The debate over how to deal with COVID-19 vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens is not just about “privileges” or greater freedoms for the former.
Before there was even time for the debate to flare up it became evident that the discussion would not be in line with the rules governing a proper exchange of ideas.
It may bring back bad memories from the bailout memorandums period when Greek society was deeply divided.
Precisely for that reason, those who have an institutional role have a duty to participate in the public discussion with lucidity and solid arguments.
According to most constitutional law scholars, a businessman has the right to bar entry to his or her establishment of unvaccinated people, for reasons of public health.
However, an employer has no legal basis to lay off an employee who refuses to be vaccinated. In such cases, employers can legitimately transfer employees to positions where they do not come into contact with others, suspend them from work, or to deny them their wages.
In certain professions such as doctors and healthcare workers, it is constitutional to impose mandatory vaccination.
It is important to always keep the Constitution in mind when we engage in debate on issues that are critical in protecting public health, so as not to fuel tensions over ideas or proposals that are simply unconstitutional.
It is equally necessary to remember the power of persuasion and of reaching an understanding.
The success of an argument always depends on the way it is formulated.
Consequently, the development of a pro-vaccination culture can prove much more effective and useful than threats.