They say that coffee breaks in Switzerland are shorter than anywhere else. It is a fact that the Swiss enjoy only 20 statutory days of paid leave per year - less than most other European states. In a plebiscite held in the spring of 2012 a clear majority of Swiss voted against an increase in the legal minimum of paid leave from four to six weeks. The Swiss are anxious to retain economic competitiveness and job security. A referendum in 2002 proposing the introduction of the 35-hour week was also rejected by a majority of voters. In 2014 the average working week in Switzerland was 41.7 hours (source: Bundesamt für Statistik BFS [Federal Office for Statistics]). Right from the start, hard work, perseverance and reliability have been important factors in the success story of Switzerland, a tiny country with few natural resources. The quality of Swiss workmanship has always rested on a talent for turning cheap source materials into high value products and services through intensive and highly skilled human labour. The backbone of the Swiss economy are small and medium-sized companies. With highly qualified and motivated workforces, they tailor their products absolutely to the specific individual requirements of the customer.