The police union (GdP) is in favor of centrally organized fireworks on New Year’s Eve and a ban on private firecrackers. The measure may be painful for many, but makes sense, said GdP federal chairman Jochen Kopelke. Arguments against this include the production of pollutants, the garbage produced, the high risk of accidents, especially under the influence of alcohol, the firecracker and rocket attacks on the police, fire brigade and paramedics and the damage to property.
Fireworks also burden many people and animals mentally and physically. In view of the tense situations in hospitals, it is also irresponsible to subject the employees there to even greater stress without compelling reason and without necessity.
The trade unionist called on the conference of interior ministers and Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser to address this issue promptly. According to Kopelke, an amendment to the Explosives Act could certainly create the conditions for a comprehensive ban on setting off private fireworks.
At the beginning of November, the Federal Ministry of the Interior rejected the demand by the German Environmental Aid for a general ban on firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. A corresponding ban was decided at the turn of the year 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 by the federal and state governments due to the corona pandemic, said a spokeswoman when asked. “It is currently not possible to foresee whether a situation will arise again that will require a comparable decision,” she added.
According to the Federal Environment Ministry, without a general ban, the decision lies with the cities and districts. Several large cities also want to block certain areas for fireworks this year, according to a survey by the German Press Agency. In Berlin it is about Alexanderplatz, among other things, in Munich it is about the entire area within the Mittlerer Ring.
According to the Federal Environment Agency, the burning of fireworks releases around 2050 tons of fine dust every year, 1500 tons of it on New Year’s Eve. The amount corresponds to about one percent of the total amount of fine dust released in Germany per year.