Social democrats celebrate

Party President Christian Levrat joined party supporters in celebrating 125 years Keystone

The Swiss Social Democratic Party, founded in 1888, celebrated its 125th anniversary on Saturday with speeches by former and current politicians on a square in the heart of the Swiss capital, Bern.

This content was published on September 7, 2013 - 17:10 and agencies

“Our history was in no way a voyage to paradise,” said former cabinet member Ruth Dreifuss, who became Switzerland’s first female President in 1999. She saw it more as a constant war against poverty, discrimination, and violence.

Former party president Helmut Hubacher said that there is a “red thread in the history of the SP: political commitment to a social Switzerland that is more just and more democratic.”

The party’s current president, Christian Levrat, spoke of its past. The party began as a large popular movement, including the unions, and later expanded to include pacifists, feminists and ecologists, he said. Among the party’s successes he counted social security, public utilities, maternity insurance, pensions, and women’s right to vote.

Current cabinet members Simonetta Sommaruga and Alain Berset remarked that the party has not yet achieved all its goals and has a lot of work ahead.     

To mark the event, party members released 125 red helium balloons with small cards listing the party’s fundamental values: justice, liberty, democracy, equality and fraternity.

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.