Switzerland. According to
Countryaah reports, the Swiss people in a referendum in June
said no to a proposal to allow citizens in closed polls to
grant or reject citizenship applications. The proposal was
an initiative of the anti-immigrant right-wing party SVP
(Swiss People's Party).
A dispute with Libya arose after Libyan leader Muammar
al-Khadaffi's son Hannibal and his wife were indicted for
mistreating two maids during a visit to Switzerland in July.
The couple were arrested but released on bail. The reaction
was strong in Libya, which inter alia seized two Swiss
nationals, restricted air travel between the countries and
forced Swiss companies to close their offices in Tripoli. In
early September, the maids withdrew their charges.
Nonetheless, Libya subsequently announced its intention to
cease its extensive oil exports to Switzerland and withdraw
all assets from Swiss bank accounts pending an official
The first experiment with the world's largest particle
accelerator began in September at the European nuclear
physics center CERN outside Geneva. After only ten days, the
accelerator - a 27-kilometer tunnel under the ground - broke
down, but that did not prevent the plant from officially
inaugurating a pump and stand in October.
The global financial crisis hit hard on Switzerland's
largest bank, UBS. The government entered into a rescue
package worth over SEK 400 billion and became the owner of
almost a tenth of the bank. Three top executives resigned
due to the enormous losses that occurred and also
relinquished the bonus money after pressure.
The two ministers in the assembly government who were
excluded from the SVP just before the turn of the year
joined the newly formed Citizens Democratic Party, BDP. When
one of them, Samuel Schmid, left his ministerial post, it
paved the way for SVP's return to the government. In
December, after three rounds of votes, Parliament appointed
Ueli Maurer as new Minister of Defense. SVP's poster name
Christoph Blocher again saw himself voted off.