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The EU is committed to eliminating existing loopholes in the system of taxation of savings income. Switzerland has expressed to the EU its willingness in principle to correspondingly adjust the taxation of savings income. Here it should be noted that Switzerland has adopted the OECD standard on administrative assistance and that the Federal Council rejects the automatic exchange of information.[43] SONY Vaio VGN-NR31S/S CPU Fan

Since July 1, 2005, Switzerland has charged a withholding tax on all interest earned in the personal Swiss accounts of European Union residents.

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but, since December 2008,[44] is a part of the Schengen agreement. IBM 91P9252 CPU Fan

Swiss bank accounts cannot be opened without the holder signing a legal document asserting that they have no outstanding financial obligations to the IRS. Despite this, Swiss banks have been criticized for improperly shielding tax evaders.

In January 2003, the United States Department of Treasury announced a new information-sharing agreement under the already extant U.S.-Swiss Income Tax Convention;[45] Toshiba Satellite M70-122 CPU Fan

the agreement was intended to facilitate more effective tax information exchange between the two countries.[46] However, Swiss policy has continued to come under international criticism, and in March 2009 Switzerland agreed to renegotiate more effective tax cooperation with the United States and other countries.[47] SONY UDQFWPH22FQU CPU Fan

In 2013, the Swiss Parliament approved a law that allows Swiss banks to cooperate with United States tax authorities as specified in the FATCA.

Some bank accounts are afforded an extra degree of privacy. Information concerning such accounts, known as numbered accounts, is restricted to senior bank officers, rather than being accessible to all the employees of a bank. However, the information required to open such an account is no different from that of an ordinary account; completely anonymous accounts are not allowed by law. HP Pavilion dv6-2150ei CPU Fan

Should a criminal investigation take place, law enforcement has access to information related to a numbered account in the same way it has access to information about any other account.

There are several measures in place to counter money laundering. The Money Laundering Act sets forth requirements of account holders' identification, and requires reporting of any suspicious transactions to the Money Laundering Reporting Office.[50] HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

According to the CIA World Factbook, Switzerland is "a major international financial center vulnerable to the layering and integration stages of money laundering; despite significant legislation and reporting requirements, secrecy rules persist and nonresidents are permitted to conduct business through offshore entities and various intermediaries..."[51] Toshiba Satellite P100-238 CPU Fan

However, Switzerland's cooperation in transnational financial issues has been praised by several major U.S. officials. A Federal Bureau of Investigation anti-terrorism official noted that Switzerland was one of several countries to participate in joint task forces targeting financing of Al-Qaeda terrorist cells; ACER Aspire 5739 CPU Fan

a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury praised Swiss cooperation and the country's assistance in the finding and freezing of terrorist and Iraqi assets.

Swiss bank secrecy was dealt a severe setback by the revelations made by ex-UBS banker Bradley Birkenfeld, who blew the whistle on UBS providing Americans with vehicles to hide up US$20 billion in assets to avoid taxes.[ IBM ThinkPad T40 2678 CPU Fan

Birkenfeld's revelations to the U.S. government concerning UBS's practices led to a massive fraud investigation against the Swiss bank UBS.[56][57][58] As a result of the information he gave U.S. authorities, the DOJ announced it had reached adeferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with UBS that resulted in a $780 million fine and the release of previously privileged information on American tax evaders.[59][60] IBM Thinkpad T43 CPU Fan

On 11 September 2012, the U.S. IRS Whistleblower Office paid Birkenfeld a $104 million award for acting as a corporate whistleblower.[61] The Swiss media credit Birkenfeld's act with affecting a sea change in Swiss banking. After Birkenfeld's award, the Swiss newspaper Blick claimed, “Birkenfeld was a blessing for the Swiss financial industry,” IBM ThinkPad T43 2668 CPU Fan

in that his revelations helped accelerate the industry's transition away from its reliance on “dirty” money by dooming the bank secrecy laws that enabled tax evasion.[62]

Birkenfeld has compared the Swiss banking industry with gangsters. "In essence, bank secrecy is analogous to criminal racketeering — and the Swiss government, along with every Swiss private banker, is a co-conspirator. IBM ThinkPad T43 1871 CPU Fan

Swiss Banks are alleged to stash black money (money not reported to the government for tax purposes);[64][65] reportedly, the value of deposits in Swiss banks by Indians exceeds the value of deposits by any other nationality.[64] Editor-in-chief for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, noted that, as per documents of bank accounts by a former banker and whistleblower Rudolf Elmer, the "names in the documents came from 'US, Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia' – from all over".ACER Travelmate 8104WLMI CPU Fan

Several inquiries have been made into the conduct of Swiss banks during the Nazi Germany period (1933–1945), especially regarding funds deposited by or allegedly stolen from victims of the Holocaust. The campaign causing the highest outlays (US$1.25 billion in 1999) on the part of the Swiss banking industry as of 2009 was the World Jewish Congress lawsuit against Swiss banks launched by Edgar Bronfman, DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

president of the World Jewish Congress, in concert with US Senator Alfonse d'Amato of New York.[72]

The audit run by the Volcker commission which resulted from this lawsuit cost CHF300 million and gave its final report in December 1999. It determined that the 1999 book value of all dormant accounts possibly belonging to victims of Nazi persecution that were unclaimed, ASUS F80S CPU Fan

closed by the Nazis, or closed by unknown persons was CHF95 million. Of this total, CHF24 million were "probably" related to victims of Nazi persecution.[73] In addition the commission found "no proof of systematic destruction of records of victim accounts, organized discrimination against the accounts of victims of Nazi persecution, HP Pavilion dv5-1058eo CPU Fan

or concerted efforts to divert the funds of victims of Nazi persecution to improper purposes." It also "confirmed evidence of questionable and deceitful actions by some individual banks in the handling of accounts of victims".[73]

In response to the lawsuit, the Swiss government commissioned an independent panel of international scholars known as the IBM 13N5182 CPU Fan

Bergier Commission to study the relationship between Switzerland and the Nazi regime. It reached similar conclusions about the banks' conduct in its final report,[74] and found that trade with Nazi Germany did not significantly prolong the war.

With recent changes in the Swiss bank secrecy regime the assets held by foreign persons in Swiss IBM Thinkpad T30 2366-AA3 CPU Fan

bank accounts declined according to data by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) by 28.1% between January 2008 and November 2009. Other states, such as Singapore, have attracted depositors seeking privacy and protection. Having taken steps to make its banks more attractive, Singapore strengthened penalties for violators of bank secrecy (IBM Thinkpad T30 CPU Fan

and now imposes steeper fines and longer jail sentences for offenders), and modified its laws on trusts and inheritance. Singapore is also now the location of Credit Suisse's international banking headquarters.[75] Despite these changes, however, Switzerland still ranks at the top of the Tax Justice Network's "Financial Secrecy Index" as of 2011. HP 535438-001 CPU Fan

The Swiss economy is characterised by a skilled and generally 'peaceful' workforce. One quarter of the country's full-time workers are unionised. Labour and management relations are amicable, characterised by a willingness to settle disputes instead of resorting to labour action. They take place between trade unions and branch associations, DELL Inspiron N3010 CPU Fan

that are themselves often grouped in Union of Employers, like the Fédération patronale vaudoise or the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève. About 600 collective bargaining agreements exist today in Switzerland and are regularly renewed without major problems.

With the peak of the number of bankruptcies in 2003, however, the mood was pessimistic. HP Pavilion dv6-3070tx CPU Fan

Massive layoffs and dismissals by enterprises resulting from the global economic slowdown, major management scandals and different foreign investment attitudes have strained the traditional Swiss labour peace. Swiss trade unions have encouraged strikes against several companies, including Swiss International Air Lines, Coca-Cola, and Orange. Total days lost to strikes, however, remain among the lowest in the OECD. IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan

Switzerland is among the world's most prosperous countries in terms of private income. In 2007 the gross median household income in Switzerland was an estimated 107,748 CHF, or USD 137,094 at purchasing power parity (PPP). The median income after social security, taxes and mandatory health insurance was 75,312 CHF, or USD 95,824 at PPP. ASUS A8H CPU Fan

In October 2011, Switzerland had the highest average wealth per adult, at USD 540,000 (c. 325,000 at PPP)[32] This development was tied to the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Swiss franc, which caused capital in Swiss francs to more than double its value in dollar terms during the 2000s and especially in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2008, without any direct increase in value in terms of domestic purchasing power.[33] SONY UDQFRZH13CF0 CPU Fan

At the same time, wealth distribution of Switzerland has the high Gini coefficient of 0.8, indicating unequal distribution, see list of countries by distribution of wealth.[34] The high average wealth is explained by a comparatively high number of individuals who are extremely wealthy and says nothing about a typical Swiss citizen. HP COMPAQ 2510P CPU Fan

The median wealth of a Swiss adult (50th percentile) is five times lower than the average, at USD 100,900 (c. USD 61,000 at PPP).

Apart from agriculture, there are minimal economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland. In the wake of the Swiss voters' rejection of the European Economic Area Agreement in 1992, APPLE 661-4951 CPU Fan

the Swiss Government set its sights on negotiating bilateral economic agreements with the EU. Four years of negotiations culminated in Bilaterals, a cross-platform agreement covering seven sectors: research, public procurement, technical barriers to trade, agriculture, civil aviation, land transport, and the free movement of persons. HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

Parliament officially endorsed the Bilaterals in 1999 and it was approved by general referendum in May 2000. The agreements, which were then ratified by the European Parliament and the legislatures of its member states, entered into force on June 1, 2002. The Swiss government has since embarked on a second round of negotiations, called the Bilaterals II, which will further strengthen the two organisations' economic ties. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Switzerland has since brought most of their practices into conformity with European Union policies and norms in order to maximise the country's international competitiveness. While most of the EU policies are not contentious, police and judicial cooperation to international law enforcement and the taxation of savings are controversial, mainly because of possible side effects on bank secrecy. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

Swiss and EU finance ministers agreed in June 2003 that Swiss banks would levy a withholding tax on EU citizens' savings income. The tax would increase gradually to 35% by 2011, with 75% of the funds being transferred to the EU. Recent estimates value EU capital inflows to Switzerland to $8.3 billion. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) (in French, Banque des règlements internationaux (BRI)) is aninternational organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks".[2] As an international institution, it is not accountable to any single national government. HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City. SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

The BIS was established on May 17, 1930 by an intergovernmental agreement by Germany,Belgium, France, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Italy, Japan, United States andSwitzerland.[3][4]

The BIS was originally intended to facilitate reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.[5] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The need to establish a dedicated institution for this purpose was suggested in 1929 by the Young Committee, and was agreed to in August of that year at a conference at The Hague. A charter for the bank was drafted at the International Bankers Conference at Baden Baden in November, and its charter was adopted at a second Hague Conference on January 20, 1930. HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

According to the charter, shares in the bank could be held by individuals and non-governmental entities. The BIS was constituted as having corporate existence in Switzerland on the basis of an agreement with Switzerland acting as headquarter state for the bank. It also enjoyed immunity in all the contracting states. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

Between 1933 and 1945 the BIS board of directors included Walther Funk, a prominent Naziofficial, and Emil Puhl, who were both convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, as well as Hermann Schmitz, the director of IG Farben, and Baron von Schroeder, the owner of the J.H.Stein Bank, which held the deposits of the Gestapo. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

There were allegations that the BIS had helped the Germans loot assets from occupied countries during World War II.

As a result of these allegations, at the Bretton Woods Conference held in July 1944, Norway proposed the "liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment". Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

This resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the American and British delegations. The liquidation of the bank was supported by other European delegates, as well as the United States (including Harry Dexter White, Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Morgenthau),[6] but opposed by John Maynard Keynes, head of the British delegation.

Fearing that the BIS would be dissolved by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

Keynes went to Morgenthau hoping to prevent the dissolution, or have it postponed, but the next day the dissolution of the BIS was approved. However, the liquidation of the bank was never actually undertaken.[7] In April 1945, the new U.S. president Harry S. Truman and the British government suspended the dissolution, and the decision to liquidate the BIS was officially reversed in 1948.[8] ASUS G2P CPU Fan

The BIS was originally owned by both governments and private individuals, since the United States and France had decided to sell some of their shares to private investors. BIS shares traded on stock markets, which made the bank an unusual organization: an international organization (in the technical sense of publicinternational law), yet allowed for private shareholders. Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

Many central banks had similarly started as such private institutions; for example, the Bank of England was privately owned until 1946. In more recent years the BIS has bought back its once publicly traded shares.[9] It is now wholly owned by BIS members (central banks) but still operates in the private market as a counterparty, DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

asset manager and lender for central banks and international financial institutions.[10] Profits from its transactions are used, among other things, to fund the bank's other international activities.

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

preferably as asimultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions. Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

Central banks do not unilaterally "set" rates, rather they set goals and intervene using their massive financial resources and regulatory powers to achieve monetary targets they set. One reason to coordinate policy closely is to ensure that this does not become too expensive and that opportunities for private arbitrage exploiting shifts in policy or difference in policy, are rare and quickly removed. HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

Two aspects of monetary policy have proven to be particularly sensitive, and the BIS therefore has two specific goals: to regulate capital adequacy and make reserve requirements transparent.

Capital adequacy policy applies to equity and capital assets. These can be overvalued in many circumstances because they do not always reflect current market conditions or adequately assess the risk of every trading position. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

Accordingly the BIS requires the capital/asset ratio of central banks to be above a prescribed minimum international standard, for the protection of all central banks involved.

The BIS's main role is in setting capital adequacy requirements. From an international point of view, ensuring capital adequacy is the most important problem between central banks, as speculative lending based on inadequate underlying capital and widely varying liability rules causes economic crises as "bad money drives out good" (Gresham's Law). SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

Reserve policy is also important, especially to consumers and the domestic economy. To ensure liquidity and limit liabilityto the larger economy, banks cannot create money in specific industries or regions without limit. To make bank depositing and borrowing safer for customers and reduce risk of bank runs, banks are required to set aside or "reserve".Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

Reserve policy is harder to standardize as it depends on local conditions and is often fine-tuned to make industry-specific or region-specific changes, especially within large developing nations. For instance, the People's Bank of China requires urban banks to hold 7% reserves while letting rural banks continue to hold only 6%, SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

and simultaneously telling all banks that reserve requirements on certain overheated industries would rise sharply or penalties would be laid if investments in them did not stop completely. The PBoC is thus unusual in acting as a national bank, focused on the country not on the currency, but its desire to control asset inflation is increasingly shared among BIS members who fear "bubbles", SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

and among exporting countries that find it difficult to manage the diverse requirements of the domestic economy, especially rural agriculture, and an export economy, especially in manufactured goods.

Effectively, the PBoC sets different reserve levels for domestic and export styles of development. Historically, Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

the United States also did this, by dividing federal monetary management into nine regions, in which the less-developed western United States had looser policies.

For various reasons it has become quite difficult to accurately assess reserves on more than simple loan instruments, and this plus the regional differences has tended to discourage standardizing any reserve rules at the global BIS scale. Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

Historically, the BIS did set some standards which favoured lending money to private landowners (at about 5 to 1) and for-profit corporations (at about 2 to 1) over loans to individuals. These distinctions reflecting classical economicswere superseded by policies relying on undifferentiated market values—more in line with neoclassical economics. Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

The BIS sets "requirements on two categories of capital, tier 1 capital and total capital. Tier 1 capital is the book value of its stock plus retained earnings. Tier 2 capital is loan-loss reserves plus subordinated debt. Total capital is the sum of Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital. Tier 1 capital must be at least 4% of total risk-weighted assets. HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

Total capital must be at least 8% of total risk-weighted assets. When a bank creates a deposit to fund a loan, its assets and liabilities increase equally, with no increase in equity. That causes its capital ratio to drop. Thus the capital requirement limits the total amount of credit that a bank may issue. Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

It is important to note that the capital requirement applies to assets while the bank reserve requirement applies to liabilities."

The relatively narrow role the BIS plays today does not reflect its ambitions or historical role.

A "well-designed financial safety net, supported by strong prudential regulation and supervision, HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

effective laws that are enforced, and sound accounting and disclosure regimes", are among the Bank's goals. In fact they have been in its mandate since its founding in 1930 as a means to enforce the Treaty of Versailles.

The BIS has historically had less power to enforce this "safety net" than it deems necessary. HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

Recent head Andrew Crockett has bemoaned its inability to "hardwire the credit culture", despite many specific attempts to address specific concerns such as the growth of offshore financial centres (OFCs), highly leveraged institutions (HLIs), large and complex financial institutions (LCFIs), deposit insurance, and especially the spread of money laundering and accounting scandals. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

The BIS provides the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision with its 17-member secretariat, and with it has played a central role in establishing the Basel Capital Accords of 1988 and 2004. There remain significant differences between United States, European Union, and United Nations officials regarding the degree of capital adequacy and reserve controls that global banking now requires. Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

Put extremely simply, the United States, as of 2006, favoured strong strict central controls in the spirit of the original 1988 accords, while the EU was more inclined to a distributed system managed collectively with a committee able to approve some exceptions.

The UN agencies, especially ICLEI, are firmly committed to fundamental risk measures: HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

the so-called triple bottom line and were becoming critical of central banking as an institutional structure for ignoring fundamental risks in favour of technical risk management.

Since 2004, the BIS has published its accounts in terms of special drawing rights (SDRs), replacing the gold franc as the bank's unit of account. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

As of March 2007 (end of month) the bank had total assets of $409.15 billion, given a dollar/SDR exchange rate of 1.51 for March 30, 2007. Included in that total is 150 tons of fine gold.

Zermatt is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais inSwitzerland. It has a population of about 5,800 inhabitants. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

The town lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 1,620 m (5,310 ft), at the foot of Switzerland's highest peaks. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) from the over 10,800 ft (3,291.84 m) high Theodul Pass bordering Italy.

Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

Until the mid-19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural community; the first and tragic ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 was followed by a rush on the mountains surrounding the village, leading to the construction of many tourist facilities. The year round population (as of December 2012) is 5,786[1], HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

though there may be several times as many tourists in Zermatt at any one time. Much of the local economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants[3]and just under half of all apartments are vacation apartments.[4] Just over one-third of the permanent population was born in the town, while another third moved to Zermatt from outside Switzerland. COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

The name of Zermatt, as well as that of the Matterhorn itself, derives from the alpine meadows, or matten (in German), in the valley. The name appeared first as Zur Matte ("at the meadow") and became later Zermatt. It does not appear until 1495 on a map or 1546 in a text, but may have been employed long before. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

Praborno or Prato Borno (prato also means meadow) are the older names of Zermatt; they appear in the ancient maps as early as the thirteenth century.[6] The French-speaking people from the Aosta Valley and from the French-speaking part of canton Valais (Wallis) used this name until about 1860 in the form of Praborne, or PraborgneHP G62-110SO CPU Fan

The reason of this change from Praborno to Zermatt is attributed to the gradual replacement of the Romance-speaking people by German-speaking colony.

The town of Zermatt lies at the southern end of the Matter Valley (German: Mattertal), which is one of the lateral branches of the great Valley of the Rhone. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

Zermatt is almost completely surrounded by the high mountains of the Pennine Alps among which Monte Rosa (or Dufourspitze), Switzerland's highest peak at 4,634 metres (15,203 ft) above sea level. It is followed by the Dom (4,545 m [14,911 ft]), Lyskamm (4,527 m [14,852 ft]), Weisshorn (4,505 m [14,780 ft]) and theMatterhorn (4,478 m [14,692 ft]). SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Most of the Alpine four-thousanders are located around Zermatt or in the neighbouring valleys.

Zermatt is traversed by the main river of the valley: the Matter Vispa,[9] which rises at the glaciers at the feet of the highest peaks: the Gorner Glacier on the east side near Monte Rosa and the Zmutt Glacier on the west side between Dent d'Hérens and Dent Blanche. HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

The town of Zermatt, while dense, is geographically small. There are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the centre of Zermatt. In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away. Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

There are several "suburbs" within Zermatt. Winkelmatten, which was once a separate hamlet, lies on a hill (1,670 m [5,480 ft]) on the southern side. Steinmatten is located on the eastern bank of the main river.

Many hamlets are located in the valleys above Zermatt, however they are not usually inhabited all Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

year round. Zum See(1,766 m [5,794 ft]) lies south of Zermatt on the west bank of the Gorner gorge, near Furi where a cable car station is located (1,867 m [6,125 ft]). On the side of Zmutt valley (west of Zermatt) lies the hamlet of Zmutt (1,936 m [6,352 ft]), north of the Zmuttbach river. Findeln (2,051 m [6,729 ft]) is located in the eastern valley above the Findelbach river. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

It lies below the Sunnegga station (2,278 m [7,474 ft]). Located near a train station of the Gornergrat railway, Riffelalp (2,222 m [7,290 ft]) is one of the highest hamlets with a chapel.

Zermatt has an area, as of 2011, of 242.7 km2 (93.7 sq mi). Of this area, 9.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 4.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.7% is settled (buildings or roads) and 85.6% is unproductive land. Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

The village was "discovered" by mid-nineteenth-century British mountaineers, most notably Edward Whymper, whose conquest of the Matterhorn made the village famous. The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine mountains to be conquered (in 1865), and the first expedition that reached the top ended dramatically with only 3 of the 7 climbers surviving the descent. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

The story is related in the Matterhorn Museum.

Zermatt is a starting point for hikes into the mountains, including the Haute Route that leads to Chamonix in France and the Patrouille des Glaciers. Cable cars and chair liftscarry skiers in the winter and hikers in the summer; Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

the highest of them leads to theKlein Matterhorn at 3,883 m (12,740 ft), a peak on the ridge between Breithorn and Matterhorn that offers spectacular views in all directions. It is possible to cross into Italy via the Cervinia cable car station. A spectacular rack railway line (theGornergratbahn, the highest open-air railway in Europe) runs up to the summit of theGornergrat at 3,089 m (10,134 ft). SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Zermatt is also the western terminus for the Glacier Express rail service connecting to St. Moritz and the MGB (Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn).

To prevent air pollution, which could obscure the town's view of the Matterhorn, the entire town is a combustion-engine car-free zone. Almost all vehicles in Zermatt are battery driven and almost completely silent. Electric vehicles are allowed for local commerces. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

The Cantonal police can issue a permit which allows residents to drive and park at the northern outskirts. Some emergency (fire trucks, ambulances, etc.) and municipal (buses, garbage trucks, etc.) vehicles are also allowed to use combustion engines. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Passenger vehicles operating within Zermatt include tiny electric shuttles provided by hotels to carry visitors from the main train station (or the taxi transfer point just outside town) to the hotel properties, "electro" taxis operated by four major Zermatt families, and "electro" buses, which serve two routes: HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

one between the major hotel areas and the stations of the various ski-lifts, and the other following a similar route but also serving the more rural "suburb" of Winkelmatten. Horse-drawn carriages can also be found; some are operated by hotels and others are available for hire.

Most visitors reach Zermatt by cog railway train from the nearby town of Täsch (Zermatt shuttle). HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

Trains also depart for Zermatt from farther down the valley at Visp and Brig, which are on the main Swiss rail network. The town also has a heliport (ICAO: LSEZ) and a local helicopter operator, Air Zermatt, which also provides alpine rescue services.

In 2007, a project group was formed to evaluate options for development of the local transportation network (as the "electro" buses do not have enough capacity). Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

The results of this study are published in the December 2007 edition of Zermatt Inside. The six options explored are a coaster, a funicular, a metro, moving sidewalks, a gondola and more "electro" buses.

Zermatt is known throughout the world for its skiing, especially Triftji for its moguls. The high altitude results in consistent skiing continuously throughout the summer. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

Skiing in Zermatt is split up into four areas: Sunnegga, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn and Schwarzsee. There is also a connection to Cervinia and Valtournenche in Italy through the Plateau Rosa glacier.[12][13]

In 2008, Zermatt hosted an "Infinity Downhill Race". HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

The race took place on 13 and 14 December and comprised a course descending from the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (3,800 m (12,500 ft)) and finished in Zermatt itself (1,600 m (5,200 ft)). The course was 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and featured a 2,200 metres (7,218 feet) descent. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

The Sunnegga Paradise is accessed via a funicular railway, followed by a gondola to Blauherd and finally a cable car onwards to the Rothorn (3,103 m) above. The topography of the mountain and the valley tends to keep the Rothorn clear and sunny, even when Zermatt is submerged in cloud. Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

From Blauherd there is a gondola down to Gant, and from there a connecting cablecar goes to Hohtälli. This cable car and the newer 4-seat chairlift Sunnegga-Findeln-Breitboden provide connections between Sunnegga and Gornergrat. With few steep slopes, this mountain is often used to train younger skiers.

The Gornergrat is served by the Gornergratbahn railway, HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

a 29 minute ride to the Gornergrat peak (3,089 m), via Riffelalp, Rotenboden and Riffelberg, (with limited stops at Findelbach and Landtunnel just above Zermatt). At the summit, the hotel and restaurant have been refurbished and accommodate a shopping centre. Riffelalp station is linked to Riffelalp Resort by a short tramway line named Riffelalptram.[15] HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

A cable car heads up from Hohtälli to the Rote Nase (3,247 m). This final lift serves a freeride area but can be unreliable as this mountainside requires good snow cover to be skiable. The lifts in this area generally open for the season in late February or early March - cablecar is now permanently closed, with no replacement lift planned. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

A new slope leading back from Hohtälli to Kellensee just under the Gornergrat replaced this lift to maintain the link from the Rothorn to Gornergrat.

Near the southern end of Zermatt, the Matterhorn Express gondola transports passengers up to the interchange station at Furi. From here there is access to Schwarzsee via a gondola to the right, SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

a cable car that leads on to the Trockener Steg midstation (and then on to the Klein Matterhorn), and a new gondola, opened on 18 December 2006, links Furi to Riffelberg on the Gornergrat mountain. This lift addresses one of the most persistent criticisms of Zermatt: that it is very difficult to ski the two sides of the valley without a tiresome trek through Zermatt between the Gornergratbahn and the Matterhorn Express at opposite ends of the town. HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

Testa Grigia at the top of the Theodulpass serves as a connection to the Italian ski-resorts of Cervinia and Valtournenche. From the Swiss side it is only reachable by skilift, but from the Italian side by a chairlift and by a cablecar. There are customs offices here as well as a small alpine museum. HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

Zermatt is marketed as an all year skiing resort, with summer skiing limited to the Theodulgletscher behind the Klein Matterhorn. Whilst strictly true, during the off season in May and June there will only tend to be one or two runs open, and the main glacier area does not open until July. HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

In operation since 25 October 2003, the Furggsattel six-seater chairlift has twelve (of eighteen) masts that stand directly on the glacial ice of the Theodulgletscher - a first for Switzerland. It is one of very few lifts worldwide with bottom- and top-station in different countries, respectively Switzerland and Italy. HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

Zermatt has a population (as of December 2012) of 5,786.[1] As of 2008, 35.9% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[19] Over the last 10 years (2000–2010 ) the population has changed at a rate of 6.4%. It has changed at a rate of -3.2% due to migration and at a rate of 7.1% due to births and deaths.[10] Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (4,093 or 68.4%) as their first language, Portuguese is the second most common (719 or 12.0%) and Italian is the third (474 or 7.9%). There are 226 people who speak French and 1 person who speaksRomansh.[5]

As of 2008, the population was 51.6% male and 48.4% female. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

The population was made up of 1,840 Swiss men (31.6% of the population) and 1,166 (20.0%) non-Swiss men. There were 1,837 Swiss women (31.5%) and 985 (16.9%) non-Swiss women.[20] Of the population in the municipality, 2,214 or about 37.0% were born in Zermatt and lived there in 2000. Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

There were 720 or 12.0% who were born in the same canton, while 774 or 12.9% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 2,039 or 34.1% were born outside of Switzerland.[5]

As of 2000, children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 21.3% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 70.2% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 8.5%.[10] HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

As of 2000, there were 2,763 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 2,830 married individuals, 207 widows or widowers and 188 individuals who are divorced.[5]

As of 2000, there were 2,441 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.2 persons per household.[10] There were 921 households that consist of only one person and 128 households with five or more people. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

In 2000, a total of 2,167 apartments (52.1% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 1,890 apartments (45.4%) were seasonally occupied and 103 apartments (2.5%) were empty.[4] As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 14.1 new units per 1000 residents.

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 68.98% of the vote. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The next three most popular parties were the SVP (19.61%), the SP (6.3%) and the FDP (3.51%). In the federal election, a total of 1,326 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.0%.[23]

In the 2009 Conseil d'Etat/Staatsrat election a total of 1,009 votes were cast, of which 66 or about 6.5% were invalid. The voter participation was 34.4%, which is much less than the cantonal average of 54.67%.[24] HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

In the 2007 Swiss Council of States election election a total of 1,289 votes were cast, of which 105 or about 8.1% were invalid. The voter participation was 45.4%, which is much less than the cantonal average of 59.88%.

About half of the jobs in Zermatt are in the hotel and restaurant industry. HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

As of 2010, Zermatt had an unemployment rate of 1.9%. As of 2008, there were 52 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 23 businesses involved in this sector. 567 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 56 businesses in this sector. 3,957 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 433 businesses in this sector.[10] HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

There were 3,841 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 44.6% of the workforce.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 4,261. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 20, all of which were in agriculture. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 538 of which 83 or (15.4%) were in manufacturing and 385 (71.6%) were in construction. HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 3,703. In the tertiary sector, 531 or 14.3% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 477 or 12.9% were in the movement and storage of goods, 2,178 or 58.8% were in a hotel or restaurant, 38 or 1.0% were in the information industry, SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

54 or 1.5% were the insurance or financial industry, 116 or 3.1% were technical professionals or scientists, 56 or 1.5% were in education and 87 or 2.3% were in health care.[3]

In 2000, there were 744 workers who commuted into the municipality and 89 workers who commuted away. HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 8.4 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving.[26] Of the working population, 7.1% used public transportation to get to work, and 2.6% used a private car.

From the 2000 census, 4,458 or 74.4% were Roman Catholic, while 458 or 7.6% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

Of the rest of the population, there were 131 members of an Orthodox church (or about 2.19% of the population), there were 2 individuals (or about 0.03% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 59 individuals (or about 0.99% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

There were 4 individuals (or about 0.07% of the population) who were Jewish, and 82 (or about 1.37% of the population) who were Muslim. There were 6 individuals who wereBuddhist and 4 individuals who belonged to another church. 205 (or about 3.42% of the population) belonged to no church, areagnostics or atheists, and 602 individuals (or about 10.05% of the population) did not answer the question. IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

In Zermatt about 1,988 or (33.2%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 470 or (7.8%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 470 who completed tertiary schooling, 51.1% were Swiss men, 21.1% were Swiss women, 14.0% were non-Swiss men and 13.8% were non-Swiss women.[5] SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

During the 2010-2011 school year there were a total of 677 students in the Zermatt school system. The education system in the Canton of Valais allows young children to attend one year of non-obligatory Kindergarten.[27] During that school year, there 6 kindergarten classes (KG1 or KG2) and 106 kindergarten students. Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan

The canton's school system requires students to attend six years of primary school. In Zermatt there were a total of 24 classes and 458 students in the primary school. The secondary school program consists of three lower, obligatory years of schooling (orientation classes), followed by three to five years of optional, advanced schools. Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan

There were 219 lower secondary students who attended school in Zermatt.[28] All the upper secondary students attended school in another municipality.

As of 2000, there were 98 students in Zermatt who came from another municipality, while 23 residents attended schools outside the municipality. HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan,Compaq Presario C550EM CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv7-4087cl CPU Fan

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