Switzerland to the U.S.: Stop meddling!

Through frequent referendums on all kinds of national and local issues, the Swiss believe they have hands-on control over what happens in their country, “and they believe that outside interventions jeopardize this right to self-determination,” Lutz adds. In fact, the fear of having to comply with E.U. laws that would compromise Switzerland’s political and economic independence was one of the reasons the country refused to join.

Unfortunately, in the past several years, repeated intrusions — mostly from the U.S. — have challenged Switzerland’s view of itself. For example, in its search for tax evaders, the Internal Revenue Service has pressured Swiss banks to release the names of American account holders or face hefty fines and even a ban from doing business in the U.S. Though the Swiss finally caved in, the demands have sparked widespread criticism of Washington’s strong-arm tactics.

Adding fuel to the fire, earlier this month inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanded access to Switzerland’s chocolate factories to rule out any bioterrorism risk that Swiss-produced chocolate might pose when sold in the U.S. Not surprisingly, chocolate manufacturers are not sugarcoating their reaction.