July 31 2015
Let’s continue our mission to kill the cultural stereotypes, and our travel trough the surprises of each place.
Have you ever visited Switerland? That tiny and cozy country where everything is silent and punctual, where you can hardly see a piece of paper on the road and where there is no evidence of human mess? Well, this is but a trick to hide a true anarchic nature.
One indication of this historical feature is to be found in the fact that Dadaism was born in Zurich (to be precise in the Cabaret Voltaire, pub and shop still existing and active in the historical center of Zurich); this was an artistic movement that, by spreading its anti war attitude, was able reverse all the canons of the time, including the aesthetic one.
Today, the very high levels of cultural integration is another element to the national tendency to be independent on the other world vagues.
1- prostitution is legal.
In the centers of each city there are brothels and clubs with customers of all ages (from 18 onwards, of course). As even the prostitutes pay taxes, they are protected by a tax point of view but not always from the business and ‘environment’ point of view, as where prostitution runs also runs drug trafficking.
2 – tax
Each municipality has different tax regimes, as in many federal states of the world. By the way here, in the same tiny state, there are cities with taxation similar or higher than the EU levels, together with real tax havens, as in the case of Zug.
3 – constitution and popular initiatives
In addition to the popular referendum, through which Swiss citizens are very often called to decide on law changes, there is also the so-called ‘popular initiative’ by which with 100,000 signatures people can propose a referendum to make even radical changes to the constitution (wow!)
Recent proposals by popular initiative: cuts to military spending (rejected), limitation of the foreign population by18% (rejected), opening of casinos (accepted) and banning the production and sale of absinthe (accepted ).
4- vote by show of hands
There are places such as Glarona where the administrative votations are held in the city square… by show of hands. This also happens to decide on some local regulations.
5- management of public lands
Many Swiss citizens are asking municipalities to have a country estate to manage. You sign up to real waiting lists and when it is your turn each applicant family can have a piece of land (which is public but the fruits and benefits of the products stay to the producers). I really like this thing! It give the idea of
– the improtance of public lands
– the added value given by provate people to what is public.
6- children and their approach to the world
Here a few parents are startled by a cold of their children. Especially if it’s a normal consequence of the weekly activities that children do with their kindergarten teachers. From the lake to the garden, from public flower beds from the public fire stations, police, firefighters. In short, it makes tangible how the real world is.
Another thing … they gained their reputation of precision by the diaspora of the Huguenots from France due to the the persecution made by the Catholic Henry II. The Huguenots, mostly watchmakers, came together in Switzerland, which has ever since land that welcomed any kind of persecuted people.