Fast Facts: Progressive Switzerland

National Day of Switzerland Image - courtesy of www.officeholidays.com With chocolate box vistas, sterile streets and a conservative population, Switzerland is seen to be stable, orthodox and conventional. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a progressive, even revolutionary, state that may surprise you on several levels. Let’s take a look at what makes the Swiss more progressive than prudish, while exploring a few of the traditional characteristics of the Alpine state:

Citizen Rights from Beginning to End

Switzerland is a wealthy country saturated in the principals of democracy and freedom. It offers all its citizens the right to live and die, bear arms and enjoy state-sanctioned recreational drugs.  As one of only four countries in the world that offers assisted suicide, you can choose to end your days in a tastefully decorated Swiss clinic for around $10k a pop.

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Gun Happy Nation

For a neutral country that’s only been conquered once in its 726 year history, Switzerland is a surprisingly gun happy nation. According to a recent estimate, there are five guns per person.  Hunting obviously accounts from some of the weapons but with 78 percent of the population touting one or more side arms or rifles, shooting deer can’t be the only reason to carry a gun. A more fascinating fact is that military issued firearms can be purchased and used after service, provided they are converted into non-assault weapons. As military service is mandatory for all able bodied Swiss males, it’s not surprising there are more guns in Geneva than in Chicago, LA and the Jane-Finch neighbourhood of Toronto combined!

Legislated Bomb Fallout Shelters

Another oddity for a county that avoids confrontation at all costs is the legal requirement that all homes and apartments have dedicated bomb shelters. They must be fully quipped and easily accessible.  The private shelters are over and above nuclear fallout bunkers that were built in the 1960s and are capable of accommodating Switzerland’s’ entire population!

Swiss Mercenaries for Hire

Switzerland wasn’t always one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Around 500 years ago the landlocked country was so poor, many of the men earned their living abroad as paid mercenaries.  Today, in the Vatican City, the legendary Swiss Guard are all that remains of a once flourishing army that was exported all over Europe to guard princes, popes and palaces or to fight someone else’s wars! Image - courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Top Exports

Cheese and chocolate may be quintessentially Swiss but they contribute little to the country’s GDP. The biggest export commodity by far is gemstones and precious metals, with gold leading the pack.  This precious cargo brings $98.2 billion a year into the coffers and is followed by pharmaceuticals, machinery and the inimitable Swiss clocks and luxury watches! Image - courtesy of www.bluemaize.net

 

Canine Capers

Dogs are allowed to travel in passenger carriages or luggage vans on Swiss trains, buses and boats. You can even buy a day card or multi-day travel card for you mutt.  Be prepared to travel in lower class and leave your dog to his own devices when you hit the restaurant or bar! Did you know these facts about Switzerland? And have you registered your account at Royal Vegas? Click here to open your account and get a Welcome Bonus of $1,200 Free.


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