Poland/Czechia – While the announcement of the upcoming introduction of compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations provokes evermore protests in Austria and Germany, this question is also the subject of debate in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Lewica offers compulsory vaccination
In Poland, where around 54% of the population has already been vaccinated (68% on average in the EU), it is the left-wing coalition Lewica (literally The Left – 12.6% during the last legislative elections in 2019) which comes forward and demands, this Monday December 6, that anti-covid vaccination be made compulsory and that any recalcitrant be fined– following the Austrian government’s (ÖVP- Green Ecology) example as it implements it on February 1st.
“It is time to make massive use of the weapons we have at our disposal”,
declared Marek Kacprzak, the Lewica spokesperson. To do so, Lewica introduced a bill to the Diet, which has not received any support from the government majority nor from any other opposition group. While the Liberal Civic Coalition (KO) prefers “to convince and not to coerce”, the national-conservative MP Krzysztof Bosak (Konfederacja) insisted that Poland is not a totalitarian state:
“If people don’t want something, no law will force it upon them.”
New Czech government to overturn decree on compulsory vaccination
In the Czech Republic, where the vaccination rate is currently around 60%, it was the outgoing Andrej Babiš government which, following President Miloš Zeman’s advice, issued “a decree on compulsory vaccination” that should be published by the end of the week, as Adam Vojtech (Health Minister) announced this Monday, December 6. Whilst Marian Jurečka, president of KDU-ČSL (member party of the new governmental coalition) replied that:
“The future Health Minister will repeal this decree […] we do not agree with this”.
Following the announcement of the introduction of compulsory vaccination in Austria from February 1, the future Czech Health Minister, Vlastimil Válek (TOP09) declared on November 21 that this amounted to putting in place “a totalitarian regime ”and that “ the government no longer has a guideline”.