Thousands of protesters rallied in Greece on Wednesday to oppose the governments coronavirus vaccinations programme.
The protests follow announcements from the government saying the unvaccinated will be banned from visiting bars, restaurants, cinemas and other public places as “immune-only” venues and spaces will be created for the fully jabbed.
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The government also plans to make the vaccines available to teens and is seeking to make them mandatory for care workers and those serving in the armed forces.
The protests took place outside parliament in central Athens and in the northern city of Thessaloniki.
Reuters reports: Shouting “take your vaccines and get out of here!” and calling on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to resign, the protesters gathered outside parliament under heavy police presence.
Wednesday’s protest was the biggest show of opposition to the inoculation drive. A recent poll by Pulse for Skai TV found most Greeks said they would get the vaccine, and the majority were in favour of the mandatory vaccination for some segments of the population.
About 41% of Greeks are fully vaccinated. On Monday, the government ordered the mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers and nursing home staff following a steep rise in new COVID-19 infections in the middle of the vital tourism season.
“Every person has the right to choose. We’re choosing that the government does not choose for us,” said Faidon Vovolis, a cardiologist, who has questioned the scientific research around face masks and the vaccine and heads the “Free Again” movement, which called the protest. Vovolis said he started the group in response to the government’s “tough measures” to contain the virus.
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