Europe: Thousands protest COVID-19 restrictions mandatory vaccination policies in Italy, France, Greece
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Italy, France, and Greece over the weekend to protest against mandatory vaccination policies and overall COVID-19 restrictions, DW reports.
Italy saw protests up and down the country, including in Rome where thousands packed into the city center on Saturday to protest against the Italian ‘Green Pass’ that is coming into force on Friday. From August 6, only those who have been vaccinated with at least one dose, or who have recovered from COVID in the last six months, or have tested negative in the last 48 hours, will be allowed access to museums, theatres, cinemas, sports stadiums, gyms and indoor seating areas at bars and restaurants.
In a statement about Italy’s Green Pass, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Friday: “The delta variant is even more of a threat than the other variants. The Green Pass is not arbitrary, but a necessary condition not to shut down the economy. Without vaccinations, everything will have to close again.”
Meanwhile, in France, around 160,000 demonstrators gathered in protest against a new bill that would require citizens to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entering restaurants and other indoor spaces. The bill was passed by the lower house of parliament on Friday and is now being debated in the Senate, DW said. Some demonstrators held placards calling French President Emmanuel Macron a “tyrant.”
Nine people were arrested in clashes with police, who also used tear gas on the protestors.
In Greece, around 4,000 people protested outside the Greek parliament in Athens against mandatory vaccinations. Tear gas was deployed against the demonstrators, DW said. A Greek official told Reuters that protestors were throwing petrol bombs.
Reporters without Borders said seven journalists were physically attacked and others threatened by European demonstrators during the Saturday protests, as demonstrators insulted them and their news agencies for being mouthpieces for their governments.
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