Greece has made the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for everyone over the age of 60. Starting January, anyone over that age who refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be fined €100 (£85) at monthly intervals.
The money collected from these fines will go to the Greek health system, which is struggling with a surge in hospital admissions.
The premier said in a statement to the cabinet, "Greeks over the age of 60... must book their appointment for a first jab by January 16. Their vaccination is henceforth compulsory.” The measure is still awaiting a parliamentary vote but is expected to pass as many members support it.
Many EU nations and around the world have made the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for health workers, but, Greece will become the first in the EU to target a specific age group. Austria has also made vaccines compulsory but the enforcement will start in February.
Greece’s main opposition party, Syriza, has called the new measures punitive and financially excessive. SO far, more than18,000 people have lost their lives in Greece due to COVID-19.