Monday, 7 January 2008

Outlook for 2008

So, what does 2008 hold in store for Weil?

Well, firstly we will have a decision being taken one way or the other next month as to whether Weil wishes to give the go-ahead to Basle's tram no. 8 being extended from its current terminus at Kleinhüningen to the centre of Weil. The argument for approving such a project is that this is a unique opportunity to improve Weil's public transport infrastructure. On the other hand, the costs of extending the line could turn out to be too prohibitive for the town, despite the fact that Basle has agreed to fund the lion's share. Some people also believe that the benefits of such an extension are weighed disproportionately towards Basle, in that it would relieve the Swiss city - and especially Kleinhüningen - but wouldn't solve the daily traffic problems in Weil, Haltingen and towards Eimeldingen, Binzen and the hinterland of the Kandertal. Their argument is that the town should work, first and foremost, to improve the local S-Bahn infrastructure and bus services. Personally, though, I'm in favour of the tram line. If they don't approve it next month, then the Swiss funds which have been set aside for the project will be used for something else.

Then we have the ongoing debate about Sunday shopping. "Weil-aktiv", the local association entrusted with representing Weil's commerical and advertising interests, has proposed a number of Sundays this year on which shops in the centre of Weil could conceivably take place. However, a considerable number of shop-owners are supposedly against the plans and want to "keep Sunday special". This issue came to a head late in 2007 when Weil-aktiv's chairwoman Antje Lambert was openly criticised by a prominent Weil shop-owner for acting in the interests of the big supermarkets and not bothering to consult the owners of the smaller shops (* see below). Frau Lambert then surprisingly announced that she would be leaving her post to pursue a new career in Karlsruhe, so it's now very unclear what's going to happen.

This summer of course sees Euro 2008 taking place in Switzerland and Austria, with Basle one of the major venues. I'm looking forward to watching some of the matches at the public viewing area down at Grün 99/Laguna. I'm looking forward to the Czechs coming here. And the banter with the Portuguese could be interesting. And maybe even Jogi Löw's team will be in Basle come quarter-final time. That could also be interesting. As will the Switzerland-Turkey match.

I can't think of anything else of note concerning the town, but from a personal point of view, I would like to perhaps attend one or two of the local tours which people from the town hall organise every so often. It could be an interesting way to learn new things about Weil and meet new people at the same time.

[Edit *: I translated this roughly from a report in the Weiler Zeitung on 19 December 2007.]

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