Monaco’s elected National Council met in high security on Tuesday night to discuss the controversial bill that requires health professionals to be double-jabbed or face serious sanctions. Access to the Rock was cut except for those who could prove local residency, with bus services 1 and 2 diverted to the Parking des Pecheurs and a cordon of police officers blocking pedestrian access.

Every Government Minister was present for the debate.

Christophe Robino of the Commission on Social Affairs opened proceedings by saying that double vaccination was the only sure way of re-establishing a normal life. He cited the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights as ruling that human rights were not called into question by the obligation for health professionals to be inoculated. He called on members of the Council to vote in favour of the bill with a clear conscience.

Minister of State attacks ‘lies’ of opponents

Minister of State Pierre Dartout said that Monaco has resisted the virus better than other countries, but that does not mean that the Principality has been spared completely. The text is designed to protect those who are most vulnerable in the face of coronavirus and to fight for the health of all.

He repeated that it has never been the Government’s intention to extend the vaccination requirement to other professionals.
Their devotion is remarkable. “We are with them, at their sides,” he said of Monaco’s health professionals.

We need to fight against misinformation. He described as lies the claim that two patients in intensive care had been double-jabbed. “It is a lie, completely false,” he said.

Minister cites precedence of ‘national interest’

Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Affairs, said that the only solution in the circumstances where we find ourselves is to make vaccination obligatory for certain professionals. He described it as a duty. He said that the implementation of the regulations will be introduced slowly and in stages.

He said that the eventual sanction would be suspension rather than firing. within four weeks of the legislation appearing in the official gazette, le Journal de Monaco, any health professional who has not been double-jabbed will be suspended and paid just 50 percent of their salary.

This transition period will last until they present a certificate of vaccination. If after a further four weeks the person in question is still not vaccinated they will receive no salary, but will not be fired.

Mr Gamerdinger cited the “general interest” as an over-riding responsibility. Individualism pushed too far challenges the general good.

President of the National Council Stéphane Valeri winded up the debate before the vote by saying that the priority was to protect the health of everyone.

The bill passed with 15 votes in favour, four against, and two abstentions.

PHOTO: Head of the National Council’s Social Affairs Commission Christophe Robino, with Daniel Boeri, seated National Council