Micheline Calmy-Rey bigraphy, stories - Former President of Switzerland

Micheline Calmy-Rey : biography

8 July 1945 -

Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey (born 8 July 1945) is a Swiss politician. She was Switzerland's foreign minister as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. She was also a member of the Swiss Federal Council from 2003, and was President of the Confederation in 2007 and again in 2011. She resigned her office as member of the Federal Council on 31 December 2011.

Early life and education

Calmy-Rey was born in Sion in the canton of Valais on 8 July 1945 to Charles and Adeline Rey. She received her diploma in 1963 in St. Maurice, and received a Licence degree in political science at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, in 1968. In 1966, she married André Calmy. They have two children.


From 1981 to 1997 Calmy-Rey served as a representative in the Grand Conseil of the canton of Geneva as a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSS/SPS), and was president of the assembly during 1992-1993. She was president of the Geneva section of the party from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1997. In 1997, Calmy-Rey was elected to the Conseil d'Etat of Geneva. In 2001, she became head of the Finance Department and president of the Conseil d'Etat.

Calmy-Rey supports Switzerland joining the European Union and she is an Eminent Member of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation.


As President of the Confederation, she presided over meetings of the Federal Council and carried out certain representative functions that would normally be handled by a head of state in other democracies, (though in Switzerland, the Federal Council as a whole is regarded as the head of state). She was also the highest-ranking official in the Swiss order of precedence, and had the power to act on behalf of the whole Council in emergency situations. However, in most cases she was merely prima inter pares, with no power above and beyond her six colleagues.

She had already handled most official visits abroad since being elected to the Federal Council; the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs traditionally carries out such visits.

Calmy-Rey was chosen as vice president for 2010, serving alongside Doris Leuthard. On 8 December 2010, she was chosen, for the second time, as President for 2011 (by 106 votes on 189, i.e. the worst result in Swiss history on such issues) --the first time two women will have held the post in succession.

Calmy-Rey is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

She announced in September 2011 that she would resign from the government in the following December.

Gas controversy and trade relations with Iran

Calmy-Rey was widely criticised for putting on a headscarf to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 19 March 2008.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7306621.stm Swiss minister sparks veil outcry, BBC News, 20 March 2008 Her appearance together with the Iranian leader sparked immediate negative reactions: Socialist MP Maria Roth-Bernasconi said it was "irritating that she had angered feminists in Iran." Calmy-Rey said in her defence that she was "observing protocol."

Calmy-Rey also prompted controversy by attending the signing of a multi-billion dollar natural gas deal of a Swiss energy supply company with Iran.http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/recent/media/mcom/single.html?id=17831 Swiss government press release on the natural gas agreement The United States had complained that Switzerland was sending the wrong message when Tehran was subject to UN sanctions. Calmy-Rey pointed out that gas exports were not subject to the UN sanctions. Both the Israeli government and international Jewish groups such as the World Jewish Congress strongly criticised the deal.http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343672,00.html Jewish Group Slams Swiss-Iran Gas Deal; U.S. Questions Switzerland's Neutrality

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine