Conflicts & War

New restrictions stir up anti-vaccine protests in Greece

Athens, Jul 15 (EFE).- Thousands of demonstrators gathered in several cities across Greece Wednesday evening to protest against the government’s announced plans to make vaccination mandatory for health workers and impose restrictions on indoor spaces in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Roughly 3,000 people participated in demonstrations in Athens, their faces uncovered and disregarding social distancing.

Several protests sparked up across the country in cities like Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion.

Many protesters carried Greek flags and religious iconography, such as crosses or Orthodox Church signs, as they sang slogans, the national anthem and other nationalist chants in front of Parliament.

Some signs read messages such as “No to mandatory vaccinations. Yes to individual freedoms and free choice. No to state involvement in medicine.” or “No to separation, no to blackmail, no to terrorism.”

The protest was organized by the Free Again movement, led by a cardiologist who called for protests arguing that any medical practice against the patient’s will is forbidden, and calling the conservative New Democracy government “fascist.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced obligatory vaccination for nursing home and health care workers in both public and private centres, adding that they will be suspended without pay if they do not take their first jab by the established due date.

Protesters also took to the streets in France over similar matters, after French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the health certificate would be required for daily life activities in the near future, including to enter restaurants, cinemas or train stations.

France will also make vaccination mandatory for healthcare personnel.

After the announcement in France, appointments for vaccinations soared, with about three million people lining up for a jab since Monday. EFE

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