Diane Dodds MEP Non-attached Member of the European Parliament
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Mr President, this evening I want to place on record my ongoing support for the victims and survivors of the thalidomide tragedy, for whom the absence of truth, justice and compensation continues to overshadow their everyday lives. Over five decades on, the pain, suffering and trauma caused by the effect of this drug for pregnant women remains as salient as ever.

Today we fight for those who live with the consequences. But we also think of those who were robbed of a chance to live full and free lives. Reports such as ‘Securing our Future’ in the UK evidenced the financial cost of living with thalidomide and, after much lobbying, our national government makes a contribution by a health grant in lieu of its role in this scandal. However, the United Kingdom was not the only guilty party. It is high time that the German Government took it upon itself to address its moral responsibilities to thalidomide survivors right across Europe: in Sweden, in the United Kingdom, in Spain and in Italy.

Let us get real: the estimated cost of between EUR 18 million and EUR 25 million is not a lot to one of Europe’s major powers, but it would mean everything to these survivors and their families. I trust that this debate will send a powerful message to the German Government that this issue and this brave band of individuals is not going away.


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