ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ order that people over 60 must be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the pandemic rises, facing 100 euro ($114) fines for refusal is protected by law, Emeritus Constitutional Law Professor Antonis Manitakis said.
Speaking to SKAI radio, he cited rulings by the Council of State and European courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, confirming the constitutionality of compulsory vaccination for certain categories of workers.
“Their freedom is not being violated, especially when dozens of lives a day can be saved in this way,” Manitakis said.
“If no action is taken, a large percentage of people of this age group will continue to die. It is therefore justified to infringe on one asset to increase the rate of immunity when human lives can be saved. The protection of life is the supreme asset,” he underlined.
The imposition of financial sanctions was absolutely necessary and appropriate, he continued.
“No one can claim that 100 euros is a coercive measure. Assuming that low-wage earners cannot afford it, they can be vaccinated,” he said.
“In this case, the state has exhausted all measures. It avoided all compulsory vaccination from April and March, preferring the strategy of persuasion and the option of vaccination when the opposition demanded that the entire population be vaccinated.”
The number of persons over 60 years of age who booked an appointment for a vaccine after the order immediately tripled, the order working to convince them after rising cases, hospitalizations, people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and deaths didn’t.