Stelios Kympouropoulos, a candidate from New Democracy (ND) for the European Parliament, responded to shocking comments made by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras during Wednesday’s Parliamentary session.
Mr. Kymporopoulos, who is a quadriplegic, said in an interview he was more interested in what he had done so far with his life and that his journey spoke about his character and what he had achieved.
The Greek PM said during his speech in Parliament that the ND candidate was being paraded around like a “decorative plant”, accusing the leader of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis that he was exploiting the physical disability of his candidate to gain support through sympathy.
Mr. Tsipras used the deeply disparaging and shocking remarks, effectively rendering Mr. Kympouropoulos a person stripped of any agency who was unable to defend himself from being exploited.
“As for your loveable candidate Mr. Kympouropoulos, whom I respect and honour him, I have the feeling that you do not respect him enough and you do not honour him Mr Mitsotakis, because you parade him around like a decorative plant right and left and you are showcasing his disability. You are using him as a pre-election prop, that’s what you are doing all these days.”
In his interview on Greek TV, Stelios Kympouropoulos told Ant1’s “Breakfast” show that he would never allow himself to be exploited by anyone.
It is the second time the New Democracy candidate was in the fireline due to his disability after leftist SYRIZA firebrand Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis had attacked him and refused to apologise.