As in France, Greece is experiencing strong opposition to the government’s decision to make vaccination compulsory for healthcare workers. A tense demonstration by opponents of the government’s plan took place on July 21 in Athens.
About 5,000 people demonstrated on July 21 in Greece, including 3,000 in central Athens, against the compulsory vaccination of caregivers and nursing home staff, according to police.
On the eve of the vote in Parliament on a decree making vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for these two professional categories, the demonstrators waved placards on which we could read “no to compulsory vaccination”, “freedom” but also to see large Orthodox crosses and Greek flags, according to AFP.
The demonstration in the Greek capital was fraught with tension. The police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a group of around 120 hooded people who threw projectiles.
The protesters were 2,000 in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece.
An obligation under penalty of being put on sick leave
Last week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the obligation for caregivers and nursing home staff to be vaccinated, on pain of being put on sick leave.
The employees of these establishments welcoming the elderly must be vaccinated by August 16 at the latest and caregivers by September 1.
The Greek government has decided to take measures to encourage as many people as possible to be vaccinated in the face of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, 99% of patients intubated in hospitals being unvaccinated people.
More than 4.6 million of Greece’s 10.7 million people are fully vaccinated. But the spread of the Delta variant in this country is worrying. In just two weeks, the number of new cases has dropped from 800 to 3,000 a day.