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Switzerland NEWS

NFE/5.0en-USnews-webmaster@google.com2019 Google Inc.Tue, 15 Jan 2019 17:00:06 GMTGoogle News
Brits in Switzerland wonder about their rights amid Brexit countdown  swissinfo.ch

Can British citizens in Switzerland feel reassured about their post-Brexit situation following a complicated deal between Switzerland and the UK?

Peak luxury: Switzerland's most idyllic ski hotels  The Local Switzerland

As powder hunters eagerly anticipate the 2020 opening of Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, the Swiss hotel with a rooftop piste, we've got some top ...

The Local Switzerland
Why debt collection is booming in Switzerland - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

The number of debt collections has doubled over the past 20 years. Fewer Swiss are paying their taxes or health bills on time.

One dead and highest alert level for avalanche risk in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) has declared large swathes of eastern Switzerland, including the popular ski resort ...

Switzerland: Father, 2 children die in house fire  New Jersey Herald

Swiss police say a father and his two young children have died in a house fire and they are investigating if the man set the fire deliberately.

New Jersey Herald
Switzerland says 6 citizens killed in Swedish minibus crash  Washington Post

Switzerland says six citizens killed in crash in northern Sweden.

Washington Post
Analysis | Here's Why Libor's End Is a Headache for Switzerland  Washington Post

For markets to continue to rely on benchmarks that were widely rigged is pretty clearly a bad idea. But coming up with a good replacement can be hard.

Washington Post
Switzerland's SBB sets sights on hi-tech flying taxi service  The Local Switzerland

Switzerland's national rail company (the SBB) wants to roll out a fully-electric flying taxi *service* alongside its more traditional services but not everyone is thrilled ...

The Local Switzerland
Abe to visit Russia, Switzerland  NHK WORLD

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit Russia and Switzerland next week.

Swiss town's population and hundreds of tourists cut off by heavy snowfall  The Local Switzerland

More than 2000 people in the Swiss Alps were isolated on Monday after heavy snowfall cut roads and rail links as storms continued to wreak havoc across the ...

The Local Switzerland
Lime is pulling its scooters in Switzerland after a possible software glitch made people fall off  MIT Technology Review

Electric-scooter firms are running into a series of setbacks around the world, including glitches that throw riders off mid-ride and a lawsuit that claims they ...

MIT Technology Review
Switzerland gets ready for 5G spectrum auction: Report  RCR Wireless News

Swiss telecommunications services regulator Ofcom said it aims to kick off a 5G spectrum auction this month, according to Reuters. The country's main carriers, ...

RCR Wireless News
Switzerland Is A Great Economic Success. Why Don't More Countries Follow Its Example?  Forbes

WHY ISN'T SWITZERLAND held up as an impressive economic model for other countries? Why does the IMF ignore its lessons of long-term success when ...

Study examines youth immigrant integration in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The integration of teenagers with immigration background into Swiss society also depends on the country of origin of their parents, a poll finds.

Here's what changes in Switzerland in 2019  The Local Switzerland

Here are the most important new rules and laws affecting life in Switzerland as of January 1st.

The Local Switzerland
Glance around Switzerland: Swiss Guards on the run, SBB taken to court, 111th birthday and angry neighbours  The Local Switzerland

Our roundup of stories you might have missed this week includes Swiss guards on the run, SBB going to court, angry neighbours, a 111th birthday and more.

The Local Switzerland
Trump cancels trip to Switzerland over government shutdown  News & Observer

President Donald Trump says he's canceling his trip later this month to a global forum in Switzerland because of the partial government shutdown.

News & Observer
Online child pornography in Switzerland on the increase  swissinfo.ch

The non-governmental group against child abuse has expressed concern about a continuing increase of suspected cases of child pornography in Switzerland.

Switzerland: Stuck in the middle with EU  Spear's WMS

The UK doesn't have a monopoly on uncertainty: David Dawkins heads to Geneva to size up another European power at a crossroads in its relationship with the ...

Spear's WMS
Switzerland's leniency on criminals, explained - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

When compared with many other countries, Switzerland tends to hand down shorter sentences, particularly for violent crime.

'For Indians, the silence in Switzerland can be deafening'  The Local Switzerland

When Ashley Arthingal left India for the very first time to study in Lausanne for a year, he felt like a visitor from another planet. Here he reveals what has surprised ...

The Local Switzerland
Clean-up begins after avalanche crashes into hotel in eastern Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

UPDATE: Rescue services on Friday continued to search the area near where an avalanche struck a hotel in eastern Switzerland on Thursday just in case ...

The Local Switzerland
Ifo Institute favors Switzerland-plus solution for Britain  FXStreet

This is the opinion published by German think-tank Ifo Institute: The Ifo Institute has called on the EU to offer Britain a solution modeled on Switzerland. "In view ...

EU facing REBELLION: Switzerland chief issues Brussels with furious ONE-WORD WARNING  Express.co.uk

EU BOSSES are refusing to renegotiate the bloc's trade deal with Switzerland despite several attempts from the country's new federal president Ueli Maurer to ...

Brexit: 'Basic questions unanswered' on Swiss trade deal  BBC News

Questions over trade with Switzerland and 70 other countries remain unanswered, a senior MP says.

BBC News
Switzerland's sole volunteer paramedic service - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

Croce Verde (Green Cross) Lugano is a non-profit that runs an ambulance *service*, a low-cost dental practice and first aid training courses. Volunteers are the ...

A Study on Switzerland's Telecoms, Mobile & Broadband: 2018 - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Associated Press

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 11, 2019--The “Switzerland - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses” report has been added to ...

Associated Press
2018 was hottest year on record for much of Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

This year was the hottest ever recorded in northern Switzerland while the same could yet prove to be true for areas south of the Alps.

The Local Switzerland
Five police injured during post-match riot in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Five police officers have been injured in Switzerland during a post-match riot involving supporters of rival football clubs that also caused "massive" property ...

The Local Switzerland
Roger Federer wins Hopman Cup with Switzerland for record 3rd time  ESPN

Roger Federer won the Hopman Cup for a record third time after defending champion Switzerland beat Germany 2-1 on Saturday.

What winter used to look like in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

Snow in Swiss cities is sparse these days. This was not always the case, as historical black-and-white photographs taken between 1930 and 1970 show.

Ten truly excellent reasons to visit Switzerland in 2019  The Local Switzerland

From wonderful wine festivals to views to die for, here are ten amazing reasons to include Switzerland on your 2019 to-do list right now.

The Local Switzerland
New Samsung AI centers may be opened in Switzerland and Germany  SamMobile

In pursuit of its goal to have 1000 artificial intelligence specialists by 2020, Samsung may open up new AI centers in Switzerland and Germany. - SamMobile.

Federal council calls for more six-lane motorways in Switzerland  Le News

Currently, only 100 km (6.8%) of Switzerland's national motorway network has six lanes – typically three in each direction. 1,311 km (90%) of the network has ...

Le News
Ski patroller killed by avalanche in Swiss canton of Valais  The Local Switzerland

A 24-year-old ski patroller was killed on Monday when he and a colleague were caught by an avalanche while attempting to ensure the safety of ski pistes in the ...

The Local Switzerland
Global democracy looking better as Switzerland slips - SWI swissinfo.ch  swissinfo.ch

Increased political participation around the world has halted a democratic backslide according to the latest democracy index.

Switzerland‘s Vontobel unveils institutional digital asset safe custody  Ledger Insights

Today Vontobel, the Swiss-based investment bank that provides conventional custodial services, announced 'Digital Asset Vault', an end-to-end *service* for ...

Ledger Insights
The fast track to ski-touring bliss in Switzerland  Financial Times

Just beyond the pistes of Andermatt, Eric Kendall finds a perfect spring retreat for skiers.

Financial Times
Avalanche risk level at maximum in many parts of Swiss Alps  The Local Switzerland

Parts of the Swiss Alps have been placed on maximum alert for avalanches after heavy snow in recent days.

The Local Switzerland
'Switzerland is playing a very dangerous game on EU deal': Foreign minister  The Local Switzerland

The Swiss foreign minister says Switzerland risks a worse bilateral treaty with the European Union in future if it does not agree to the current draft agreement on ...

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland: Man fined for publicly saying ‘Allahu Akbar’  The Siasat Daily

Schaffhausen: A Muslim man is fined £178 (approx. Rs 32,000 in PKR) by Switzerland police for saying 'Allahu Akbar' publicly. 22-year-old, Orhan E. made the ...

The Siasat Daily
Switzerland coach Christian Wohlwend outdid himself with this hilariously questionable quote  Golf Digest

Last year at the World Juniors Switzerland head coach Christian Wohlwend took the hockey world by storm with his brutally honest assessment of his team's ...

Golf Digest
Only in Switzerland: Relive the 10 most Swiss stories of 2018  The Local Switzerland

From cheesy science experiments to torturous citizenship interviews, here are the top ten stories from the last 12 months that could have only happened in ...

The Local Switzerland
EU gives Switzerland another six months for a deal  EUobserver

The EU Commission said on Monday (17 December) it would allow another six-month period for the Swiss stock exchange to maintain access to the EU market ...

The shady origins of gold refined in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

Most of the gold in the world passes through Switzerland. This is a business worth CHF70-90 billion ($70-90 billion) depending on the year. Gold arrives here in ...

Lenders pay to lend money to Switzerland  Le News

On 28 December 2018, Italy issued government bonds maturing in 2028 at an effective interest rate of 2.7%1. Interest rates like this combined with the scale of ...

Le News
Separate avalanches claim two lives in Switzerland  The Local Switzerland

Separate avalanches have claimed the lives of two men in Switzerland this week.

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland prepares to launch Iran payments channel  Financial Times

Initiative has US approval and rivals EU plan to bypass sanctions.

Financial Times
Switzerland's new president for 2019  Le News

In Switzerland, the position of president is ceremonial. Switzerland's executive is led jointly by all seven members of the Federal Council, also known as les sept ...

Le News
Roger Federer and Serena Williams meet with Switzerland winning at Hopman Cup  The Guardian

Roger Federer came out on top in his highly anticipated match-up with Serena Williams to help Switzerland clinch their Hopman Cup tie against the United ...

The Guardian
Tobias Geisser has been sent back to the AHL by Team Switzerland  Russian Machine Never Breaks

The relentlessly fun hockey site, hopelessly devoted to the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. Our goal is to make hockey as fun about as it is to watch.

Russian Machine Never Breaks
1 dead, 44 injured in Switzerland bus crash  Boston.com

BERLIN (AP) — Zurich police say a tour bus on its way to Germany has crashed in Switzerland, killing one person and injuring 44 others. The dpa news agency ...

A nod to Switzerland in an American icon  swissinfo.ch

For one American family, no car looms larger than one from a company created by a Swiss: the Corvair.

Switzerland gets awarded two penalty shots on same play, fail to capitalize on either  Golf Digest

You're lucky if you see your favorite hockey team get awarded a handful of penalty shots in an entire season, and it's extremely rare to see the call made twice in ...

Golf Digest
Roger Federer explains why he doesn't celebrate Christmas in Switzerland  Tennis World USA

In an interview to Bote, the 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer explained why he has not been celebrating the Christmas in Switzerland since 2014.

Tennis World USA
Canada beats Switzerland 3-2 in world junior hockey  Charlotte Observer

MacKenzie Entwistle and Noah Dobson scored second-period goals and Canada held off Switzerland 3-2 in the world junior hockey championship to improve to ...

Charlotte Observer
Latest Fundamentals: TE Connectivity New Switzerland Registered Shares (NYSE: TEL)  TNN

Margin of Safety Calculated for NYSE:TEL | News, Safe Dividend, Technology.

Goose bumps and wacky costumes rule pre-Christmas swim in Switzerland  USA TODAY

A participant of the 80th annual Christmas swim, "Coupe de Noel," reacts after jumping into Lake Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland, Dec. 16, 2018. More than ...

How Switzerland is shedding light on art gifts with possible Nazi ties  The Local Switzerland

When Georges F. Keller began donating paintings by masters like Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali to the Kunstmuseum in Bern his reputation was not in doubt.

The Local Switzerland
Switzerland and Britain reach post-Brexit aviation deal  The Local Switzerland

Switzerland and Britain signed an agreement on Monday guaranteeing that flights between the two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to ...

The Local Switzerland
President Trump Announces Presidential Delegation to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum  Whitehouse.gov

President Donald J. Trump today announced the Presidential Delegation that will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, from ...

Switzerland to Examine Reports That Palestinian Textbooks Promote Violence, Racism  Algemeiner

The Swiss government will review reports that the Palestinian curriculum promotes violence, antisemitism, and other themes that undermine a two-state solution ...

Switzerland says Apple pledges to fix disruptions to rival payment app  Reuters

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland's competition commission (WEKO) on Tuesday said Apple Inc has agreed to make a technical fix to prevent the automatic ...

Hrithik Roshan’s latest Instagram picture all the way from Switzerland will brighten up your dull Tuesday  PINKVILLA

Today, Hrithik Roshan posted a picture on Instagram all the way from Switzerland and as always, this handsome hunk had us go week in the knees.

Federer wins to put Switzerland in Hopman Cup final  Belleville News-Democrat

Roger Federer relied on his trusted serve to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) and give defending champion Switzerland a spot in the Hopman Cup final.

Belleville News-Democrat
Switzerland to Regulate Blockchain Within Existing Financial Laws  CoinDesk

The government of Switzerland wants to accommodate the blockchain sector within its existing financial laws. The country's Federal Council issued a report on ...

Switzerland's new Tesla police cars hit data protection roadblock  The Local Switzerland

UPDATED: Tesla on Friday defended its data protection credentials after Swiss media outlets reported that the roll-out of new Tesla police cars in the canton of ...

The Local Switzerland
Kim Jong-un’s SECRET Switzerland trip: Supreme leader ‘used FAKE documents to enter'  Express.co.uk

KIM Jong-un used fake documents to enter Switzerland and study as a kid, it has been claimed in a bombshell documentary.

Russia beats Switzerland 7-4 in world junior hockey  The News & Observer

Kirill Slepets broke a tie short-handed early in the third period and Russia added three more goals to beat Switzerland 7-4 in the world junior hockey ...

The News & Observer
Blackhawks’ Philipp Kurashev scores hat trick for Switzerland against Denmark at World Juniors  Second City Hockey

Blackhawks prospect Philipp Kurashev scored a hat trick to lead Switzerland to a 4-0 win against Denmark on Saturday at the World Junior Championship.

Second City Hockey
World Juniors 2019: Finland routs Switzerland 6-1 in semifinal, advances to gold-medal game  Second City Hockey

Blackhawks defenseman Henri Jokiharju scored a power play goal in Finland's 6-1 semifinal win over Switzerland at the World Junior Championship on Friday ...

Second City Hockey
Muslim is fined £170 for saying 'Allahu Akbar' in public in Switzerland  Daily Mail

The 22-year-old man, named in Swiss media as Orhan E., made the exclamation - which means 'God is the greatest' in Arabic - in Schaffhausen (pictured) in ...

Daily Mail
Switzerland stuns Sweden 2-0 to reach world junior semis  The Province

VICTORIA — Luca Hollenstein made 41 saves and Switzerland stunned Sweden 2-0 on Wednesday to advance to the world junior hockey semifinals.Yannick ...

The Province
Bitcoin ATM Producer Moves to Switzerland Due to Regulatory Difficulties  Cointelegraph

Bitcoin ATM producer Lamassu has moved to the Swiss canton of Lucerne due to regulatory difficulties in other countries.

British Embassy to hold Brexit roadshows in Switzerland and Liechtenstein  The Local Switzerland

The British Embassy in Bern is planning a series of events in Switzerland and Liechtenstein in January and February designed to inform UK nationals living in ...

The Local Switzerland
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse to Meet SWIFT's Retiring CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt in Switzerland  Ripple Coin News

Ripple has emerged as the threat to long-established SWIFT and henceforth the talks on which is the best solution for international remittance *service* is ...

Ripple Coin News
Everything you need to know about blockchain in Switzerland  Fintech Futures

The Swiss government just unveiled a comprehensive legal framework for regulating blockchain on a national level.

Fintech Futures
Quick Read: Switzerland says 6 citizens killed in Swedish minibus crash  Safe Travels Magazine

Switzerland says six of its citizens have been killed in a road crash in northern Sweden. The foreign ministry in Bern said Sunday that a Swiss consular official ...

Safe Travels Magazine
UK agreements with the EEA EFTA states and Switzerland  GOV.UK

The UK has reached agreements with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and with Switzerland to address separation issues including protecting the rights of our ...

Amanda Seyfried Stuns in Pink Dress at SIHH 2019 in Switzerland  Just Jared

Amanda Seyfried Stuns in Pink Dress at SIHH 2019 in Switzerland Amanda Seyfried keeps it classy at SIHH 2019! The 33-year-old Mamma Mia! Here We Go ...

Just Jared
After family vacay in Switzerland, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are enjoying the beach life in the Caribbean  Times Now

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, who tied the knot last month, are presently in the Caribbean enjoying their honeymoon. Prior to this, the power couple was in ...

Times Now
Casa CCFF by Leopold Banchini offers alternative to Switzerland's typical concrete houses  Dezeen

Leopold Banchini Architects has built Casa CCFF, a house it describes as a "domestic factory", beside a train station in Lancy, Switzerland.

Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan Go Party Hopping With Taimur In Switzerland  NDTV News

Holidaying in Switzerland for the New Year, Kareena and Saif went party hopping and they took along baby Taimur.

President Trump to attend economic forum in Switzerland  Fox News

WASHINGTON-- President Donald Trump will be attending the World Economic Forum next month in Davos, Switzerland.

Fox News
Switzerland: SBB sets sights on hi-tech flying taxi service  PoliticalLore.com

Switzerland and Germany are ready to be partners in another taxi *service*, Sonntags Zeitung reported. The idea is to give the people an opportunity to use a ...

Watch: Blackhawks’ Philipp Kurashev scores 2 goals for Switzerland against Canada at World Juniors  Second City Hockey

Blackhawks prospect Philipp Kurashev scored two power-play goals for Switzerland in a 3-2 loss to Canada on Thursday at the World Junior Championship.

Second City Hockey
Jura dialect recognized as minority language in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The Swiss government has decided to recognize the dialect of the Jura region as a minority language in Switzerland, which could help preserve it.

Switzerland via Kosovo: A warm New Year's travel story for 2019  Communities Digital News

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND. Sometimes travel can create unforgettable eye-opening and life-altering experiences. More often than not, such events are unplanned ...

Communities Digital News
Skiing accident costs skyrocket in Switzerland  swissinfo.ch

The costs of winter sports accidents involving skiers and snowboarders have increased by 70% over the past 15 years, according to the Swiss Accident ...

What's the real risk from avalanches?  swissinfo.ch

After an avalanche entered a hotel, what are the risks in Switzerland and how are such hazards monitored?

Europe weather news: Snow blankets Greece Italy Germany Switzerland Poland Slovakia  9news.com.au

Many parts of Europe have welcomed in 2019 with extreme weather as snow and subzero temperatures sweep the ...

Extreme winter weather brings fatal avalanches and cuts off Alpine ski resorts  CNN

Avalanches in Austria and France have brought the total number of weather-related fatalities in Europe to at least 16 this month.

Agism most frequent form of discrimination in Switzerland, according to survey  Le News

Growing old is something that happens to nearly all of us. However, according to a recent study close to one in three people (28%) reported age-related ...

Le News
Slepets nets hat trick as Russia downs Switzerland for world junior bronze  The Province

The Russians took the bronze with a 5-2 win over the Swiss at Rogers Arena Saturday.

The Province
Switzerland Merchants Charged 8% by PayPal Showing Merits of Crypto  CCN

The high transaction fee of PayPal that hovers at around 8% has led merchants to explore for alternatives like crypto to minimize expenses.

Authorities in France searching for downed fighter jet over Switzerland  One America News Network

Authorities in France are searching for a fighter jet that suddenly disappeared over the border of Switzerland. According to Wednesday reports, the jet was ...

One America News Network
Swiss and Italian leaders discuss cross-border tax deal  swissinfo.ch

By spring, the Italian government is expected to clarify its position on a new tax system for cross-border commuters between Italy and Switzerland.

Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Superintendent Steps Down  Wheeling Intelligencer

The superintendent for Switzerland of Ohio has announced he is leaving the district for the same job elsewhere. Jeffrey Greenley said he has accepted the posit.

Wheeling Intelligencer
World’s First Regulated Blockchain Real Estate Crowdsale Platform Launched in Switzerland  CCN

Tokenized assets are here to stay. The current race is about who can get regulated products to the market first and then who can successfully gain user adoption ...

Switzerland’s Muzeum Susch opens in a redesigned rural monastery  Wallpaper*

Muzeum Susch, designed by Zurich based architecture firm Voellmy Schmidlin Architektur, opens to the public in Switzerland's Engadin valley.


Switzerland Videos

10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland - Travel Video
10 Best Places to Visit in Switzerland - Travel Video
Switzerland In Rs. 75,000 - 10 Days 10 Cities - A Budget Trip from India - All You Need to Know
Switzerland In Rs. 75,000 - 10 Days 10 Cities - A Budget Trip from India - All You Need to Know
SWITZERLAND | 5 things NOT to do
SWITZERLAND | 5 things NOT to do
Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Beautiful Places To See- Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Why is SWITZERLAND so RICH? - VisualPolitik EN
Why is SWITZERLAND so RICH? - VisualPolitik EN
10 Things You Didn't Know About Switzerland
10 Things You Didn't Know About Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Travel To Switzerland | History And Documentary Switzerland In Urdu & Hindi | سوئٹزرلینڈ کی سیر
Travel To Switzerland | History And Documentary Switzerland In Urdu & Hindi | سوئٹزرلینڈ کی سیر
स्विट्ज़रलैंड एक खूबसूरत देश // Amazing facts about Switzerland in hindi
स्विट्ज़रलैंड एक खूबसूरत देश // Amazing facts about Switzerland in hindi
Living in Switzerland vs. America |  20 Major Differences
Living in Switzerland vs. America | 20 Major Differences

Switzerland Images

Почти Венеция | 2010 Steckborn, Kanton Thurgau ...
Почти Венеция | 2010 Steckborn, Kanton Thurgau ...
Appenzellerland - Region Wasserauen | Am Seealpsee in 1143 ...
Appenzellerland - Region Wasserauen | Am Seealpsee in 1143 ...
Clickable map of Appenzell Auserrhoden (Switzerland)
Clickable map of Appenzell Auserrhoden (Switzerland)
CCIS – IWG Switzerland
CCIS – IWG Switzerland
Crans Montana, Switzerland | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Crans Montana, Switzerland | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Home | Hebrew People Annual Summer Camp in Seelisberg 03 ...
Home | Hebrew People Annual Summer Camp in Seelisberg 03 ...
CERN: Where Art, Design And Particle Physics Become One
CERN: Where Art, Design And Particle Physics Become One
Eurofish trading AG, Switzerland
Eurofish trading AG, Switzerland

Switzerland WebSites


Switzerland Wiki

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic situated in western, central and southern Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) (land area 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi)). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight-and-a-half million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation; it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German); Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ] (Romansh). On coins and stamps, the Latin name – frequently shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and human development. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer.