Tens of thousands of Austrians demonstrated this weekend to protest against the government’s introduction of mandatory vaccination, the first EU country to do so, as the chancellor insisted on Sunday that the move would represent “minor interference. “compared to the alternatives.
One of the largest demonstrations took place in the southern city of Graz, where police said Saturday night that some 25,000 people had gathered in a demonstration that remained mostly peaceful.
But police said three men in their 20s were being investigated for allegedly giving Nazi salutes and that there were dozens of violations against the virus-related rules on wearing masks.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said that the government had “regrettably” been forced to resort to compulsory vaccination to reinforce the current rate of complete vaccination, which currently stands at just under 67 per cent. cent and is one of the most important. the lowest in Western Europe.
At the current rate, “we will never get out of the vicious circle of new waves and new debates about closures,” he said.
“Each confinement is a great interference in fundamental rights. Compared to that, mandatory vaccination is less of an interference, ”he said.
Faced with a rapidly increasing number of cases, the government introduced a partial closure on Monday, although schools have remained open.
Other demonstrations on Saturday took place in the cities of Sankt Poelten and Klagenfurt, attracting some 3,500 and 5,000 people respectively.
Eleven arrests were made in Sankt Poelten, most of them for “aggressive behavior”. A police officer was injured.
The rally was organized by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), whose leader Herbert Kickl has voiced opposition to anti-virus measures and promoting unproven treatments for the virus.
The protest in Klagenfurt was led by the local head of the FPOe.
Also on Sunday, the Finance Ministry said seizures of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin by customs officials had “exploded” in recent months.
Between September and mid-November, 15,844 tablets were seized, the ministry said.
Ivermectin is one of several drugs that have been touted on social media as treatments for Covid-19, despite having been shown to be ineffective in multiple studies and trials and potentially dangerous if administered incorrectly.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
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