Just hours after the incoming chancellor of Germany said he was in favour of imposing mandatory vaccinations, Angela Merkel protege-turned European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appeared to follow suit, hinting on Wednesday that the entire bloc may seek to impose vaccine mandates.
“Not each and every one can be vaccinated – children, for example, or people with special medical conditions – but the vast majority could and therefore, I think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now,” the Commission president told reporters in Brussels, according to The Guardian.
“How we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccination within the European Union, this needs discussion,” the president continued. “This needs a common approach, but it is a discussion that I think has to be met.”
Responding to the EU chief, the President of the Irish Freedom Party Hermann Kelly — who was also Nigel Farage's comms Tsar in the European Union before Britain left the European Union — told Breitbart London that “state coercion” and the “lockdown of dissenters” should be resisted.
When individuals were at the point of even having lost the right to choose what was taken inside their own body in the face of government diktats, it becomes questionably exactly what liberties an individual has at all, the veteran Eurosceptic said.
He continued: “If you allow the state to dictate what chemical or biological agent you must take inside your body, exactly what liberty have you left? We are witnessing the Chinafication of Europe with identity cards or mandatory digital certificates and it is becoming very dangerous indeed.”
“We need to reject this EU imposition and choose freedom instead,” Kelly said.
Austria: Unvaccinated Could Face Prison as Country Locks Down and Govt Makes Vaccines COMPULSORY https://t.co/WMPcDzhJne
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 19, 2021
The EU Commission president's comments come after a number of European countries have discussed implementing the measure in the hopes of combating rising COVID cases, with Austria announcing that they will be implementing forced vaccination from February next year. Those refusing vaccination face perpetual lockdown, fines of up to EUR7,200, and potential prison time.
Following the announcement, the leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, Herbert Kickl, said that the measure crossed a “dark red line” and that the state had turned into a “dictatorship”.
Greece has meanwhile announced it will be implementing monthly fines of EUR100 for over-60s who remain unvaccinated after December, a move that Greece's main opposition party has called punitive and financially excessive, according to the BBC.
Germany's incoming chancellor — who is set to succeed Angela Merkel this month — Olaf Scholz also voiced his support for mandatory vaccinations, blaming the unvaccinated for the recent surge in coronavirus cases seen within the country.
“It is the case that the fact that there are so many who have not been vaccinated is the reason why we have a problem today as a whole country,” Scholz said.
Scholz also announced on Tuesday a number of new anti-COVID regulations, including forced mask-wearing in schools and the barring of unvaccinated individuals from all retail shops, as well as from attending events, regardless of whether they have a negative COVID test or not.
Germans appear to be willing to accept mandates from the state on vaccines, with a recent survey finding that nearly seventy per cent of those polled would back forced vaccinations in Germany.
New German Chancellor Will Push for Mandatory Vaccinations for All https://t.co/4m9EqdeaZX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 1, 2021