Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi, Members of the Parliament, Ministers, mayors as well as representatives of civil society organizations, the private sector, and the international community were among the guests of a reception on the occasion of the Swiss National Day held in Skopje on July 27. Though the effective date of the National Day is August 1st, the event was organized a few days early in the garden of the Swiss Residence in Skopje, under ideal weather conditions.
The reception was opened with the Macedonian and Swiss anthems, followed by a speech of the Ambassador of Switzerland to Macedonia, Sybille Suter. Ambassador Suter pointed out that– despite many lively discussions on the right way to take in politics – there is one aspect on which Swiss citizens all agree, which is the benefits of direct democracy and the values it implies. “Democracy is not black or white, democracy is based on dialogue, respect and compromise”, said Ambassador Suter. “Switzerland is known as a multicultural country. The constant dialogue among the different parts keeps people connected and unites the country. Our diversity, including multilingualism, is richness for us”, she added, noting that the new Government of Macedonia has made courageous steps in a similar direction.
Highlighting that 2017 marks a special year for the Swiss-Macedonian friendship, Ambassador Suter pointed out that Switzerland has been supporting Macedonia for 25 years now and will continue its support. The cooperation program for the next four years focuses on good governance, economy and environment and aligns with the new Macedonian Government’s priorities.
A yodelling performance by the Swiss singer Regula Rittler and Swiss raclette from the canton of Wallis delighted the guests and contributed to give a Swiss touch to the event.
The Swiss National Day of August 1st commemorates the foundation of the Swiss Confederation. In 1291 three mountainous cantons joined together and signed the so called Federal Charter that laid the basis of the Swiss Confederation with its current 26 Cantons.