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Greece to Fine Unvaccinated Elderly Adults €100 Per Month
The Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced that as of Jan. 16, 2022 anyone over the age of 60 years old who is not vaccinated will be fined 100 euros a month. This decision comes after an increase in national cases of COVID and the discovery of the Omicron variant.
“It is not a punishment. I would say it is a health fee,”
Mitsotakis during a televised cabinet meeting in Athens Nov 30, 2021
In Greece there are around 560,000 people over 60 years old that have not been vaccinated. Alvertos Sainis is one of them. Now a Greek citizen he moved to Greece in 1978 fleeing the civil war in Lebanon and instantly felt at home.
“I came to Greece and I felt as a Greek! I mean, as if I was born here, really. I love Greece a lot. The people here, they love freedom. They love democracy, but fear has controlled them now."
Sainis and his wife have taken time to research and consider what decision would be best for them. They chose to not be vaccinated for fear of the adverse reactions that are not being acknowledged. They have friends that have had serious COVID and friends that have had adverse reactions to the vaccine.
“It's not easy. COVID is around. I have friends that have fallen sick with COVID. So I know that it is there and that you have to be careful. But this goes beyond an issue of pandemic or issue of illness. It has become now as a matter of, right of choice, it's freedom or oppression.”
Sainis voted for Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself, but is now in disbelief of what is happening in the country he loves. Although for him the fine will not be a huge strain, he believes that this is a direct attack on lower income elderly people.
"I'm upset, very upset personally because, I don't care for politics personally but being a person that believes in equality of human beings, being all under one God, whoever God you want to believe in. I have worked and researched and am still actively doing so and this is against my principles to use oppression, especially on a group level or on a nation level, you know? So, I was very angry, very upset."
The 100 euro fine is going to be imposed by the country's tax authority and the money collected will allegedly be given out to Greek hospitals fighting COVID. There still needs to be a vote in parliament but the current government holds the majority of votes, so it is expected to pass.