Switzerland: Paying Up - Sort Of

To the French the incident is mere history. When Napoleon passed through the Swiss village of Bourg St. Pierre on his way to Italy in 1800, his troops borrowed 80 pots and pans, uprooted 2,037 trees and took 3,150 logs to help transport their cannons across the snow-covered Great St. Bernard Pass. Napoleon sent an IOU promising, "I will reimburse everything." Since then the citizens of Bourg St. Pierre have been trying in vain to collect the 30,254 gold francs they say they are owed. When President François Mitterrand visited Switzerland last year, they politely reminded him of the...

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