Firework sale starts

Fireworks officially go on sale to the public today, in the run up to the New Year celebrations.

Fireworks may only be officially sold by designated dealers three shopping days before December 31, but there is a large unofficial network and many people also buy their fireworks abroad, particularly in Belgium.
By law, fireworks may only be set off between 10.00 hours on December 31 and 02.00 hours on January 1.
However, a hotline set up by left-wing green party GroenLinks, which would like to see public sales banned, has received over 19,000 reports of firework nuisance so far this month.
Experts expect total official firework sales to top €75m this year, an increase of €5m on 2011.