The French cabinet approves measures to encourage vaccination


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The French government on Monday passed a bill aimed at pressuring unvaccinated people to get punched against COVID-19 as the country faces an increase in new cases.

The law, which is expected to be tabled in parliament over the weekend, was passed at a cabinet meeting on Monday, he said spokesman Gabriel Attal.

It will massively extend a “sanitary” system that will require people to present vaccination tests or a negative test when they visit public places such as restaurants, bars or shopping malls.

The government has said the legislation is intended to encourage people to accept the offer of jabs and that more than three million people have booked appointments since it was drafted by President Emmanuel Macron last Monday.

The proposals have sparked massive protests and accusations from some politicians that Macron is abusing his powers and even leading a “dictatorship.”

A former member of Macron’s parliamentary party, Martine Wonner, urged protesters over the weekend to “harass lawmakers, go invade their headquarters, to tell them you don’t agree.”

Around 114,000 people gathered in France on Saturday to protest the system, some wearing a yellow star, trying to compare the treatment of the unvaccinated with that of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II.

The government and Holocaust survivors have condemned the symbolism.

“This is an odious comparison,” Joseph Szwarc, a survivor of a famous Jewish gathering in Paris, said at a memorial service on Sunday, adding that the sight of the yellow stars had saddened him greatly.

“I was wearing the star. I know what it’s about. It’s in my flesh,” he said.

European Minister Clement Beaune called the comparisons “monstrous”.

Elsewhere, a vaccination center against COVID-19 in southwestern France caught fire in an alleged arson attack early Sunday in Urrugne, in the southwestern Basque region, local prosecutor Jerome Bourrier announced .

On Friday night, a center in Lans-en-Vercors, southeastern France, was vandalized and labeled with graffiti against vaccination.

The government says it has no choice but to urge people to get vaccinated, as the country is facing a fourth wave of cases related to the spread of the most contagious Delta variant.

Opinion polls show that most French people approve of it.

“We have a fourth wave taking off, with a stratospheric increase in cases,” government spokesman Attal told reporters on Monday.

The country reported 12,500 cases a day on Sunday, twice as many as a week ago.

Health Minister Olivier Veran has said nine out of ten recently infected people are not vaccinated.

France warns that the fourth wave of viruses could be affected in late July

© 2021 AFP

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