Majority in Amsterdam city council wants complete fireworks ban
A majority in the Amsterdam city council wants to implement a general ban on consumer fireworks in the city. The local faction of VVD announced its support on Wednesday. GroenLinks, PvdA, and PvdD previously announced their support. Together the four parties have 24 of the 45 seats in the city council, NU.nl reports.
The Amsterdam VVD said that it must "unfortunately" support a ban. "We are very disappointed by the misery [fireworks] cause. A small group of people are ruining it for the rest," the party said.
Amsterdam is the second large Dutch city in favor of a fireworks ban. Earlier this week the VVD in Rotterdam also pushed support for a ban to a majority.
The line the local VVD factions are taking is remarkable, as it goes against the national VVD's stance. VVD party leader Klaas Dijkhoff said on Tuesday that the party will still vote against a ban for the time being, though he added that he is "not deaf and blind" to the calls from mayors, ophthalmologists, and first responders to take action.
Like Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema would rather see the government implement a national ban. "Otherwise enforcement problems will arise, because it is not yet nationally prohibited," she said to the Volkskrant.
The Amsterdam city council is meeting on Thursday afternoon to discuss the approach to New Year's fireworks and how to deal with the problems fireworks cause.