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Coronavirus: how to stop the winter wave?

Compulsory vaccination, Covid passports, or lockdown — almost all European countries are now tightening anti-epidemic measures to protect the population from a new winter wave of coronavirus. And almost everywhere, some part of the population does not agree with these measures, believing that they go too far. The pages of the European press reflect the whole palette of opinions: some observers look at the new tightening skeptically, others shake their heads about the protests.

Liberals — for compulsory vaccination!

The Czech government is thinking about introducing mandatory vaccination in the country from February 1, 2022, for people over 60 years old, as well as for representatives of certain professions. Petr Honzeyk, a columnist for the newspaper Hospodarske Noviny, welcomes these plans:

"When the state introduces new requirements and obligations for the population, it always causes discontent. Immediately, conversations begin about the restriction of freedom, state dirigism, or even totalitarianism. Of course, it's good that liberals always sound the alarm in such cases. ... But now we are not talking about such threats — the situation is completely different now. Therefore, liberals, for whom freedom is so important, should support the idea of introducing compulsory vaccination."

Austria: it would be possible to do without the whip!

The Austrian newspaper Der Standard cites an example from the history of the country, in comparison with which it becomes clear that the vaccination campaign was conducted by the authorities very badly:

"The older generation remembers how from 1992 to 1994 the federal government, consisting of conservatives and Social Democrats, was preparing a referendum on Austria's accession to the EU: leading politicians, such as Foreign Minister Alois Mock and Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitsky, tirelessly spoke at all possible events; all social partners were involved; first-class agencies... we developed clear explanatory campaigns. [The current government] has failed to launch a well-thought-out and convincing vaccination campaign, and since the spring of this year, the authorities have completely let things take their course. The new government acts uncoordinated and helpless — it goes around in circles and finds nothing better than to introduce coercive measures: lockdown and mandatory vaccination."

The hour of experts has struck

It's time to delegate this task to specialists," Johannes Huber advises the Austrian authorities in his blog dieSubstanz.at:

"Although the average number of vaccinated after the introduction of mandatory vaccination from February 1 will increase significantly, this step will deal a huge blow to the reputation of the government and politicians. Precisely in view of the fact that further waves of the pandemic are sure to follow, the authorities should build a foundation of trust on the part of the population — so that the orders and measures they take are respected and effective. However, our management does not do this. ... The Government should have delegated the fight against the pandemic and the vaccination campaign to experts — retaining, of course, political responsibility for itself. It is necessary that these measures are voiced and taken by experts, in whom the population has much more confidence."

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