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Amsterdam, other big cities look for alternatives to New Year firework chaos [January 19, 2012]

The mayors of Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam are looking at 'alternatives for the [New Year] fireworks tradition', the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

The paper says The Hague's mayor Jozias van Aartsen has told city councillors officials plan to evaluate this year's festivities and set up an working party of experts to look at ways of reducing the amount of fireworks.

Van Aartsen was responding to questions from GroenLinks councillors about the number of injuries caused by fireworks.

Too powerful

Rotterdam's mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said earlier he was concerned that some of the fireworks sold in the Netherlands are too big for ordinary consumers to handle. Rotterdam organises a central firework display every year.t

Eye specialists have also called for limits to the power of fireworks because of the injury risk. Rotterdam's specialist eye hospital treated at least 23 people with serious firework injuries this year.

However, justice ministry officials have already said firework size and fire power needs to be raised at an EU level.


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