During the Committee meeting on Employment and Social Affairs in the European Parliament Golden Dawn MEP Lampros Fountoulis took the floor. He endorsed the positive proposals of the report being debated and he demanded more measures to be taken for the support of the people with disabilities. Finally, he denounced the policies imposed by the Memorandum, which are responsible for the cutbacks and the taxation of the social welfare benefits with negative impact on the quality of life of these people.
Both the EP motion for a resolution and the Rapporteur’s report cover a wide range of proposals regarding the European Disability Strategy. But if there will be no specific commitments on the part of the member states to accept and implement everything that is being debated here today and will be adopted later on, all these proposals will remain just plans on paper and wish lists. In the additional areas for policy action on the report of colleague Stevens another paragraph should be added under the title “Parents- Families with children with disabilities”. The quality of life of families with a member with disabilities has a significant impact not only on the quality of life of this member with disabilities but also on their life course and their participation in society and in the labour market.
I would like to point out how hypocritical it is to debate plans and proposals for people with disabilities when at the same time the European Union and Troika demand cutbacks on social welfare benefits and increase in taxation even for people with disabilities. Especially in countries under economic crisis, such as in Greece, the Government is more than willing to implement all these cutbacks; cutbacks on the funds for the education of people with disabilities, cutbacks on social welfare benefits that are considered now as income and are consequently liable to taxation, let alone the obsolete infrastructures regarding their access to public transport and public services. There are still lots to be done so that the wish lists turn into reality.