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Local News of December, 30th

  • More than 30 adjustments: These cantonal laws come into force in January 2018
  • Why the fireworks at New Years' Eve will be dreamlike despite the rain

More than 30 adjustments: These cantonal laws come into force in January 2018

31 newly adjusted laws wil become effective on 1 January 2018 in Basel-Stadt. The changes are as follows:

Higher costs of health insurance

The fees for compulsory health insurance will rise more than the average of four and a half per cent from the start of the year, a canton spokesperson said in a release. Young adults are set to be hit with the highest increase at 5.1 per cent, adults will pay 4.3 per cent more, and the fees for children will rise by 4.7.

The subsidies provided by the cantons for households with small incomes will be adjusted accordingly.

CO2 tax and resting law for taxis

The car tax will not be calculate according to the cubic capacity of the car but on the basis of its weight and CO2 exhaust output per kilometre. It curently stands at 1.25 franks per kilo and 1.60 franks per gramme of exhausted CO2.

The regulation of work and break times for taxi drivers was also completely revised. The old law steming from 1982 will be replaced and new regulations will be adjusted to match the Federal regulations of the taxi law.

Guests to pay more in the future

Every guest staying in Basel in a hotel, bed and breakfast, youth hostel, or Airbnb

flat will have to pay a visitor's tax. The canton decided that the tax which in Basel, called the «guest's tax» will rise from 3.50 to 4.00 franks per night. The additional income will be used to promote attractive touristic offers, e.g. the BaselCard which enables guests to use public transport and city-owned wifi networks for free.

Why the fireworks at New Years' Eve will be dreamlike despite the rain

On Sunday night the Bussmann family will once again launch the fireworks on New Years' Eve, for the seventeenth time since 2000 – almost a tradition. Their company «Bugano» in Neudorf is the biggest fireworks event management and producer in Switzerland.

Ever since the turn of the century firework rockets have been fired into the sky on 31 December. To be properly correct, the New Year's Eve spectacle should actually be called "the Hogmanay spectacle". In order not to disturb the midnight service and the worshipers in the Münster Cathedral, the fireworks start at half past midnight. The installation works however start at 10am on 31 December, so the fireworks can start on time from the pontoon in front of the «Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois».

Zurich takes bad weather measures

For the last two years in a row, the Zurich firework display became a massive flop due to the fog: the rockets could be heard but not be seen. In order to prevent this from happening a third time, the city developed a bad weather version, in which rockets will be launched only 100 metres into the air before they explode. And, unfortunately, bad weather is forecasted for New Year's Eve - both at the Rhine and the Limmat.

Basel has always done it right

In Basel, there is no need for a bad weather version. It is simply not necessary: «The Basel fireworks explode on two levels with a time gap of 30 seconds», Toni Bussmann, manager of Bugano, said. «If the fireworks explode too low there is a danger that there is too much smoke», especially since the development of smoke is larger when the air is humid, said fire-master Markus Eichenberger. At previous events, the rockets were fired electrically and he had to push the buttons 20-30 times, tonight the button must be pressed only once. If an unexpected incident occurs, there is an emergency button that can immediately interrupt the show.

Bussmann fireworks across Switzerland

Mr Bussmann has been running his fireworks business for 30 years and employs around 100 people, 35 of them on a permanent basis. A total of 60 per cent of his fireworks come from China, but he produces the rest himself. The company launches fireworks in Basel, St Moritz, Gstaad, Lucerne, Morschach, Lenzerheide, Brunnen, and Winterthur. Most of the fireworks will be launched in the evening of 31 December.

The King's artificial stars

The «Bugano» company has already practicedfor the Basel fireworks on 18 December. On the national day of Quatar, the Bussmann family could launch fireworks of superlatives in the sea, 2 kilometres away from the shore. It remains a secret how much money the king spent on this. Since all subjects of the emirate - including the monarch - do not pay taxes, there is no declaration needed. However the fireworks in Basel will last 21 minutes: 11 minutes more than the one in Quatar.