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Don't let austerity hit the elderly!


05 Feb 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Social Europe & Jobs

GUE/NGL MEP Kartika Liotard presents proposals for protecting the elderly.


"People who need a nursing home or home care must be able to count on it unconditionally - austerity should not affect the basic needs and dignity of older people" Dutch MEP Kartika Liotard said today ahead of a debate on her report on "Active and Healthy Ageing". Commission proposals on Active and Healthy Ageing aim to add two healthy years to the average life


Liotard wants to see health policy made a top priority of the EU to ensure a healthier living environment. "For example, political decisions about air quality improvements or banning controversial substances in our diet are too often influenced by short-term economic interests. By ensuring that health truly comes first, people remain healthy longer, producing real savings. More attention to preventive healthcare is important in this context" said Liotard.


Liotard reserved criticism for the so-called "E-Health" programmes with which the EU is currently investigating the possibilities of electronic elderly care. "Computers are cheaper than human carers but they cannot replace a human being" she warned. "Personal contact is important for the elderly."


Finally, for Liotard, age discrimination deserves greater attention. "If you ask people to work longer, then you need to give them opportunities. Equal access to employment, education, health insurance, but also for example to insurance to contribute to an active and healthy life in old age, are crucial."


The European Parliament in Strasbourg is expected to vote in favour of Liotard's report on Wednesday morning.


The debate takes place tonight from around 19:00 and is watchable here:


GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group