When looking at the Swiss economy one must also look at Switzerland’s political system. Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons. There are German-speaking and French-speaking cantons, one Italian-speaking canton and cantons in which both German and French are spoken. In one canton (Graubünden) German, Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic are spoken. Each canton has its own constitution, its government, its parliament, its courts and its laws, though they must, of course, be compatible with those of the Confederation. The cantons enjoy a great deal of administrative autonomy and freedom of decision- making. They have independent control over their education systems and social services, and each has its own police force. Each canton and municipality also set their own level of taxation.

 
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James Chappell



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