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Local News Summary of December, 6th

  • Münsterplatz: where pre-Christmas is still pre-Christmas
  • Clariant still open for acquisitions
  • Curious burglary and ketchup theft in Weil am Rhein

Münsterplatz: where pre-Christmas is still pre-Christmas

The Christmas market is an effective remedy against pre-Christmas shopping stress: People seeking calm have only one choice. Forget about the crowds at Barfüsserplatz and retreat to the Münsterplatz. Nowhere else in the city is strolling and dining more beautiful.

The Christmas market ramped up last weekend. Together with the snow, the demand for cosiness, lights, woollen gloves, and mulled wine has been on the rise. Despite the shiny new things everywhere, in the triangle of the Christmas markets the eternal insider tip wins: The Münsterplatz. The square, which is usually inhospitably empty, is filled with cosy warmth over the pre-Christmas period. It is really a miracle that the favourite spot for people looking for calm has not yet been overrun.

Construction sites and bollards

At the Marktplatz, the ice rink can be fun for a while but for it is the wrong place to go to relax. The atmosphere is also not so good at Barfüsserplatz: The space between the stands is narrow, a construction site demolishes the atmosphere, the visitors stand on each others' feet. No Christmas pyramid can help, and neither can the numerous stands. Candle-making among concrete bollards and tram tracks? No thanks! The dense crowd only demonstrates that quantity is not good for a cosy atmosphere.

Right atmosphere due to light nests in the trees

The true Christmas enlightenment is protected by the Münster: The light nests, visible from afar, immediately create an inner peace. Food such as spit cake, meat skewers or fondue, as well as traditional Basler Magenbrot can be eaten on the Pfalz with a view over the illuminated city. And it's also warm: After a stroll one can sit around the open fire with mulled wine, or when the children are busy for a few minutes in the fairy tale forest. None of the other squares can compete with this.

Instead of the «deus ex machina» in the form of a Christmas pyramid, Johann Wanner's Christmas tree radiates an atmosphere of reflectiveness. Next to the giant glitter baubles and tinsel the visitors feel small, and a longing for modesty immediately settles down on the entire square. Something we can benefit from twice in the midst of all the special, evening, and Sunday sales.

Even if we evoke the danger that now the 'insider tip' will be overrun, it still must be said: The real Christmas market takes place on Münsterplatz.

Clariant still open for acquisitions

The chemical company Clariant is still open to acquisitions even after the merger with Huntsman failed, CEO Hariolf Kottmann told the economy programme «Eco» on Monday night.

Answering a question about new acquisitions, Mr Kottmann said: «I would like to leave this open tonight. We are trying to become more profitable and innovative in order to grow faster. Therefore portfolio measures such as acquisitions and investments in foreign currencies are also viable.»

However, Mr Kottmann denied wanting to sell its largest plastics&coatings division as was suggested by oppositional shareholder, White Tale: «This is our acquisition currency,» he said. At the same time he played down the feasibility for the company looking for a «white knight». Clariant developed well as an independent company and has options for added value.

Two months ago, representatives of White Tale said in an interview that they were long-term oriented shareholders. However, Mr Kottmann does not really believe this. «I think the activist shareholder is looking for a way out and either he finds it or we offer one to him,» he said.

This «way out» could take the form of a rising share in Clariant. «For years we have pursued a strategy which led to increase in value, and in the following weeks and months we have to sharpen and focus on this strategy,» Mr Kottmann said.

Curious burglary and ketchup theft in Weil am Rhein

A thief broke into a clubhouse and a garden shed in Weil am Rhein and made off with a bottle of ketchup and some coffee cream.

The burglary was reported at the clubhouse at Weiherweg on Monday morning, several hours after a theft at a nearby garden shed had been reported. Cupboards and boxes inside had been opened but nothing had been stolen.

The value of the stolen property is very low but the damage to the doors has amounted to several hundred Euros.