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Lawmakers walk out after Holocaust comment in Covid debate

Lawmakers walk out after Holocaust comment in Covid debate

2 min. 09.03.2022 From our online archive
Petitioner compared the CovidCheck system to Nazi persecution of Jews
A previous photo of a pre-pandemic full Chamber
A previous photo of a pre-pandemic full Chamber
Photo credit: Lex Kleren

By Heledd Pritchard and Yannick Hansen

Lawmakers staged a walk-out from parliament on Wednesday after a man compared the CovidCheck system he is seeking to scrap to the Holocaust.

Michel Dias, who spoke at the Chamber of Deputies to argue that the CovidCheck system should be scrapped when entering public buildings, quoted Holocaust survivor Vera Sharav as comparing health measures countries around the world have implemented to the Nazi regime.

Lawmakers then left the room and Mars di Bartolomeo, a social-democrat, said it was “unacceptable to somehow make a comparison to what happened 80 years ago. That in unacceptable and I reject it. I only stayed to say this”.

The Luxembourg Times was unable to confirm the accuracy of the quote from Sharav, a strong opponent of vaccine passports and a medical activist.

The petition called on the government to scrap the need for a health check to enter all public buildings, such as hospitals and schools, and the workplace. 

The CovidCheck, which shows if a person is fully vaccinated, recovered or has recently tested negative, “create[s] a constraint on the freedom of unvaccinated people who have not been impacted by the disease”, the petition states.

The Gëlle Fra, or Golden Lady statue, symbolising Luxembourg's freedom after the Nazi era "has been besmirched with messages relativising the holocaust,” Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said last year following protests against Covid measures. Demonstrators brandishing the Jewish Star of David were condemned by religious, remembrance and resistance organisations in the country, as well as by all major parties.  

Luxembourg is set to drop most restrictions put in place during the pandemic, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said last week, including an obligation to wear face masks and show one's health pass in bars and restaurants.

The number of people in hospital had been limited during the latest wave of infections with the Omicron variant, said Bettel. 

Wearing a face mask and a mandatory scan of the CovidCheck status will still be needed when entering hospitals, care homes and homes for the elderly, Bettel said at a press conference, together with Health Minister Paulette Lenert.

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