Sumary of A surge of deadly covid cases in Europe is met by popular fury over lockdowns:
- Some protesters were extremely provocative, carrying placards likening Alexander Schallenberg, Austria’s new chancellor, to Josef Mengele, the sadistic physician at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.
- Austria is also the first Western democracy to make covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all, starting on February 1st 2022. “For a long time—maybe too long—I and others assumed that it must be possible to convince people in Austria to get vaccinated voluntarily,” said Mr Schallenberg when he announced his “very difficult” decision.
- Cases are surging as the highly contagious Delta variant makes its way, belatedly, through Europe’s population.
- Around 66% of the total population in the European Union is fully vaccinated, but vaccination rates vary greatly between countries.
- Other governments have imposed compulsory covid vaccinations for specific groups.
- Similarly, France made vaccination compulsory for health staff as well as police and firefighters.
- This week Germany made vaccinations compulsory for its army.
- Support for a nationwide vaccine mandate, previously a taboo, is now rising in Germany.