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Even the police are against it : Proposal to ban firecrackers on New Year's Eve met with criticism

The proposal did not come as a surprise - but it still generated strong reactions. The Greens parliamentary group leader Antje Kapek has called for a ban on fireworks for the upcoming turn of the year - she justifies this with the threat of additional burdens for the city's hospitals, which are working at their limit due to corona.

On Monday, their FDP parliamentary group leader, Sebastian Czaja, accused them of a “questionable image of man” and a “small child policy”. “We don't need a nanny state that tries to educate everyone to be a better person”, explained Czaja and stated in the same breath that he was “not a fan of firecrackers” itself.

After Kapek assumed a "sad attitude in Corona times" and a lack of sense of responsibility to the designated top candidate of the FDP, Czaja emphasized that a general ban is the last resort, "because it suppresses any form of normality" - including those in the small circle of the family .

CDU parliamentary group leader Burkard Dregger jumped aside Czaja and declared: “We are not a ban party. The annual paternalistic attempts by the Greens are not a convincing protection against corona infections and are difficult to control across the board. ”Czaja did not mention the additional burden for the hospitals that was threatening this year and that Kapek, like Deutsche Umwelthilfe, mentioned before her still Dregger.

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It is undisputed that there are. Philipp Kellner, head of the rescue center at the Vivantes Clinic in Friedrichshain, explained: “Every year after New Year's Eve, we evaluate how many people come to us at night or are brought to the rescue center, how old they are and why they need to be treated . It becomes clear how dangerous the fireworks are. "

In an interview at the end of 2019, he said that the emergency department of the hospital in Friedrichshain expected up to 300 patients on New Year's Eve. The group has eight rescue centers in which the shifts in both the functional and medical services would have to be reinforced on New Year's Eve.

Children and young people in particular are injured

In the accident hospital in Berlin alone, 53 people who had been injured by fireworks were treated during and in the days after the turn of the year. It is also true, however, that according to an internal survey by the Vivantes Group, only around five percent of all rescue center patients were injured by fireworks around New Year's Eve - many of them children and young people.

It remains unclear whether and, if so, how a ban on firecrackers can be enforced. Lawyer Remo Klinger, who recently represented the State of Berlin frequently, declared a ban to be possible if a direct connection between fireworks and increasing utilization of the intensive care units can be established. The numbers from the clinics do not provide that.

A spokesman for the interior administration said on Monday that both the Explosives Act on which the use of fireworks is based and a possible sales ban are regulated at the federal level. From the ranks of the Greens it was said that the Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) had been asked to raise the issue with the Prime Ministers of the federal states and the Federal Chancellor. In addition, the Greens, whose own legal review has also not been completed, want to continue the debate in the Senate in the coming week.

Firecrackers ban in certain areas should be repeated

One thing is already clear: there will be individual firecracker prohibition zones, as they were recently set up for the area around the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz and individual areas of Pallasstrasse. Exactly which one will be announced at the end of the month.

The establishment of the zones was justified with "specific risk situations", explained the spokesman. He does not see a possibility of extending this to the whole city, as the Greens propose.

The police union (GdP) views the initiative to ban fireworks with skepticism. Officials have been attacked and injured with fireworks recently, but GdP spokesman Benjamin Jendro considers a city-wide ban to be “unenforceable and controllable”.

You can talk about prohibited zones and even expand them if necessary. The "rampant violence" against police officers will not stop this way, said Jendro. He criticized the fact that alarm guns can still be purchased without a gun license.

Niels Busch-Petersen, Managing Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Retail Association, was reluctant. The insight of the customers is preferable to education through prohibitions. Should politics see no other way, one will "have to deal with the consequences". In this case, Busch-Petersen called for compensation for the loss of sales and warned: "A sales ban can lead to a flood of illegal blasts."

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