Two days after the mandatory vaccination for all public and private sector workers in the country comes into force, some political parties ask to ease the measure, while unions threaten to continue demonstrations and carry out blockades in areas crucial to Italy’s economy .
Starting this Friday, October 15, Italy will become the first country to implement Covid-19 health cards as a mandatory measure for all workers in the public and private sectors. A measure that for some unions, companies and politicians will cause shortages instead of promoting vaccination.
And although more than 80% of Italians over 12 years of age are fully vaccinated and there is also a mandatory “covid passport” for teachers, the Government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi considers that these measures are not enough to guarantee a high level of immunity , prevent new outbreaks and avoid a relapse in economic activity as occurred in 2020 and early 2021.
Italy, the first European country affected by the coronavirus epidemic in February 2020, paid a heavy price with more than 130,000 deaths.
This is why Draghi’s cabinet, supported by the coalition parties, approved in mid-September the strictest regulation in the world against Covid-19 so far: the obligation for all workers to present a ‘Pass Green ‘to access their workplaces, a negative test for the virus less than 48 hours or a certificate of recent recovery from the contagion.
The far-right parties ‘Liga’ and ‘Hermanos de Italia’ and some unions claim that to avoid a staff shortage, the Covid-19 tests should be extended from 48 to 72 hours of validity and propose that they be free for those who are not vaccinated.
“We are not going to be able to give a smear every 48 hours to all the unvaccinated. The businessmen with whom I am in contact are very concerned,” said Luca Zaia, governor of the wealthy northeastern region of Veneto.
Employees who refuse to comply with the rule will have their salary suspended, in addition to a fine of 1,500 euros and employers who let people work without the valuable document will have a fine of 600 to 1,000 euros. People will also not be able to choose to work from home to exempt the rule.
“This is a very restrictive measure that can seriously affect social stability and aggravate an already complicated situation,” the UIL union said in a statement.
According to an estimate by the Ministry of Public Service, 15% of private sector workers and some 250,000 people of the nearly 3.2 million state employees are not vaccinated, which is equivalent to 7.8%.
Unions protested the implementation of the world’s strictest Covid-19 rule
Despite the majority of Italians supporting the ‘Green Pass’ policy according to public opinion polls in the country, the measure has sparked numerous demonstrations that have resulted in riots, fires and destruction of public property.
Just last Saturday, the mobilizations organized by unions such as CUB, USB and Cobas, summoned in Milan about 2,000 people, in Genoa 2,500, at least 2,000 met in Turin and another 1,000 in Trieste, where the workers who refuse to the vaccine they have threatened to block the main economic port of this place, if the implementation of the norm is not annulled.
“We have no other alternatives, the strike or the test, otherwise they suspend us,” Davide, a Verona technician, of the anti-vaccine movement, told AFP.
According to local media, in the center of Rome the mobilizations that ended in a pitched battle left 12 detainees and 600 identifications, which for the authorities demonstrated the infiltrations of fascist and far-right groups among those considered anti-vaccines.
As a result of the riots last weekend, a proposal began by the Democratic Party to dissolve ‘Forza Nuova’, one of the fascist organizations that the authorities identified as one of those in charge of generating chaos last Saturday and the main instigator of the destruction of the headquarters of the left-wing union Cgil.
With EFE and Reuters