FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Massive Protest In Greece Against COVID-19 Vaccines?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a massive protest in Greece against COVID-19 vaccines.

Verdict: False

The video, which predates the COVID-19 pandemic, shows a January 2019 protest in Greece related to the renaming of Northern Macedonia.

Fact Check:

On at least three occasions this month, people have gathered outside the Greek parliament building in Athens to protest the government making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for nursing home staff and health care workers, Reuters reported. One demonstration took place July 24, with police using a water cannon and teargas to disperse the crowd, according to the outlet.

A post viewed over 400 times on Facebook claims to contain footage from one of these anti-vaccine protests in Greece, saying, “GREECE Aerial view of massive demonstration protesting a Covid19 Vavicine (sic).” The 24-second clip shows an aerial view of thousands of people, some holding flags, gathered around a white building. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Tom Hanks Wearing A ‘Take Me To Greece’ Shirt?)

The video, however, is over two years old, predating both the coronavirus pandemic and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Through a keyword search, Check Your Fact found the same video was posted on YouTube back in January 2019. The caption of the video describes the footage as showing a “Demonstration for Macedonia” on Jan. 20 that year in Syntagma Square, where the Greek parliament building is located.

A massive crowd gathered in Athens on Jan. 20, 2019, to protest a deal the Greek government struck with its northern neighbor to change that country’s name from Macedonia to Northern Macedonia, The Guardian reported. The Greek outlet Athens Voice included the footage in question in a January 2019 article about the demonstration.

Photos of the 2019 protest, including one showing the same large blue-and-white flags outside the parliament building, can be found on AP Images.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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