developed into large transnational enterprises. In 1973, Switzerland ranked fourth in terms of foreign direct investment – surpassed only by the United States, France and England.
For example, in 1989, the largest transnational Swiss food company, Nestlé, had 196,940 employees worldwide and sold for $ 29.360 million. It worked through branches in Algeria, Bahamas, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Philippines, Ghana and Madagascar.
As in the other capitalist countries in Europe, Swiss economic expansion was partly based on foreign workers. These came mostly from Italy and Spain. Between 1945 and 1974, the number of foreigners increased from 5 to 17% of the population. The rejection of immigrants came to light in a number of referendums, and in the 1974-76 crisis, tens of thousands of foreigners had to leave the country.
Due to its political neutrality, Switzerland did not join the EC. Since 1960, however, the country has been a member of the EFTA Free Trade Association. In 1983, Swiss development assistance accounted for almost 5% of investment in poor countries.
In 1959, the Socialist Party returned to the Federal Council with two representatives. Since then, the composition of the Government has remained stable, and about 80% of voters have been represented in the government.
Since Switzerland is mostly governed by political compromises, the population has lost interest in the elections. In 1979, the turnout for the first time was below 50%.
In line with this development, new organized flows emerged in the country. In the 1980s, groups such as nuclear opponents and feminists emerged. The latter was at a referendum in 1981 an amendment to the constitution that provides equal rights for men and women. As another new movement, mention is made of the violent youth actions against the consumer society.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Switzerland in 1996 was 6,995,410, ranking number 92 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.010% yearly, and the population density was 177.0301 people per km2.