Basel News Roundup: New Year's Eve fireworks cancelled and unemployment rises
From rising unemployment to clamping down on drink driving, here's a look at the latest news from Switzerland's third biggest city Basel.
No big fireworks party
The traditional New Year's Eve fireworks display in Basel has been cancelled for this year, Swiss media have reported.
Organiser and local businessman Michele Parini said he cancelled the event because he could not get on board any co-sponsors for the spectacle.
In the past, the fireworkds display cost up to 60,000 Swiss francs, according to the news agency SDA. Parini told news portal 20 Minuten that this year it would cost 90,000 Swiss francs.
In previous years, the fireworks were sponsored by the Basel cantons, the Hotel Trois Rois and the Casino Basel, among others.
For more than 20 years - apart from the during the Covid pandemic - the display took place half an hour after midnight over the Rhine and attracted crowds to the old town.
Many people in Switzerland set off their own smaller fireworks at New Year in their garden or on the street.
Unemployment rate rises in Basel
The unemployment rate in the canton of Basel-city rose by 0.1 percent to 2.9 percent in November 2022 compared to the same month last year, according to the department of Economy, Social Affairs and Environment.
There was also an increase of 162 people in the number of jobseekers registered at regional employment centres (RAV).
At the end of last month, 2,915 unemployed people were registered with centres in the Basel-city canton.
Basel authorities said the increases are due to seasonal factors.
Cantonal police clamp down on drink driving
Cantonal police in Basel are intensifying their checks on drivers during and after Christmas to ensure road safety.
They launched a campaign last week to crack down on people who drink alcohol and get behind the wheel.
Drivers may be randomly stopped by police during the festive period.
New study shines light on cross-border begging
The way that homeless people beg on Basel streets has changed over time, according to a new study by Zsolt Temesvary of The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
The research indicates that many homeless people, mostly from central and Eastern European countries, are coming "from the neighbouring countries during the day," into Basel to to beg for money, and then going back at night.
"They behave like cross-border commuters or shopping tourists and take lines 3 and 8 to France and Germany," Temesvary said, reported SRF news.
Basel authorities have restricted begging in the city. Authorities do not allow people to beg for money in heavily frequented places, or aggressive begging. The restrictions also require people begging for money to keep a distance from the entrance of shops.
Essential apps to make life in Basel easier for international residents
Whether you've just arrived in Basel or you've been here a while but want to know the city better, these 10 apps will help make your life easier.
Basel-based Roche is number one worldwide among companies with the greatest future.
Basel-based pharma company Roche has snagged the top spot in a list of companies with the greatest future ahead. According to the international institute for Management Development, the company is number one because of its efforts in digitalisation and significant investment in research and development.
In a report by Blick.ch, The list says that implementing computer science and machine learning is crucial for ongoing research. Other companies to be included were Pfizer (US), AstraZeneca (GB), Bristol Myers Squibb (US), and Novartis (CH).
Does Basel have the best Christmas market in Switzerland?
As Christmas approaches, it's worth keeping in mind that the Basel City market is considered one of Switzerland's most enchanting Christmas markets. According to 20min.ch, the market on the Münsterplatz is worth much more than the magnificently decorated Christmas tree. Check it out!