Macron 'faces revolt' over vaccine passports says McCrae
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The Autonomous Federation of Professional Firefighters and Specialised Administrative and Technical Staff (FA SPP-PATS) has condemned plans for mandatory jabs for some key workers and claimed the move “violates the constitution”. The union represents around 7,000 firemen and women and could begin action as early as next Monday.
The French President has outlined legislation to make it compulsory for staff in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes to be vaccinated.
Firefighters, certain soldiers, as well as professionals and volunteers working with the elderly will be required to be jabbed by the middle of September.
The French public also need to provide a health pass to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to enter most public spaces.
The move was announced last month and triggered an initial surge in the uptake of the jab.
But it also sparked widespread demonstrations from some sections of the public.
A French constitutional court is due to rule on the legislation this week.
In a statement, the FA SPP-PATS said: “The bill relating to the management of the health crisis, which provides for in particular and under penalty the compulsory vaccination of firefighters, violates the constitution.”
André Goretti, spokesman of the union, said: “We will see what the Constitutional Council says and then we will decide on the follow-up.
“We are not leading a political fight, but this goes too far.”
Mr Goretti added the union is “not opposed to vaccination” but called on authorities to recognise firefighters on equals terms as other key workers.
He said: “If you maintain the vaccination obligation for firefighters, then we demand to benefit from the same statutory and social advantages of caregivers.”
Some 200,000 people marched through towns and cities across France in a third weekend of protests.
Further anti-vaxx demonstrations are scheduled to take place on Saturday following accusations of freedoms being taken away.
President Macron has taken aim at the anti-vaccine movement and accused those involved of “losing all logic” and vowed not to back down to “radical violence”.
Speaking to French magazine Paris Match, Mr Macron added: “I consider that the very existence of democracies is at stake.
“Their attitude is a threat to democracy. They confuse everything.”
The under fire leader has also dismissed claims of an authoritarian approach to coronavirus and insisted all measures have been taken with the consent of parliament and supported by scientific evidence.
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Mr Macron added: “We have never suspended parliamentary life, and all restrictive measures have been passed by law.
“We are the only country which had so many parliamentary controls during the crisis. And they talk about dictatorship?
“The government responds to parliamentary commissions of inquiry, to the Court of Justice, to magistrates. Epidemiological data are public and daily. Be serious.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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