Greece: immunity for those handling Covid-19 crisis
In Greece, the governing party Nea Dimokratia has decided to grant immunity from prosecution to all those dealing with and making decisions aimed at tackling the pandemic. Under the new provisions scientists, politicians and civil servants who work in committees set up to deal with coronavirus-related issues cannot be prosecuted for statements or decisions made in the course of these activities. The move has been met with fierce criticism.
This is not about scientific independence
News247 is incensed:
“The claim that this scandalous provision protects the independence of scientists is misleading. It protects government officials, just as in 2013 a similar provision gave immunity to bankers who had lent hundreds of millions to the then ruling parties. People who hold public positions and propose or make decisions know that they are also taking a risk. When they are afraid, they can't [make free decisions]. The scandalous provisions offering them immunity are an insult to the scientists because they make it look like the latter can can only make their decisions if they are protected [from the authorities]. And that doesn't exactly boost their credibility.”
Experts must be protected
The pro-government Kathimerini is annoyed by the criticism of the new regulation:
“Those who are now raising their voices against it would be more convincing if they had managed to express even a word of support for the experts who have been [verbally] attacked. If they had resisted the toxic climate in which people are being terrorised and which is hampering the work of the scientists, then perhaps we would have more reason to take them seriously.”