The Netherlands is likely to bring in a ban on the sale of rockets and large firecrackers to consumers, now the ruling VVD and CDA have thrown their weight behind the move.
The cabinet indicated on Friday that new rules were on their way, and this would appear to have been now made possible by a VVD u-turn. The party had staunchly opposed a ban.
Pressure has been mounting on the government to take a stand since the recent New Year celebrations during which 1,300 people were treated for injuries, two people died and 13 people lost an eye.
Local councils, the police and safety organisations have all called for a full or partial ban on consumer firework sales. Even the Dutch pyrotechnic association said it recognized the need for greater controls.
Klaas Dijkhoff, the VVD parliamentary party leader, told the AD that more needs to be done than simply bringing in a ban.
‘It is also a question of the mentality,’ he said. ‘We are basically talking about scum who misbehave. So, while we can accept a ban, we must also be clear about making sure the law is upheld.’