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Swiss National Day – a platform for politics?

The country’s celebrations for August 1, its national day, will this year give politicians a chance to highlight their profiles ahead of October’s general election.

All seven cabinet ministers will hold a speech before August 1 or over the weekend. Last year, only four of them did this. In an election year, the political climate has changed and everyone seems to be active.

Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey – who is also foreign minister – will take brunch on August 1 in Saanen in the Bernese Oberland before moving on to Moudon in canton Vaud.

In the evening, she will then go to the Château Penthes in Pregny near Geneva to answer questions in a live television programme and give the traditional national day speech.

Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann will give a speech in Langenthal on Sunday, the town where he was for many years chief executive of an engineering firm, before travelling on Monday for brunch in Charrat in canton Valais.

Transport and Environment Minister Doris Leuthard will be in Leuk in canton Valais and in Windisch, canton Aargau.

Defence  Minister Ueli Maurer has a marathon schedule – first in Trub in canton Bern, then to Bauma, Niederglatt and Bibikon in his home canton of Zurich.

On Saturday, Maurer will be in Wildhaus (canton St Gallen) and Rorschach in canton St Gallen.

As for Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, she’ll be in Hinwil on Sunday before travelling on Monday to the Greifensee.

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter will take brunch in his home canton of Neuchâtel, while Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga will travel north to Stein am Rhein on the border with Germany.

A little less political – there will be around 100 blind and sight-impaired people invited for a celebration on what is described as the birthplace of the Swiss confederation - the Rütli meadow in central Switzerland. and agencies

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