Senator calls for firework ban across Germany
Germany’s lack of firework sale regulation has moved to the forefront of political discussion once again. Berlin's Culture Senator and Deputy Mayor Klaus Lederer has called for a firework ban across Germany after a spate of serious casualties and two fatalities during the New Year period.
Senator Lederer calls for Germany-wide firework ban
During a radio interview on Monday morning Berlin’s Culture Senator and Deputy Mayor, Klaus Lederer called for a nationwide ban on the sale of fireworks in Germany. After a New Year’s Eve which saw emergency services in Berlin attend more than 1.700 incidents, Lederer believes that there can be no more delay in implementing a ban on the sale of fireworks for personal use.
Speaking to RBB-Inforadio, the Left Party politician said that “[a ban on firework sales] must be implemented nationwide.” Lederer added that he feared FDP politicians would block the ban passing through the Bundestag, in the name of “put[ting] people’s freedom first”.
Lederer also expressed that he was critical of regulating fireworks by implementing pyrotechnic-free zones at a local level, due to the amount of police and emergency services staff such regulation demands. “Police officers should be used for what they are there for, not for cat-and-mouse games in the city,” Lederer told the programme.
In the winters of 2020 and 2021, Germany implemented local-level firework bans in many federal states in order to discourage gatherings and quell the spread of coronavirus, though a nationwide ban has never been imposed. Recent polls suggest that the majority of people in Germany would be in favour of such a ban and the Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has also warned of the danger the current situation poses to wildlife in Germany.
Boy dies in Leipzig firework accident on New Year
New Year in Germany saw a devastating number of firework-related injuries and two fatalities. In Leipzig, a 17-year-old boy was injured by the explosives and later died in hospital, police reported. There were also three cases where injured parties had to have their hands or arms amputated. In Saxony-Anhalt a person who had been setting off fireworks in the street was killed by someone who was driving while drunk.
Emergency services vehicles were targeted and in Berlin, 38 people working for the emergency services were attacked with fireworks. In an announcement on New Year’s Day, manager of Germany’s police union, Stephan Weh urged the German government not to wait until December 2023 before introducing further firework sale regulations across the country.
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