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Yearbook 2012

Switzerland. According to countryaah, two thirds of Swiss people said in a referendum in March, no to extended holidays. According to the proposal, the holiday would be extended from four to six weeks. In another referendum, voters said no to an extended ban on smoking in public places.

2012 Switzerland

Official figures in September showed that the country's growth fell below zero and was now negative. The reason was falling exports due to the continued very strong Swiss franc. The central bank had also warned that the large inflow of capital would cause instability in the country. The Bank's decision the year before to set a ceiling for the franc in relation to the euro had not been enough to dampen the negative impact of the euro crisis on Switzerland.

However, the same month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) named Switzerland the world's most competitive economy, for the fourth year in a row. Unemployment was still below 3%.

In November, an environmental group collected enough signatures to create a referendum on immigration. The Ecopop group stated that the aim was to keep the population down to reduce the impact on the environment. Ecopop also advocated that aid money be used for family planning abroad.

A protracted dispute with Germany about the taxation of hidden assets in Switzerland seemed to loosen when the countries signed an agreement on the taxation of German assets in Swiss banks. The agreement would allow Germans with undeclared assets to make a one-time payment of between 21 and 41% of the value. But in November, the German Federal Council voted down the agreement.

Bank giant UBS was sentenced in December by the British Financial Supervisory Authority to pay the equivalent of SEK 10 billion in fines for having manipulated the policy rate Libor in London for several years.

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