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Local News Summary of October, 19th

  • Government of Basel-Stadt says yes to phasing out nuclear energy
  • Season opening on ice rinks Margarethen and Eglisee
  • Higher premium reduction in Basel-Stadt

Government of Basel-Stadt says yes to phasing out nuclear energy

The cantonal government has announced that it supports the national initiative ‘For phasing out nuclear energy’. The government of Basel-Stadt announced in a statement on Tuesday that it supports the major initiative, to be voted on nationally on 27 November, and will also join the “cities for phasing out nuclear energy” committee. The cantonal constitution demands that the canton must to opt against the use of nuclear energy. The canton must also promote the use of renewable energy sources, new technologies, and decentralized energy supply.

The corresponding article stems from the resistance movement against the planned nuclear power plant in nearby Kaiseraugst AG in the 1970s. Until now, the article forbids the canton from making a financial contribution towards nuclear power plants. The energy supplier of Basel (IWB) has for several years provided the city with nuclear-free electricity. A total of 96.14 per cent is produced by hydroelectric power plants, a further 3.5 per cent from electricity supported by feed-in remuneration at cost, while a further 0.22 per cent comes from wind energy, and 0.14 per cent from solar power.

Season opening on ice rinks Margarethen and Eglisee

This Saturday (22 October) marks the start of this year’s ice skating season in Basel, with the Kunsteisbahn Margarethen opening its doors. The season will run until 5 March at the ice rink, which will be open to the public from Monday to Friday (9am to 10pm), and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 7pm. The Kunsteisbahn Eglisee will open a wee later, on 29 October. Their opening times during the season are from Monday to Friday (9am to 6.30pm), on Saturday between 9am and 7pm, and on Sunday from 10.30am to 7pm. “Gratis uffs Glattyys” (“Black ice for free”) takes place on the first advent, 27 November.

New online booking and bank card payment possibilities on Kunsteisbahn Margarethen

From mid-October onwards 10-entry and season tickets at Margarethen ice rink can be ordered online. At both ice rinks, the ticket prices remain the same as last year. A single entry costs 7 CHF for adults and 4 CHF for children (6-16 years). Season tickets cost 110 CHF for adults and 60 CHF for children. The price for 10 tickets is 63 CHF for adults and 36 CHF for children.

Ice-disco and Black Ice for free

To enjoy ice skating differently, with a light show, fog machine, and live music from a DJ until 11pm, three ice-discos will take place at Margarethen on Saturday nights (5 November, 3 December, and 18 February 2017). The ticket prices are 7 CHF for children and school pupils, and 10 CHF for adults.

Like last year, the special event of “Gratis uffs Glattyys” will take place on Sunday, 27 November. The entry cost and hire of ice skates at the event are free. In addition, visitors can enjoy a special entertainment programme.

Higher premium reduction in Basel-Stadt

As the premiums for the health insurance are to rise next year, the government of Basel-Stadt has increases its expenses for premium reduction by 6.6 million franks to 149.4 million franks for next year. According to information from the Federal Government, the premiums for adults will rise by 3.98 per cent next year, for young adults by 4.48 per cent, and for children by 5.07 per cent. The government wants to further subsidise those households with low incomes, the government said on Tuesday. However, the figures of the Basel Office for Social subsidies for this year are still estimates, as the year has not finished yet. It is expected that 89.5 Million franks will be spent on the premium reduction for people who receive general subsidies, plus 53.3 million for the working poor.

In total, the expected sum for premium reduction amounts to 142.8 million franks for 2016. An increase of the premium costs by 4 per cent means 5.7 million franks more in subsidies. Additionally, due to demographic reasons, the number of people receiving general subsidies will increase by 1 per cent, which means an additional 0.9 Million franks. In total, an amount of 149.4 million franks is expected, which is about 17 per cent of the entire costs of health care paid in the canton – in total 870 million franks (according to the Federal government in 2015).

This year, 57 million franks from the premium reduction paid out by the canton stem from the Federal Government. Next year this amount is expected to be 61 million franks. This sum corresponds to a 7.5 per cent share which the Federal Government has in the total cost of health insurance.