Though small in geographic area and population, and surrounded by EU member nations, in their unique wisdom the Swiss refrained from joining the European Union. They have thus retained their national sovereignty and hence their own beloved sovereign means of exchange, the Swiss franc. Only eight months ago we cited an EU foreign ministry report that threatened the Swiss with either conforming to EU law or risk being shut out of EU markets: “Switzerland’s current relationship with the EU has ‘clearly reached its limits’ and has to change, the report says. Switzerland cooperates with the EU on a case-by-case basis, resulting in a series of over 120 agreements that give Switzerland similar access to the European Union as an EU member.” The Swiss tenaciously stuck to their guns. The paradox is, having taken that decision, the Swiss are riding on the crest of the waves of today’s economically rough seas, while the rest of Europe is in the trough.Then again, I don't get the impression that the author thinks it is really a paradox.
What a difference eight months can make. As Europe bites its financial finger nails, the Swiss remain confident of their fiscal position. “The Swiss economy is growing, unemployment is low and our country has little debt compared with other countries. We see neither deflation nor inflation risks at the moment. The national bank does not need to act,” stated Philipp Hildebrand, chairman of the Swiss National Bank, last month.
He does, however, think for reasons that are not explained as coherently as one would wish and are shot through with apocalyptic predictions that for one reason and another, not least because of her financial success, Switzerland's independence is a thing of the past or, at least, soon will be a thing of the past, which is now the present. Germany will control the country, just as it (allegedly) controls all of Europe now. Oddly enough, the Germans do not seem to think so. Instead, they bemoan the fact that their government cannot protect them from having to bail out endless losers. But what do they know?