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Book provides profile of a spontaneous ex-cabinet minister

Adolf Ogi signing copies of the new book for former colleagues

(Keystone)

A newly-published book about a former member of the Swiss federal government offers an insight into the daily routine of being a cabinet minister - and president of the Swiss Confederation.

Entitled "Dölf a dit...Dölf hat gesagt..." (Dölf has said...) the book was compiled by Claude Gerbex and Claude-Henri Schaller while they were working as official spokesmen for the then Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, last year.

The Swiss presidency is a rotating post which each of the seven cabinet members holds for one year at a time.

Known affectionately by his fellow-Swiss as Dölf, Ogi was the minister responsible for defence, civil protection and sports before he retired at the end of 2000. He had been a cabinet minister since 1987.

The book includes quotes by Ogi, photographs and caricatures of him by newspaper cartoonists. It also reveals the heavy workload of a federal minister who towards the end of his cabinet career oversaw major army reforms, and also had to cope with tensions within his party - the Swiss People's Party.

On a personal level, Ogi comes across - through remarks to colleagues and friends - as warm, spontaneous and optimistic. He refers to himself in the book as "an unconditional optimist".

Admitting he had not yet had a chance to read it, Ogi said after being presented with a copy that he was looking forward to finding out if he had been too spontaneous during his second term as president.

The authors say any profits from sales of the book - published in French and German by Fischer Media - will go to the Swiss Cor Foundation for its work on behalf of child victims of war.

A former technical director of the Swiss Ski Federation, Ogi is currently a special advisor on sport to United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan.

swissinfo with agencies


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