Switzerland is a mountainous country in Central Europe. It is a rich, stable direct democracy, and is a decentralised confederation of many cantons. It is neither a part of the European Union (it signed, however, many agreements with the EU, including the Schengen Agreement), nor NATO. Switzerland is known for its neutrality and the political system - direct democracy.
LanguagesEditSwitzerland borders Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France, and linguistically is at the junction of the Italian, French and German speaking areas. Most of Switzerland is German speaking except for the Italian speaking canton of Ticino in the South, and French speaking areas in the West. Swiss people tend to identify strongly with their own region or Canton. Switzerland succeeded in staying out of World War I and World War II.
Swiss people keep themselves to themselvesEdit
Swtzerland has a very long history of armed neutrality, they fight wars among themselves but everyone else has learned to leave them alone, they were neutral in both World Wars.
Along with Norway, Switzerland is one country where the people consistently voted to stay out of the European Union. They only joined the United Nations in 2002, despite the fact that the UN has its European offices in Geneva.
Once noted for the export of mercenaries (now only supplied to the Vatican), Switzerland is now noted for tourism and also for clock and watch making. The Cuckoo Clock is identified with Switzerland. Switzerland also has other industries, notably pharmaceuticals. The Swiss banking sector has a reputation as a tax haven but the United States and the European Union are cracking down on this, Americans certainly can't hide from tax authorities there anymore. 
Switzerland banned minarets, the tall spires at mosques. Swiss decide a great deal by voting and referenda. There’s a secret ballot so Swiss voters weren’t afraid of being called Xenophobes and they weren’t afraid of being targeted by extremist Islamic terrorists. (Most Muslims despise terrorists but a small minority of Muslims can be really intimidating). In most countries politicians decide these questions and politicians worry about alienating Muslim voters or about attracting terrorism to themselves. Perhaps the isolationist side of the Swiss that kept them out of the UN so long and still keeps them out of the EU stops them wanting foreign minarets. Perhaps other western nations would take similar decisions if voters decided issues by secret ballot as the Swiss do.