ATHENS – Just as the New Democracy government is due to end a 100-euro ($110) monthly fine for those over 60 who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, data showed only 14 percent of them have paid and the rest are allegedly going to be hit with a surcharge.
The figures came from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) which reported that of 317,962 notified by tax officials they had to pay that only 44,000 had done so by the March 15 deadline, said Kathimerini.
The fines, which started with 50 euros ($55) in January when they began half way through that month, were imposed in a bid to slow the then-surging number of cases that now have begun to recede enough for the penalty to be stopped.
Holdouts were fined 100 euros a month (in January the fine was 50 euros as the measure went into effect mid-month) in a bid to boost lagging inoculation levels and ease pressure on healthcare amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While it wasn’t said how the state intends to collect the unpaid fines – or if there will be an amnesty for those who refused – the report said that besides a surcharge that outstanding debtors could face confiscation of property assets.
Some of those fined have tried to legally challenge the assessment to tax authorities although they don’t have any standing to do so, the report said, noting that the fines will end in mid-April because the number of COVID cases has gradually declined.