In a European Parliament debate on the Ebola crisis last night, GUE/NGL MEPs called for health and economic aid for countries hit by the virus and for more resources for health care systems both in these countries and in EU member states dealing with victims.

“The case of the Spanish nurse in Madrid some weeks ago highlights the political negligence of the Spanish government in dealing with the crisis,” said MEP Lola Sanchez Caldentey. “We deplore a lack of resources and preparedness for this and the cuts in the past five years that have led to organisational chaos, putting millions of people in danger. Will some kind of investigation be carried out to pinpoint some political responsibility in this area?”

GUE/NGL MEP Lidia Senra Rodriguez commented: “To combat Ebola, it is not enough to have medicines, we also need to combat the causes that create vulnerability, such as unemployment, which affects some 80% of people in these countries, as well as famine. The solution is not just about giving money to the pharmaceutical industry in western countries but providing help to the affected countries that need health workers and other measures.”

“We are talking about a disease that doctors have known about for decades and we don't even have a preventive vaccination or any kind of treatment,” added MEP Czech Jiří Maštálka. “But we can't avoid the fact that the main reason the disease is spreading are the catastrophic life conditions in these countries, where there is no such thing as a health care system. This epidemic is a stress test for our health care and early warning systems as well as our solidarity. I hope we do not fail.”

The GUE/NGL group is made up of 52 MEPs from across Europe working for peace, solidarity, social justice, equality, democracy and human rights in Europe and beyond. It is the only gender balanced group in the European Parliament.

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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