Greece's Disabled Want Better Transportation Access, Getting Around

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Greece needs better accesses for people with disabilities and in wheelchairs as many find it difficult to get around, get on ships and use transportation with no way for them to get on safely, the President of Greece’s Union of Municipalities and Communities (KEDE), Giorgos Patoulis said.

He made that plea after a report that a man in a wheelchair was forced to travel in the enclosed car deck of a ship because there was no accessibility to the passenger areas.

“In Greece in 2018 some of our fellow people are still fighting for things that are self-evident,” he said, Kathimerini reported.

“Our country is inhospitable to our fellow citizens because our cities were built without having been designed for structures that would facilitate accessibility for people with disabilities,” he added.

Getting around on sidewalks and into stories is either awkward or impossible in some places, preventing those with disabilities from having access, and there are few handicapped parking spaces and some of those designated as so are often used unlawfully by people without disabilities, including at shopping malls where other drivers want to park in front of stores.

In December of 2016, nearly handicapped people demonstrated in downtown Athens for more rights but the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition has responded with more cuts in health care, including for them and many complain they remain invisible to society and without enough aid.