Kymbouropoulos says minister’s disparaging remark will not affect his goals

Kymbouropoulos says minister’s disparaging remark will not affect his goals

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.

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