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Reckless fireworks fans face hefty fines

The Local · 27 Dec 2010, 12:28

Published: 27 Dec 2010 12:28 GMT+01:00

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Although German cities often appear as if they are being bombarded by the Red Army Faction each December 31, the country’s authorities are calling on revellers to spare the infirm and aged the worst of the impending fireworks orgy.

According to the federal Interior Ministry, each municipality sets the acceptable distance for lighting rockets and firecrackers in the vicinity to old folks’ homes, hospitals and similar facilities. Those not observing such fireworks-free zones could face fines up to €50,000.

The interior minister for the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lorenz Caffier, also warned on Monday against “mega-crackers” smuggled in from neighbouring countries like Poland.

“These types of pyrotechnics come with extremely high risks,” he said from the state capital Schwerin. “That’s why importing such fireworks is forbidden and punishable by law.”

Fireworks are legally available in Germany from December 29-31 each year. They must be purchased by someone over 18 and cannot be used beyond January 1. Germans spent a total of €113 million on fireworks last year.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:51 December 27, 2010 by cklb
Germanys retarded opinion about anything that is explosive and actually only used as an explosive. Wonder when they figure out that petrol is explosive. Probably won't be allowed anymore. What about the future's fuel, hydrogen? That stuff really bangs if not handled with care...
04:59 December 28, 2010 by CoolBlueIce
I spent my first New Year's eve in Berlin this past Dec 31... To say I was surprised (rather pleasantly so, I might add), would be an understatement.

Mix a few hundred thousand drunken Germans with high explosives? What could go wrong with that?

Much to my surprise, I could find no reference to blown off hands/fingers on the news the next day.

I was also pleased to see the neighbors out in force the following morning, picking up the spent firework casings... They are nothing if not fastidious.

So I am not here to judge. Certainly there is some danger involved, but it is great fun, never the less. I wish we could back off a little here in the US on our need to control absolutely everything.

Happy New Year's everyone!

23:50 December 29, 2010 by Almeda11
CKlb; Having read the article l certainly do NOT think Germany`s opinions are " retarded", l think they are sensible and considerate. They even have a set distance from old peoples` homes for heavens sake.

These things, if handled recklesy, can cause serious and permanent damage, and l don`t think that you would want anyone YOU know to be injured by reckless, mindless yobbos who couldn`t give a s--t about anyone else. Now THAT`S retarded.
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