The Netherlands is a peaceful country, except for one day a year, New Years Eve. That is the day that this calm country becomes something akin to a war zone under bombardment.
When New Years Eve comes to the Netherlands, people need to get prepared, otherwise they might get seriously hurt. Not by guns, but by fireworks. The now infamous tradition involves a lot of people buying fireworks of all type, and letting loose on the streets. No one is safe, and every year, many people get injured badly, losing fingers, some even dying.
Government prepares ban on fireworks
The tradition has been seriously debated in Parliament over the last years, and it seems that some sort of political consensus has been reached. As such, it has been decided that a partial ban on fireworks should be enforced this year. Decorative fireworks, like fountain-shaped ones, as well as children’s fireworks might still be allowed.
The Dutch Safety Board (OVV) proposed back in 2017 to ban fireworks, as conditions are very unsafe during New Years’s given the amount of fireworks being launched (and 13 year old kids with no morals shooting people on bikes with fireworks). This is after many calls for banning have occurred anyways, ranging from mayors to police officers.
Opposition on the ban
The political parties all seem to agree that the firework show during New Years Eve is dangerous, yet there are split over if they should implement a total ban, or a partial ban. Recently, VVD and CVA, which previously were against a partial ban, have decided to finally back it up. There are some political parties such GroenLinks and the Party for the Animals which wish a complete ban, yet they haven’t managed to achieve political consensus on the matter.
Banning the fireworks was seen as a unpopular political choice, as back in 2018, the ruling coalition decided to ban only the biggest fireworks, namely Chinese scrolls. It is clear, however, that the fireworks shows cannot continue in the same way, lest more people get injured, and there is growing popular support for such a measure.
Do you find the fireworks show problematic, or is it good to let off some steam from time to time? Let us know in the comments.
Feature Image: picjumbo_com/Pixabay