Sixteen myths about the Swiss
Switzerland - what images does it conjure up for an outsider? Among them are probably snow-capped mountains, chocolate and pen-knives with lots of attachments. Ah, but do they represent the real Switzerland? Here, Paul Bilton, author of The Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss, explodes (and confirms) a few myths.
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Neutrality. The Swiss may not join other people’s wars but they are certainly ready to defend their country. “Switzerland has one of the largest armies in the western world," says Bilton, "with a large and modern air force and a militia army running into hundreds of thousands that could be called up within hours. There is even a Swiss navy, which is a bit of a joke. And some motorways have barriers that come down in tunnels so that enemies can be locked in and blown up.”
Photo: The Local