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MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –
Source: Canton of Neuchatel Switzerland
It is with great sadness that the Neuchâtel government has learned of the death of former Federal Councilor and State Councilor René Felber, on Sunday October 18, 2020 in his 88th year. Elected federal councilor on December 9, 1987, René Felber sat for 5 years and 3 months in the federal government. He also sat on the Council of State of the Canton of Neuchâtel from May 1981 to December 1987. The cantonal government offers his family and loved ones its sincere condolences and the expression of its deepest sympathy.
Son of a watchmaker, René Felber was born on March 14, 1933 in Biel. He grew up in Neuchâtel. After obtaining his baccalaureate, he trained as a teacher at the Neuchâtel Normal School where he obtained his teaching certificate. He teaches in Val-de-Ruz, in Boudevilliers, then in the Neuchâtel Mountains, in Le Locle. He also worked as a journalist for “Le Courrier” in Geneva as a correspondent for the Canton of Neuchâtel. With his heart firmly anchored on the left, René Felber entered politics for the Socialist Party at the General Council of Le Locle in 1960. His political life was rich. In 1964, he became president of the City of Le Locle, responsible for industrial services and finance. A presidency that he left 16 years later, in 1980. René Felber was elected to the Grand Council of Neuchâtel in 1965. He sat there until 1976. In 1981, he was elected to the Neuchâtel Council of State, where he took over the management finance and worship. He will seek to consolidate public finances.
In addition to a cantonal career, René Felber has shone and made the Canton of Neuchâtel shine nationally and beyond. On December 4, 1967, he was elected to the National Council (38th legislature). Then re-elected three times, he sat in the National until May 1981. He chaired the Socialist Group there in 1980-1981. On December 9, 1987, he was elected to the Federal Council. He succeeds another Neuchâtelois Pierre Aubert. He is responsible for the management of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE). He will be a member of the Swiss government until his resignation on March 31, 1993 for health reasons. René Felber was President of the Confederation in 1992. Three great moments mark the passage of René Felber to the FDFA: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the USSR, the first Gulf War, and the rejection by the Swiss people of the agreement on Switzerland’s accession to the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992. During his time at the Federal Council, he promoted openness of Switzerland. He made the neutrality policy more flexible and secured the sympathy of a large majority of French-speaking people through his commitment to the EEA.
During his rich political life, René Felber also chaired the Inter-Jurassic Assembly from 1994 to 1996, the Foundation Board of the International Center for Humanitarian Demining in Geneva from 1998 to 2000 and other institutions. He was also rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Commission for Palestine and the Occupied Territories.
A great traveler and particularly seduced by Asia, he had lived for ten years in Valais, in Sierre and Vercorin, in the company of his wife Lucette, where he lived in a peaceful retirement.
With René Felber, the Canton of Neuchâtel lost a prominent figure, of whom he will keep fond and warm memories. All those who worked with him will not forget his deep humanity, his tolerance, his open-mindedness, his sensitivity to international problems and in particular his European passion. For the President of the Council of State, Monika Maire-Hefti, head of the Department of Education and the Family (DEF): “We are losing a man who has left a deep mark on the Canton of Neuchâtel and Switzerland. Convinced Europhile, René Felber was a man of convictions who worked for the good of the whole canton and knew how to promote Neuchâtel at the national and even international level. He led a life of commitments, passions and above all of sharing “.
The cantonal government offers the family of the deceased and those close to them its sincere condolences and the expression of its deepest sympathy.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.
MIL Translation OSI