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Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk and Money by Diccon Bewes

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SIXWAR AND PEACE

Every year a national survey asks the Swiss people what three things they associate with their own country. And almost every year two themes come top of the vox pops: peace and security, and neutrality.1 In the Swiss mind those two go hand in hand; they value their status as an oasis of security in a troubled world, but maintaining it is only possible through upholding their neutrality. These are the two wheels of the Swiss bike; lose one and you lose both. Incidentally, the third factor to be mentioned changes almost every year: democracy, orderliness, freedom and landscape have all featured in the list. None has the consistency of neutrality, which is seen as a fundamental part of the Swiss identity, both at home and abroad, ...

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