Friday 21 February 2020

Amsterdam backs total ban on consumer fireworks, mayor warns about policing

New Year fireworks in Amsterdam. Photo: Depositphotos.com

A majority of Amsterdam councillors have backed plans to bring in a complete ban on fireworks this year.

The measure, if implemented, goes further than the government which has agreed to stop consumers setting off rockets and most types of firecrackers during the New Year celebrations.

Rotterdam earlier came out in favour of a total ban.

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said she would do her best to meet the wishes of the council but said there are practical problems to overcome. Not least of these is the fact that firework sellers have been given multi-year permits to trade, the mayor said.

In addition, it will be difficult to enforce the ban at a local level, Halsema told city councillors.

Two people died and almost 1,300 people were treated for firework-related injuries during this year’s New Year celebrations, according to public safety research group VeiligheidNL.

In Amsterdam the damage to council property was put at some €500,000. Some 150 rubbish bins and 50 traffic signs were vandalised during the festivities and one children’s playground will require a €25,000 clean-up.

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