In the wake of a cameraman’s death during a traditional event and the accidental shooting of an 8-year-old girl on Easter Sunday, calls have grown for the imposition of restrictions on potentially dangerous customs.
The mayor of the southwestern city of Kalamata – where 53-year-old cameraman Costas Theodorakakis died after he was hit in the head by a flare during a display of the traditional “Dart Wars” – has called for restrictions to such events in the future.
Speaking to Kathimerini, Mayor Panayiotis Nikas called for new legislation that will designate specific areas of the country that will be licensed to stage such events under strict guidelines.
If the legal framework is not amended, he insisted, “there’s no way the city council will sanction anything to do with the staging of this event.”
Fireworks-related accidents occur almost every Easter around Greece, leading to calls for stricter laws.
Nikas had come under fire over revelations that local authorities had funded event organizers to the tune of 12,000 euros and for claiming the custom could not be stopped because it is a part of the local identity.
Event organizers have hit out at local authorities, saying they are not responsible for the event’s security. Seven people were arrested over the incident and will appear before a local prosecutor on Friday.
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old man in Livadia, central Greece, was detained on Wednesday over the shooting of an 8-year-old girl by a stray bullet during Easter celebrations in the village of Thespies in Viotia on Sunday.
Police said that an unlicensed revolver the suspect admitted to firing into the air was matched to the bullet that struck the girl, who was still in critical condition on Wednesday after undergoing surgery. The incident occurred while she was playing with friends in her backyard.