Tension increases in Europe in the face of health measures to stop the advance of COVID | International

In recent days, many European countries have tightened restrictions to cope with the increase in coronavirus cases. These measures have been a source of discontent in some European cities, whose citizens have taken to the streets to take a position against the regulations approved by their respective governments. Spain does not escape these demonstrations, since yesterday, in Barcelona, ​​hundreds of people protested against the ‘COVID passport’ with slogans such as “it is not a pandemic, it is a dictatorship.” These mobilizations come after the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, asked to “open the debate” on the mandatory nature of the vaccine in the European Union.

In Brussels, more than 8,000 people gathered

It was precisely in the European capital, in Brussels, where the last demonstration of this type took place today. Some 8,000 people have walked its streets in protest against the possible obligation of the vaccine while the country faces record rates of incidence accumulated since the beginning of the pandemic, with 2,127 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in fourteen days.

The participants in the march consider the COVID digital certificate, necessary in Belgium to access bars, restaurants and some leisure events, “contrary to fundamental rights and discriminatory” and affirm that “the virus is not under control, but the population is ”.

Similarly, some pointed out not being against vaccines but against the possible obligation to receive them, a debate on which no decision has yet been made in Belgium beyond for health personnel as of January 2022.

Vienna faces protests for third consecutive weekend

The streets of Vienna have also been the scene of protests this weekend. Yesterday Saturday, more than 40,000 protesters took part in several protests in the Austrian capital, for the third consecutive weekend. The Executive announced two weeks ago a total confinement and the obligation that the entire population be vaccinated as of February 1. Failure to do so will be fined up to 7,200 euros. The government justified these measures with the fourth wave of the virus and with the low vaccination rate in the country, which does not reach 70%.

Protests in Vienna. / Getty

Netherlands Against Isolation Of The Unvaccinated

Also in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, thousands of people organized peacefully to protest against the measures approved by its Executive: the closure of bars, restaurants and supermarkets at 8:00 p.m., and non-essential shops at 6:00 p.m. : 00. Only vaccinated people are allowed access to events and festivals and, in the same way, the health pass is required to access stores and services and the door is opened for companies to request it to go to jobs. It is not the first demonstration to take place in the country, a few weeks ago, when these measures were approved, incidents were recorded in several cities such as the capital itself, Amsterdam and Leeuwarden.

Protests in Berlin kill journalists injured

Saturday’s session also featured an unauthorized protest in Berlin, which left five photojournalists slightly injured. Various groups of detractors of the anti-COVID measures called a demonstration at the federal level under the slogan ‘No to compulsory vaccination’. Although de facto it is not – at the moment because the government has a plan in place to make it mandatory in February – the truth is that the unvaccinated can only access supermarkets, drug stores and bookstores. They cannot access cinemas, theaters or restaurants, or meet with more than two people from another bubble group. Germany in recent days has reported more than 70,000 infections in a single day.

Protests in Berlin. / Getty


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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