There must be something rotten in the heads of some people governing this country. On Tuesday morning in Athens, riot police was deployed to avert (riots by?) hundreds of disabled Greeks on wheel chairs to come close to Prime Minister’s Mansion, the Greek Parliament and the Finance Ministry. The disabled on wheel chairs had gathered to protest cuts in their welfare benefits.
Video: Police push protesters on wheel chairs
When the disabled ‘tried’ to break through the police ‘wall’ , the policemen pushed away with their shields those on wheel chairs… In the footage, protesters shout “Shame! Shame! Dsigrace! What are your doing?”
Riot Police successfully prevented riots incited by people on wheel chairs?
Disabled people and parents of children with special need have flocked in downtown Athens on Tuesday morning to protest about cuts in welfare, pensions decreases . Hundreds of men and women on wheel chairs made their way to a protest rally outside the Maximou Mansion, the office of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.
The National Confederation of People with Disabilities strongly opposes the cuts of welfare benefits and pensions that turn the lives of its members into a hell as they try to cope with decreased incomes and family unemployment.
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“Disabled people are fed up with the path of poverty and deprivation. They are fed up with the collapse of the welfare system and the continued deterioration of the health sector” the NCPD said in a statement.
The cuts in welfare benefits nad pensions, the new determination of taxable income, the emergency taxes and levies, and the new regulations as to who is disabled or not leave thousands of disabled adults and children with special needs without the meagre allowances of an average 250 EUR. Disabled groups demand to be exempted from the additional tax loads, ask that their pensions or their caretakers’ pensions will not be cut and that they will continue to receive their welfare benefits. Further that they will have free access in modern pharmaceutical industry/treatment.
I was reading a couple of days ago about the Association of Parents with children with special needs complaining that the new disability regulations leave the majority of these children without the allowance. “The percentage of disability will go down to 34%, while only those with 67% will be granted benefits and allowances” said a member of the Association said and stressed all children with disabilities should be allowed to inherited their parents’ pensions. Children with Down-Syndrome are exempted. – Unfortunately I don’t remember where I read this article –
Former PASOK deputy and now independent MP Panayiotis Kouroumplis, who is blind, complained that the cuts in welfare push vulnerable groups into social marginalization and extreme poverty. Speaking on the occasion of the Day of Disabled at the beginning of the month, Kouroumplis stressed that “it is the neo-liberal policies of the Troika that trim the meagre allowance of €250 and load the fully economic and social costs of disability on the shoulders of the family of the disabled person.”
Disabled Greeks are as angry as low-pensioners (€390-490 monthly pension) who saw their social allowance of 200 EUR per month been simply ‘removed’ from their lives as of 1. December 2011.