A French hearth service official says he has acquired demise threats and been harassed after calling for firefighters who’ve refused the Covid vaccine to stay suspended.
France’s inside minister, Gérald Darmanin, condemned the alleged social media threats in opposition to Eric Brocardi, who has reported them to police.
Cmdr Brocardi, who’s spokesperson for France’s nationwide federation of firefighters (FNSPF), got here below assault after saying that in his view, full-time and voluntary firefighters suspended for refusing the vaccine shouldn’t be allowed to return to the service.
France’s hearth brigade is split into two teams: massive cities and cities have skilled brigades which might be a part of the navy, whereas the remainder of the nation has volunteer brigades. Based on officers, fewer than 200 skilled firefighters out of 41,800, and 5,000 out of 197,000 volunteers have rejected the vaccine and are below suspension.
Critics accused Brocardi of being a “collaborator”, a “traitor” and a “Macron lackey”. Brocardi advised Agence France-Presse numerous threats had been reported to police, who have been investigating. Darmanin stated the threats have been “unacceptable … no matter anybody’s opinion.”
The query of whether or not the unvaccinated firefighters ought to be allowed to return to work got here below scrutiny after France’s hearth providers stated they have been understaffed and struggling to deal with widespread fires attributable to the summer time heatwave and drought.
In an interview on the finish of July, Brocardi advised Marianne journal that understaffing had been a significant issue effectively earlier than the Covid disaster and would nonetheless be an issue even when all suspended employees have been allowed again to work.
“We want huge recruitment and to make individuals need to turn out to be volunteer firefighters. We’d have the identical issues if these firefighters returned to work tomorrow,” he stated. He repeated his opposition to their re-employment within the service on French tv earlier this week, leading to extra abuse.
The FNSPF additionally made a police grievance after the threats, stated the organisation’s president, Grégory Allione.
In France, official figures counsel simply greater than 92% of the grownup inhabitants have been vaccinated in opposition to Covid, however vaccine hesitancy persists amongst those that have refused the jab.
In Toulouse, the authorities have demanded anti-vaccine posters be taken down from non-public hoardings across the southern metropolis. The posters, claiming the vaccination is harmful, have been paid for by the RéinfoCovid collective and are signed off by the organisation’s “unbiased scientific committee”.
ReinfoCovid was arrange as a residents’ affiliation in 2020 to oppose Covid-linked well being restrictions imposed by the French authorities. It has been accused of spreading faux information and conspiracies however claims it’s giving “probably the most goal info attainable on the [health] disaster”.