Micheline Calmy-Rey, who has been foreign minister since 2003, is retiring at the end of the year.
Hans Altherr, speaker of the Senate, has just paid homage to the 66-year-old Social Democrat in which he said she never lost her appetite for politics or indeed for a challenge.
He added she impressed many people with her championing of concepts such as active neutrality, “but occasionally irritated” some as well. Cut to a smiling Calmy-Rey.
She then stood up and called on Switzerland to believe in itself and the future and to “get involved”.
She added however that it was necessary to be realistic. “There are those who say we’re powerless and can’t achieve anything anyway. Others say we’re omnipotent and can sort out every problem. Both are wrong.”
At the end of her speech she received a standing ovation and a big bunch of flowers. No tears.
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