ATHENS – Residents in Greece over 60 years old who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 will start being fined 100 euros ($113.60) unless they do, the penalties showing as a tax debt, not deducted from pensions or salaries.
That’s set to start by Feb. 25, said Kathimerini, after the Digital Governance Ministry sent the necessary data to the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, which is responsible for certifying the fines.
The deadline to avoid penalties was Jan. 17 but the paper said some 300,000 people failed to meet it, although penalty for that month was 50 euros ($58.80) but double that beginning in February.
The fines don’t apply to those exempted from mandatory vaccinations due to health reasons, people over 96 and those who have been unable to pay tax the last three years.
The penalties for some 4,700 health care workers who aren’t vaccinated will be stiffer after they were suspended – which will either as long as the pandemic lists or they could be fired.
The New Democracy government backed away from a threat to fire them as of that date in another apparent attempt to convince them to be vaccinated although that approach has failed constantly.
Interior Minister Makis Voridis said, referring to the decision whether or not to remove unvaccinated workers from the National Health System that he rejects the term “dismissal,” although that’s what the government said it was before.
“Dismissal is when I stop working with someone. When I go to the health workers and tell them, ‘In order to provide health services you have to be vaccinated,’ I have not fired anyone, I have set a condition for the provision of services. If someone chooses not to comply with this condition, they choose not to stay in the health system,” he said, without explaining what that meant.