Political support grows for national ban on firecrackers, rockets

Support for a nationwide ban on firecrackers and rockets is growing within the political parties, including within the coalition. Coalition parties D66 and ChristenUnie called for such a ban. And two VVD mayors went against their party's position to call for such a ban, NOS reports. 

Acting mayor Johan Remkes of The Hague argued for an "enforceable ban on firecrackers and rockets" for consumers on television program Buitenhof. And mayor Jan van Zanen of Utrecht asked the VVD to cooperate in a ban on all consumer fireworks.

Support for banning at least some consumer fireworks is also growing among the opposition. PvdA parliamentarian Attje Kuiken told NOS that the party will discuss the matter following the incidents on New Year's Eve. A father and his 4-year-old son were killed in a fire started by fireworks in an apartment building in Arnhem. The mother and 8-year-old daughter were critically injured. The Rotterdam Eye Hospital treated a 18 fireworks victims. A total of 1,300 fireworks injuries were treated by emergency rooms and GP posts. Firefighters responded to over 4,300 reported fires. And there were multiple attacks on first responders.

The SP does not support a total ban on consumer fireworks, but is in favor of further restricting firecrackers and rockets, parliamentarian Renske Leijten said to the broadcaster. DENK wants to ban consumer fireworks, except in specially designated firework-lighting areas designated by the municipalities.

GroenLinks and animal party PvdD have long called for a total ban on consumer fireworks, and 50Plus and SGP announced support for this call. Together these four parties hold 50 of the 150 parliamentary seats. If the PvdA, SP and DENK also join the call, there will be a narrow majority in favor of a ban, according to the broadcaster.. 

The VVD and CDA repeatedly said that banning consumer fireworks goes too far. They also believe that such a ban will not be enforceable. Though the police previously stated that each municipality setting its own rules around lighting fireworks makes enforcement much more complicated than a single nationwide policy would.