Italian Senator suspended for not showing vaccine passport

Italy has taken the affront to civil liberties to the extreme.

Image Credits: TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images.

Protesters who have been gathering across Italy to support a campaign against introduction of vaccination certificates, known as “the green pass” in that country have some supporters in high places like senators and members of parliament (MPs).

One of them, Senator Laura Granato, has experienced first-hand what the new rules around Covid passes mean for gainfully employed persons who oppose them: she was suspended and left without her daily allowance for ten days for refusing to show the pass once inside the Senate building.

Granato first managed to get in, but was “reported” for deciding not to show the document. The senator was in this way prevented from taking part in a meeting that was discussing precisely the green passes, which became mandatory both for public and private sector workers on Friday.

These new, more restrictive measures have been described as “some of the toughest in the world,” while Granato echoed the sentiment of Italians opposed to them blasting the passes as “certificates of obedience.”

In Italy, the green pass is designed to show that a person has either been vaccinated, has tested negative (these tests are valid only for several days) or that they recently recovered from Covid. The government believes that mandating green passes for the workplace will boost the vaccine drive and avoid a repeat of lockdowns that have ravaged Italy’s economy over the past nearly two years of the pandemic.

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But although many Italians are “obeying the certificates of obedience” – no doubt seeing no way out other than ultimately losing their livelihoods – many others remain defiant and indignant at the prospect, with thousands of dock workers in Trieste protesting over the weekend, along with others elsewhere in Italy.

And while over one million green passes were downloaded on the first working day that the new, tougher Covid restrictions came into force, they have so far failed to significantly increase the number of vaccinations.