German authorities call for fireworks ban

Authorities in Germany have called for a ban on private fireworks due to the incidents on NYE, when police officers and firefighters were attacked with firecrackers and rockets.

The New Year celebrations across Germany saw serious casualties and two fatalities. As per reports, in Berlin alone, there were 1.700 incidents and 33 officers and firefighters were injured on the night between the years.

The vice-president of the German Police Union, Ralf Kusterer said: “What we are currently seeing in Berlin, but also in Baden-Württemberg, is that firefighters are being ambushed, that police officers are being attacked like on 1 May or at other big demonstrations. This is a new level.”

Meanwhile, Berlin’s mayor condemned the actions saying that “this scale of readiness to use violence and destruction … damages our city.” Bavaria also condemns the attacks, demanding serios penalties: “these New Year’s messes must be severely punished. A noticeable reminder and, if necessary, imprisonment are appropriate,” said Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

On NYE, there have been more than 100 arrests only in the capital city, which prompted Berlin’s Culture Senator and Deputy Mayor, Klaus Lederer to ask for a ban on firework sales to be implemented nationwide, saying that “police officers should be used for what they are there for, not for cat-and-mouse games in the city.”

During the pandemic, over the past two years, fireworks have been banned in Germany to avoid overburden hospitals and discourage gatherings. The German Association of Cities underlined the effectiveness of such ban zones, stating: “they serve to protect residents from noise, historic buildings from fire and people on party miles from injury.”

There are as well a few politicians who oppose the ban, like conservative politician, Thorsten Frei of CDU, claiming “peaceful revelers should not have to suffer”, or FDP parliamentary leader Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, who said “only consistent prosecution of the perpetrators under criminal law can prevent such attacks,” considering the ban unfair for those who obey the law.