4,000 antivaxxers bearing crosses and Greek flags march to Parliament

An estimated 4,000 people marched against mandatory vaccinations bearing crosses and Greek flags across major cities in Greece during a time when Europe is experiencing a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases due to the Delta mutation.

“Christ Has Risen”, “Macedonia is Greek” and “take your vaccinations and shove them Prime Minister” were some of the slogans chanted during the anti-vaccination demonstrations held in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Heraklion on Wednesday according to Greek media reports.

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Specifically, on Wednesday afternoon, two parallel demonstrations took place in the centre of Athens:

One group gathered in Syntagma Square, with Greek flags, crosses and slogans against vaccines, and one in Omonia Square, organised by the "Free Movement Again" by Phaedon Vovolis. The groups then merged and proceeded to Parliament.

Tensions erupted in Syntagma Square when some protesters prevented journalists from covering the developments.

It should be noted that the anti-vaccination sentiment is not the overriding one in Greece with already 39.7% of the Greek population vaccinated, with 9.23 million doses already given and 4.26 million people fully vaccinated.

The Greek government has insisted that freedoms and restrictions depend on the vaccination status of each person.

"The choice is clear: Either we get vaccinated or we will fall ill...We have the vaccine that did not exist before and which is free, universal and which everyone has access to. It is the only shield to protect ourselves and those around us, together with frequent self-diagnostic tests and observance of the protection measures," said government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni.

For more stats by country visit: Statistics and Research - Our World in Data

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