No restricted access to Amsterdam market after Berlin tragedy

Skating on Amsterdam's Museumplein
Skating on Amsterdam's Museumplein Henk Bezemer / Wikimedia Commons

The municipality of Amsterdam decided against placing concrete block traffic barriers to make access more difficult to the Christmas market on the Museumplein. There is currently no reason to do so, the municipality said on Tuesday evening, AT5 reports.

The proposed measure was in response to a truck driving into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others according to the Guardian. 

The Christmas market on Museumplein gets several thousand visitors per day. Earlier on Tuesday, the organizers announced that traffic barriers will be placed to impede access to the 65 stalls and ice rink, following the tragedy in Berlin. 

But according to the municipality, an employee at district Zuid wrongly gave permission for the traffic barriers to be placed. There is currently "no reason" for extra measures to be taken, a spokesperson for Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said to AT5. Since the terrorist threat level in the Netherlands was raised to "substantial" in 2013, a number of visible and invisible measures were put in place. These are sufficient for the time being.

"For some time we have been extra vigilant about public events and, if necessary, action will be taken", the spokesperson for the Mayor said to the Amsterdam broadcaster. "There is also constant contact with the NCTV, the police and the Public Prosecutor." The NCTV is the Netherlands' national coordinator for counterterrorism and security.

Around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday workers removed traffic barriers around the Christmas market that had already been place. According to organizer Pim Pronk, after "good consultation with the municipality", he is convinced that the concrete blocks are not needed. "I am convinced that for the time being it is safe and that nothing needs to be done." he said to AT5. "People must feel safe and if the municipality and other institutions make it clear to me that everything is fine, the we will keep it that way."