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Local News Summary of February, 11th

  • Break room misused as “love nest”: Basel-Stadt administration fires employee
  • Witnesses sought after gunpoint robbery of Basel grocery store
  • Clariant retains autonomy despite new investor



Break room misused as “love nest”: Basel-Stadt administration fires employee

A team leader within Basel-Stadt’s administration has been fired on the spot for allegedly creating a “love nest” for himself and a temp in his office. He had also allegedly harassed a long-term employee into quitting her job and kept an eye on her performance at work with a camera.

This case, from 2017, has been documented in a report by the canton of Basel-Stadt to the cantonal parliament. The “Schweiz am Sonntag” newspaper on Saturday carried a report about the incident. According to the story, the man was employed in the Department for Education.

The team leader had created a private space for himself in the department, according to the report. It was further claimed that he occupied the employee break room to be able to spend time with a temp. He put a French bed and a couch in the room, as well as a stereo. According to the report, the two lovers also slept there overnight.

In addition, the team leader allegedly urged a fellow employee to quit her position so that his lover could take over this job, the report further claimed. The employee in question had apparently been working for Basel’s administration for ten years. The man also monitored her with a camera. The woman felt harassed and reported the case to a contact point, providing the photographs as evidence.

A manager and personnel services assessed the case and identified it as gross misconduct. The team leader was fired without notice, which he accepted. His lover took sick leave until the end of her temporary employment period.

Witnesses sought after gunpoint robbery of Basel grocery store

A courageous Basel grocery store employee prevented her shop being robbed by punching a man who held her at gunpoint, according to the police.

The female staff member was alone in the shop at Markircherstrasse at around 6pm on Friday night when a masked man entered the store and demanded money.

Despite the would-be robber holding her at gunpoint, the brave woman punched the man instead of giving him cash. The man then fled the shop. The staff member was uninjured.

An immediate search remained unsuccessful and the police are now looking for witnesses.


Unidentified man, aged between 25 and 30 years old, around 170-175cm tall, and of slim build. His face was covered with a coloured blanket or scarf.

Anyone who can provide relevant information is asked to contact the criminal police of the public prosecution of Basel-Stadt on the phone number 061 267 71 11 or by going to the nearest police station.

Clariant retains autonomy despite new investor

Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann does not think that the autonomy of the Swiss-based company will change despite a new investor, the Saudi-Arabian company, Sabic.

Clariant will retain a branch with its own management and administrative board in Switzerland. Its stock exchange listing in Zurich and a substantial part of tradable stocks are expected to be unaffected by the move.

As Mr Kottmanns stated in a pre-released Saturday interview with the “Basler Zeitung”, the amount of freely tradable stocks is dependant on the projects that Clariant and Sabic will work on together. It is possible that Sabic will hold more than 25 per cent of stocks, “but we will retain a solid basis of autonomy,” he added.

Mr Kottmann did not want to rule out that Sabic might take over Clariant entirely in the future. “The management of Sabic is very reliable, and we have a strong fundamental understanding that this will be a takeover without complete integration,” he said, adding that Clariant has been in talks for Sabic for several years.

New situation

Looking at the changes among major stockholders, the specialty chemicals group is postponing the recently announced actualisation of its strategy. “Clariant has now entered a new situation,” a spokesperson said on Friday.

Under pressure in 2017 by the activist investor, White Tale, the company had promised its investors that it would implement measures to increase the net worth of the company by the beginning of 2018. At the end of January, Saudi-Arabian petro-chemical company, Saudi Basic Industries (Sabic), then took over a 25-per-cent share of White Tale.

This changed the situation, the spokesperson said. “Clariant’s management and administrative board are now going to discuss the matter with Sabic.” While there have been previous exchanges between managers of the Basel group and Sabic representatives, no formal strategic meeting has occurred yet. The spokesperson did not specify when Clariant is going to discuss its new strategy. The group will present its annual report next Wednesday.