In Greece, a fine for non-vaccinated people over 60

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The Greek government has decided to hit the wallet hard. As of January 16, people over the age of 60 who have not been vaccinated against Covid are liable to a fine of €50. This will be increased to €100 per month from February 1. This represents nearly 14% of the average monthly pension of €730.

→ DEBATE. Covid-19: is Europe moving towards compulsory vaccination?

The measure was announced on December 1, after Vouli, the Greek parliament, passed a law to make the vaccination for the third age. A period of one and a half months was then planned to allow time for the sixties to be vaccinated before the entry into force of the measure. The latter are now more than 92% to be vaccinated, against 68.1% for the population as a whole.

The measure could apply from the age of 50

“Nine out of ten deaths from coronavirus concern this age group”, justified the government spokesman, Yiannis Economou, on January 13. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Health Marios Themistocleous also announced that the extension of this vaccination obligation to those over 50 was under study.

The daily Kathimerini reports on January 14 the latest data from the public health organization Eody. The day before, it recorded 80 additional deaths and 587 new hospital admissions in this country of 10.7 million inhabitants. She said that of the 554 intubated patients, more than 83% were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. As the country suffers the ever-rising Omicron wave, the peak of contamination being, according to projections, expected for the end of January.

The blank check of the ECHR

The government also announced the extension until January 23 of the restriction measures in force from January 3 to 16, in particular the wearing of an FFP2 mask, or a double mask, for supermarkets, public transport and for the catering staff, a mandatory PCR test for visits to retirement homes, the closing at midnight of entertainment venues, or a gauge limited to 10% of capacity for stadiums.

Greece, Italy, Austria… The vaccination obligation is making its way within theEuropean Union. Greece had first passed a law making the vaccine compulsory for healthcare workers in August 2021.

For researcher Spyridoula Katsoni of the Institute for the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflicts at the University of Ruhr Bochum, European states have been encouraged in this direction after the judgment Vavricka and others against the Czech Republic handed down by the European Court of Human Rights in April 2021. This served as their guide even though this case predated the current pandemic. It concerned parents who had been sanctioned for opposing the obligation to vaccinate their children. The court concluded that there was no violation by the State of the European Convention on Human Rights, nor of its article 8 on the right to respect for private and family life, or its article 9 on freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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