Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday, January 9 at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.
The National Confederation of Disabled People called the action “incomprehensible,” and said pedophiles are now awarded a higher government disability pay than some people who have received organ transplants.
The Labor Ministry said categories added to the expanded list — that also includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists — were included for purposes of medical assessment and used as a gauge for allocating financial assistance.
But NCDP leader Yiannis Vardakastanis, who is blind, warned the new list could create new difficulties for disabled Greeks who are already facing benefit cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
“It’s really not serious to grant Peeping Toms a 20-30 percent disability rate, and 10 percent to diabetics, who have insulin shots four or five times a day,” said Vardakastanis.
Greece has been fighting to avoid bankruptcy since 2009. Public spending on health and welfare programs has been sharply cut under austerity measures imposed as a condition for receiving emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund and other countries using the euro currency, The Associated Press reported.
Later, on January 10, The Associated Press published a correction noting that the addition of groups such as pedophiles and kleptomaniacs to a list of the disabled won’t be used to grant them disability benefits. Their inclusion on the list will not be used to provide benefits.