ATHENS – Census takers in Greece are encountering so much resistance from people who refuse to be counted or consider the process part of another conspiracy that some 500 of the workers in the country’s second-largest city, Patra, have quit.
That was from a force of 700 so-called enumerators who said they’re getting doors slammed in their face and besieged with verbal attacks akin to those used by rabid anti-vaxxers rejecting the COVID-19 shots and doubting the pandemic is real.
The director of the Statistical Service of Achaia, Nikos Mourtzouchos, told the state-run broadcaster ERT of the difficulties that the census takers are running into, with media reporting that some of those refusing think it’s part of a plan to take away their children, mirroring the bizarre arguments of anti-vaxxers.
“We face many difficulties. People not only refuse to be counted, they refuse to accept the enumerators, to listen to them. The enumerators ring the doorbell and have the door slammed in their face,” he said, adding that most of these people opt to register themselves.
“Most people think that enumerators are salespeople or leaflet distributors and slam the door without listening to anything they have to say,” he said.
The census is done every 10 years to determine the population, building stock and other critical data but this year has run into the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and can be done online without having to answer questions in person.