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A. Country Context
Switzerland is situated in the centre of Western Europe, bordering with Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein,
Italy and France. Its territory covers an area of 41,290 sq km and is dominated by
mountain ranges (Alps in the South, Jura in the Northwest) with a central plateau of plains, rolling
hills and large lakes. The highest point is Dufourspitze with 4,634m, while the lowest point is
Lago Maggiore at 193m above sea level.
The total population is 7,261,000 (end of 2001). The five largest urban areas are Zurich
(943,400), Geneva (457,500), Basle (401,600), Berne (319,100), and Lausanne (288,100).
There are four languages in Switzerland that are used and recognized as official administrative
languages. About 65% of the population speak German, 19% French, 8% Italian, and 1% Romansch;
a remaining 7% speak other languages
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