Greece: Pensioners react to introduction of fines for unvaccinated
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The Greek Government announced a monthly fine of €100 will be issued to all over-60s who are yet to receive a Covid vaccination as of today. The southern EU state followed Italy’s suit after Mario Draghi announced a similar fine would be given to all over-50s who were yet to be jabbed in Italy.
Since the announcement, 90 percent of over-60s in Greece have either been vaccinated or made an appointment.
In an interview with ANT1 TV channel, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said an extension of mandatory vaccination for anyone under 60 years of age is not being considered for now.
The move sparked the fury of pensioners across the country.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, 62-year old Yanis said he feels “forced to have the vaccine”.
The pensioner added that his worries about potential side-effects of the vaccinations are now “outweighed” by the prospect of a monthly fine.
Another citizen said: “One-sixth of your pension to pay a fine?
“This is too much.”
Another man added: “The priority should be to convince people, rather than force people.”
The vaccine was already mandatory for healthcare professionals, some of which have been suspended from their positions for refusing the jab.
Dr Georgia Leveta, a consultant haematologist at Athens General Hospital, was suspended last year.
She told ITV: “It’s not fair. They say I’ve become dangerous.
“How can they explain this to me?”
Greece has also extended restrictions by a week at restaurants and bars to help curb the Omicron variant, which has dominated the country and was the main driver of a surge in coronavirus infections in recent weeks.
The country imposed curbs on bars, restaurants and nightclubs over the Christmas holidays last month which were due to end today.
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The restrictions, which have forced bars, nightclubs and restaurants to close at midnight, with no standing customers and no music, will be extended to January 24, health authorities said on Wednesday.
A double mask will still be mandatory in supermarkets and transport.
Authorities have said that Omicron variant, which is highly contagious, is dominant in the community, after it was first detected in early December.
On Sunday, Greece reported 10,783 new cases, 95 deaths, and 680 people in ICUs.
Among intubated patients, 81.47 percent are unvaccinated.
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