Milan mayor Giuiano Pisapia has appealed to Milan residents to celebrate New Year’s Eve without the traditional fusillade of loud bangers.
“We can have a good time just the same without setting off firecrackers,” Pisapia said. “It’s a question of respect and responsibility, and being aware of the consequences that fireworks can have for people and animals.”
Last year, atmospheric pollution had reached such a level that a traffic and fireworks ban was in place in Milan on New Year’s Eve. That won’t be the case this year, but the mayor hopes the alternative celebrations organised by city hall will encourage residents to avoid the fireworks which have caused seven deaths and 1,600 injuries (333 of them among children) over the past four years. And animal rights association LAV estimates that fireworks cause five thousand animal deaths every year, as well as distress and terror for animals and elderly people.
Reporting on recent police checks and the impounding of unlicensed explosives, Pisapia said: “We are working to help guarantee a serene year’s end. And so that the party is really for everybody, we think it’s important that each one of us shows respect for other people’s sensibilities. That’s why we can easily celebrate without firing off bangers.”