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Local News Summary of July, 17th

  • Roger Federer triumphant in Wimbledon
  • Large fire at St. Johanns-Tor: Police looking for witnesses
  • Full freedom of movement for Swiss long-distance coaches

Roger Federer triumphant in Wimbledon 

Roger Federer won his 8th Wimbledon title on Sunday. The tennis champion from Baselland defeated Croatian player Marin Cilic in straight sets (6:3, 6:1, 6:4) in the final.

It was Federer’s first victory at Wimbledon since 2012 and his 19th Grand Slam win overall. At almost 36 years of age, he has also not only becomes the oldest Wimbledon victor of the pro-era, but also the most successful player in the most renowned world tournament. With eight wins in total, Federer is now the sole male record holder.

The Swiss player faced difficulties only at the beginning of his 29th major final match. Afterwards, the apparently physically weakened Cilic did not stand a chance. The Croatian player was administered some first aid at the beginning of the second set but it was unclear what injury he was suffering from. In any case, he committed too many mistakes to seriously challenge Federer at any point. The game took only 100 minutes.

With the continuation of this magical season, Federer will become ATP 3. For the first time since 2009, he has won at least two major tournaments in one year. Federer already secured a victory in the Australian Open at the beginning of this season.

The five tournament victories so far are proof of how strong Federer’s condition is since his break in the second half of 2016. Even more impressive is how he won the eighth cup at Wimbledon: For the second time only, he did not lose any set in a major tournament (after the Australian Open in 2007).

Large fire at St. Johanns-Tor: Police looking for witnesses

A crew of fire fighters on Sunday managed to prevent a blaze from destroying a house by forcing entry to a property.

The fire broke out at 1pm in a shed at the Overall Tagwerk in Elsässerstrasse by St. Johanns-Tor.  Passers-by called the emergency services after seeing the flames. The police and professional fire fighters of Basel-Stadt quickly arrived at the scene. 

The building entrance was locked and there was nobody at the property to open it. The fire fighters therefore had to break open a gate to a back alleyway as well as a larger container to extinguish the flames and to keep the fire from spreading to the main house. The fire caused significant property damage.  Nobody was injured.

The criminal police of the public prosecution, paramedics, several police patrols, and the Industrial Works of Basel (IWB) were involved in the operation.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation by the criminal police. Anyone who can provide relevant information is asked to get in touch with the criminal police via the phone number 061 267 77 11 or by going to the nearest police station.

Full freedom of movement for Swiss long-distance coaches

The “NZZ am Sonntag” newspaper published a report on Swiss long-distance coaches which will are to receive full freedom of movement throughout the country – including Basel. However, these plans led to heated discussions particularly due to their competition with trains. 

Long-distance coaches should be able to move freely across Switzerland in the future, the “NZZ am Sonntag” reported on Sunday. The Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) is especially unhappy about these plans. The Verband öffentlicher Verkehr (public transport association, VöV) has already approved a motion by Zürich coach company Domo for three routes across Switzerland. The Vöv reasons that these routes provide no major competition for train traffic. The national plans for long-distance coaches are currently being examined by the Federal authorities. 

VöV director Ueli Stückelberger stated that long-distance coaches must not become rivals to the train company. In addition, a “total liberalisation of long-distance coaches” as put forward by the national council is inconceivable.

Domo plans to offer three routes across Switzerland as of December. Basel forms part of these routes: One route covers Zurich-Basel-Lucerne-Lugano. The three routes will be running twice a day. The “NZZ am Sonntag” wrote further that the coach tickets will be half the price of train tickets. The Federal Government has also already decided that the season ticket (GA) and half-fare (Halbtax) will be valid for long-distance coach traffic, the newspaper reported.

Certain criteria have to be met before the Federal Government accepts the plans of Domo: Amongst other things, “legal requirements for the equality of disabled persons” need to be taken into account, “customary work conditions” have to be acceptable, and there needs to be an economic concept. 

The Swiss train trade union is demanding that Domo pays workers the same wages as the SBB. Patrick Angehrn, who represents Domo, said that coach drivers cannot be compared to train drivers. He said that the salaries of coach drivers are clearly defined by Federal directives.