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Switzerland (German: Schweiz[note 3] [ˈʃvaɪts]; French: Suisse [sɥis]; Italian: Svizzera [ˈzvittsera]; Romansh: Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ] or [ˈʒviːtsʁːɐ]), officially the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, hence its abbreviation CH), is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western and Central Europe,[note 4] where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8 million people is concentrated mostly on the Plateau, where the largest cities are to be found. Among them are the two global cities and economic centres – Zürich and Geneva.