The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told his cabinet on Tuesday that fines would be imposed on unvaccinated senior citizens starting mid-January. The measure still needs approval from Parliament but is widely expected to pass.
The BBC reported that in a statement to his Cabinet, the premier declared vaccinations of Greeks over the age of 60 “henceforth compulsory” and said seniors needed to book their vaccination appointments by January 16.
The measure would be enforced by a fine of €100 a month. The money would go toward the struggling public health system. He further stated that this decision “tortured” him, but that it showed support for the most vulnerable, even if it might fleetingly “displease them.” The opposition called it punitive and financially excessive, according to the BBC.
Greece currently has a 63% vaccination rate. Greece is the second European country to announce mandatory vaccination enforced by fines. Austria has announced its intention to start imposing fines on the unvaccinated in February.
Germany may be the next country to consider the measure. The Associated French Press reported that the incoming chancellor Olaf Scholz appears to be in favor of mandating vaccination starting in February, according to a party source. News about Scholz’s position emerged after several German politicians called for mandatory vaccination to raise the country’s 68% vaccination rate.