NEWS

Ministers, opposition clash over fake degrees

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and government officials argued on Thursday over claims that the coalition is set to allow civil servants who were removed from their positions for having forged degrees to win their jobs back by sitting tests.

Mitsotakis said such a move would be “provocative” to young people and taxpayers. He added that he had a personal interest in the issue as he had tried to draw attention to the issue of civil servants with fake qualifications when he was administrative reform minister.

The current minister, Christoforos Vernardakis, accused Mitsotakis and previous governments of turning a blind eye to the systematic issuing and use of forged degrees when in power.

Education Minister Nikos Filis claimed that the coalition was bound by a law passed in 2007, when ND was in power, to give those caught with fake qualifications the chance to sit exams that could lead to them being reappointed in the public sector.

Filis added, though, that he would be open to the idea of discussing another solution to the problem with Mitsotakis as long as it complies with current legislation.

The minister said the degrees in question were issued by private vocational colleges between 10 and 15 years ago. He also claimed that those colleges were able to operate and issue the fake documents because they had connections to Greece’s two biggest parties at the time, ND and PASOK.

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