Posted by: Tony Carson | 13 September, 2007

Switzerland: big profits for doing nothing

Why is Switzerland always allowed a special status? It’s as if the world feels humbled by the little land-locked country and wishes to pay homage, in money, of course.

Through the alchemy of inventive politicians, it has made ‘neutrality’ a highly profitable virtue. The tiny country has somehow created a brand that screams ‘we’re not playing, so don’t ask.’ And boy has that paid off.

Want a safe neutral place for a high-price summit? Switzerland — they’ve got fantastic facilities and the passive people are great, they’re never going to get in your face. Sure it will be five times more expensive than anywhere else in the world, but, hey, they’re neutral, they deserve it.

Want a place to build your high-profile international headquarters? Choose Switzerland — it’s beautiful, peaceful and there are fantastic restaurant so who cares about the obscene costs. That’s why the Olympics is there. Unlimited funds from around the world pour into this tiny neutral country because it would be unfair to give the headquarters to a country like, say, Australia that actually competes in the Olympics. No, Switzerland is safer. They’re safe, and they’re neutral.

Want a place to hide your ill gotten gains? Think Switzerland, like all the crooks do. It’s not as good now as it used to be but the private little country will still try to make it easy for you. Its none of their business where you got your money or your art. They are neutral.

Want a place to go to ride out the next nuclear storm? Move to Switzerland. The country has carved into its mountains to create bunkers for every man woman and child with a Swiss Passport, the one with the red cross, the very symbol of virtue, just as the opulent Papal guard has become the very symbol of martial courage in selfless duty to God’s anointed.

But wait, there may be a slight chink in the country’s mountainous virtue: getting a passport, it’s more difficult in Switzerland than any place else in the world — if you neighbour doesn’t like you, you’re screwed.

This article tells the story: Swiss citizenship system ‘racist’:

According to a report from Switzerland’s Federal Commission on Racial Discrimination getting a place in that bunker might be really difficult if you aren’t one of them:

The report criticizes the practice of allowing members of a community to vote on an individual’s citizenship application.

Muslims and people from the Balkans and Africa are the most likely to be rejected, the report points out.

Switzerland has Europe’s toughest naturalisation laws. Foreigners must live for 12 years in a Swiss community before they can apply, and being born in Switzerland brings no right to citizenship.

Under the current system, foreigners apply through their local town or village.

They appear before a citizenship committee and answer questions about their desire to be Swiss. After that, they must often be approved by the entire voting community, in a secret ballot, or a show of hands. This practice, the report says, is particularly likely to be distorted by racial discrimination.

It cites the case of a disabled man originally from Kosovo. Although fulfilling all the legal criteria, his application for citizenship was rejected by his community on the grounds that his disability made him a burden on taxpayers, and that he was Muslim.

But, hey, enough of the criticism. Switzerland is neutral, isn’t that enough?

It sure as hell has been.

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