Friday, June 09, 2006

A Great Small Country

It is Soccer World Cup time again. In these moments Brazilian people tend to spend more time watching TV to know every news about the Brazilian Team.
Because of that, a country has become more familiar of Brazilian households in the last couple of weeks: Switzerland, a very charmed land located in Central Europe where Ronaldinho, Kaká and their colleagues were getting ready to the biggest sports event in the world after the Olympic Games.
In Weggis, a small Swiss town, the residents received the Brazilian players in a very funny way. Each practice of our team semmed an official match because the Swisses took up all the sits inside the stadium, paying about forty dollars a ticket.
They can do it. Although Switzerland doesn’t have one of the best soccer teams on the planet, it’s one of the richest and most developed countries of all.
The “Land of the Alps” has 7,523,934 inhabitants living in less than 40 sq km, according to Infoplease Digital Encyclopedia. If we compare it with Brazilian data, these numbers are incredibly tiny. One of our smallest states, Rio de Janeiro has a little bit more than 43 sq km. And more than ten million of people live just in São Paulo City. Zurich has 348,100 inhabitants and it’s the biggest Swiss city.
On the other hand, Brazil presents a literacy rate of 80% and a GPD/PPP per capita of 8,400 dollars while Switzerland has a literacy rate of 99% and a GPD/PPP per capita of 35,300 dollars.
Two of the ten more expensive cities of all are placed in Switzerland: Geneva and Zurich. Zurich, Basel and Geneva are the richest cities in the world. Their citizens earn the highest pays, according to the site City Majors.
If all of that isn’t enough, we can remind Swiss people control the most reliable banking system in the world and make the most popular watches, cheeses and chocolates ever.
Ok, they don’t have one of the best soccer teams. But even in the Soccer World Cup time we can learn with them.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Some time ago I was watching a NGC program that showed the other side of this apparently perfect country: immigrants struggle to be respected and recognized by Swiss government. People who've been living there for quite a long time working hard to help the growth of Swiss economy. Some of them are married to Swiss citizens and can't have their kids recognized as real Swiss people. Others have to cope with prejudice against their ethnic profile and lack of simpathy around.
I see Switzerland is that amazing country you describe but as an European pearl has to struggle that old immigration dilemma: opening the borders with little or no restrictions, supress potential immigrant rights or build an invisible wall of separation inside their society.
So far, I prefer our Brazilian national ethnic mix which is the best in the world indeed.