Tsipras: New measures show premier is ‘a saboteur of vaccination’

The government “lacks planning and strategy, and is sloppy” in the way it manages the coronavirus pandemic, SYRIZA-Progessive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, during a meeting with the National Federation of Public Hospital Staff (POEDIN).

Referring to the measures announced the same day of introducing mandatory vaccination for those over 60 or having them pay heavy fines, Tsipras charged that by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is “a saboteur of vaccination” because “instead of a hoped for result to expand vaccination in the population, we will have a wave of reaction, and I think this will not help anyone.”

The main opposition leader expressed concern over the pressure on the public health system with the continuing spike of infections, hospital admissions, and deaths, and said that the measures were wrong. “Instead of imposing fines, it would be better to encourage – even with financial incentives – those doing the first and third doses,” Tsipras said, calling for an awareness campaign. “We must convince people of the value of vaccination to save their lives, not to avoid losing half their pension” in fines, he added, while he also criticized the lack of measures in crowded mass transport means.

POEDIN President Michalis Yiannakos said that “the situation is out of control” and that patients slated for ICUs are chosen on the basis of age. “The remaining staff is 9,000 less than what we had last winter, and has given up, has surrendered, can’t take anymore, they wear the high-protection suits for 8 hours straight,” he added.