That the cabinet will have a total ban on fireworks wants, leads to positive responses from healthcare institutions. The fireworks industry, on the other hand, is very concerned and expects bankruptcy if the sale cannot go ahead.
According to Marcel Teunissen, chairman of Belangenvereniging Pyrotechniek Nederland (BPN), there are between fourteen hundred and fifteen hundred companies in the Netherlands that do something with fireworks, from bicycle shops to large importers.
“For small companies such as a bicycle shop, the fireworks can be just the thing that keeps them afloat,” said Teunissen. “That is three days a year. They cannot make up for that turnover at any other time.”
The purchase of the fireworks for this New Year has already been done and the leaflets have been printed. The storage of fireworks has to meet high standards and traders have already invested in the capacity. “If we are not allowed to sell fireworks this year, we may not have enough storage space to keep the fireworks for a year,” said Teunissen.
Fireworks must be stored in a dry place that meets strict safety rules. The sector is in consultation with the cabinet about the possible storage problem.
‘This fireworks ban eases the pressure’
Healthcare institutions are responding positively to the forthcoming fireworks ban. Ambulancezorg Nederland, for example, calls the cabinet’s proposal “sensible”. “Healthcare is under pressure because of the corona outbreak, so we welcome anything that contributes to relieving healthcare,” said a spokesman.
At the Beverwijk burns center, they are also happy with the relief from the care that the ban is expected to entail. The hospital has two intensive care units, a regular one that is almost full with corona patients and one for burns. “If the pressure on the regular intensive care unit increases due to the number of patients or because our staff becomes ill, we will no longer have beds for burn victims,” says director Paul van Zuijlen.
The staff at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital are also satisfied, says a spokesperson. “We also currently have a high level of absenteeism among staff and work double shifts during New Years, so this fireworks ban eases the pressure.”
Cabinet will probably make a decision on Friday
The total fireworks ban follows after the call of GroenLinks and the Party for the Animals. The two parties have been arguing for a ban for some time, but find it irresponsible, especially in the corona crisis, where the pressure on healthcare is already enormous, to burden hospitals and emergency care with fireworks victims.
The proposal will be discussed on Tuesday and it is expected that the cabinet will make a decision in the Council of Ministers on Friday. The cabinet needs that time to complete the compensation for the fireworks sector.