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Austerity policies to blame for cutting vulnerable groups access to care services


04 Jul 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Social Europe & Jobs

In a plenary debate this morning ahead of a vote on a resolution on the impact of the crisis on access to care for vulnerable groups, the GUE/NGL has called for the reasons behind increasing precariousness in Europe not to be forgotten.

GUE/NGL MEP Patrick Le Hyaric said: "We cannot adopt laws that hurt people and then adopt resolutions taking note of the harm these laws are causing. It is austerity policies that are endangering access to care, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens. I am delighted about the consensus building around this report but we need to push that consensus further. We need to call for an end to the dismantling of social rights. Austerity goes against our very humanity. We should not have approved a reduction to the EU budget."

GUE/NGL MEP Paul Murphy commented: "It was Aristotle who said that you can judge a society by the way it treats its most vulnerable people; well I wonder what kind of judgement he would pass today if he could see how austerity policies are driving the poorest into increasing hardship in order to protect the bondholders and bankers. Some in this chamber will cry crocodile tears about how unfair this is but then they will vote through austerity policies anyway; austerity is not unavoidable, it is a political choice that puts the interest of some above the interests of others."

"We must not forget why many people in the EU don't have enough money to go to the doctor," added GUE/NGL MEP Kartika Liotard. "It is naive of the Commission to call for recommendations to protect these vulnerable groups when it was the Commission that condemned these people in the first place. Vulnerable is not a strong enough word to describe the situation. Elderly people are being left at home and their pensions are under threat, and we must not forget other groups as well such as those who don't have permanent work contracts."

Setting out the FEMM committee's opinion on the report, GUE/NGL MEP Inês Zuber said: "Everybody has the right to healthcare regardless of their economic and social situation and the responsibility to ensure that that right is universally enjoyed is a public sector responsibility. Austerity measures are leading to women's access to healthcare being greatly diminished.  We must fight against the inequality between men and women in access to healthcare and ensure reproductive health and rights and make sure that women who are victims of violence are protected. Unfortunately the EU's polices for budget consolidation policies represent the exact opposite of everything that is stated in this report."


GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group



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