Mrs. Blog has a saying about the Swiss: They make the Germans look like Jamaicans. In other words, they are, shall we say, a bit strict about following the rules.
This can apply to little things, like not winding through the entire rope maze to get to the counter when there is no one else in line. (NEIN! VERBOTEN!) Annnnd... it can apply to big things. Like intercepting a highjacked airliner.
No Swiss fighter jets were scrambled Monday when an Ethiopian Airlines co-pilot hijacked his own plane and forced it to land in Geneva, because it happened outside business hours, the Swiss air force said.
Yeah, you read that right. The Swiss Air Force is only available, it turns out, from 8 a.m. to noon, and then from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
They are also closed on the weekends, according to a spokesman. Rules are rules:
"Switzerland cannot intervene because its airbases are closed at night and on the weekend," he said, adding: "It's a question of budget and staffing."
Fortunately, no one was hurt in the hijacking. But if you're planning to start a war in Europe, please take note: Switzerland will simply not respond to your aggression if you try to pull anything outside business hours. Iesen Sie die Zeichen, for crying out loud!