Conservative candidate MEP Stelios Kymbouropoulos indicated on Thursday he is taking a controversial remark by Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis in his stride and will not shift focus from his goals.
Polakis had accused wheelchair-bound Kymbouropoulos of exploiting equal opportunity laws to secure his appointment as a physician with the National Health System.
“I will not be stopped by one man's opinion. I'm here to help and I will get where I want to and where I can go,” he told Greek broadcaster Open TV. “It is the opinion of one citizen who happens to be a minister. This is how I see it.”
The candidate MEP said he was more affected by the substance of a remark, rather than the minister’s tone.
“It has nothing to do with names. We are talking about politics here. About what is a disability and how the state hinders disabled people from becoming active citizens. It’s a deeply political issue,” he said.
Polakis' comments have met with reactions from the main opposition as well as from officials within ruling SYRIZA.
Speaking to state-run TV on Wednesday, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos described his second-in-command’s remarks as “obviously unfortunate,” adding that they clearly damaged the government and boosted opposition New Democracy.