New Year 2023: Riots in Germany prompt calls for firecracker ban
New Year riots that took place in Berlin and in other major German cities have prompted calls from across the country to impose a ban on firecrackers, the media reported.
Berlin, Hamburg, Bonn, Dortmund and Essen witnessed violence on December 31, 2022, with reports of rockets, firecrackers and even a starting pistol being fired at emergency vehicles, the BBC reported.
According to the police, 145 arrests made in Berlin riots, including 45 Germans, 27 Afghans and 21 Syrians.
At least 41 police officers were injured in the capital alone, while there were also dozens of attacks on firefighters.
Berlin's Neukolln district was worst-hit by the violence and local mayor Martin Hikel spoke of conditions similar to a civil war, with rescue workers being lured into ambushes, reports the BBC.
He told German newspaper Die Welt that the violence was less about migration issues and more to do with socially disadvantaged areas.
He warned of the risk of moving towards a situation similar to that in suburban areas of France.
Neukolln's integration commissioner Güner Balci said those who took part in the attacks came from a small group of "absolute losers".
In some inner city areas facing major social issues, she said children and young people were growing up witnessing domestic violence as part of their daily lives.
Meanwhile, the involvement of many youths in the violence with migrant backgrounds have also become a matter of debate.
While Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey has called for a youth summit and condemned the violence as "absolutely unacceptable", leading conservative figure Jens Spahn blamed the incident on "unregulated migration, failed integration".
But government integration commissioner Reem Alabali-Radovan called for perpetrators to be judged on their actions and "not according to their presumed origins, as some are now doing" and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that while a debate had to take place on the background to the riots, it should not be used to stir up "racist resentment".