NEWS

Woman writes to PM calling for meritocracy after daughter passed up for job

A woman whose daughter was deprived of a job in the civil service to make way for other candidates with forged degrees has sent a letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calling on him to “finally restore conditions of meritocracy and transparency.”

Olga Athanasiou, a cleaning lady, said her daughter had applied for a position at the Agricultural Bank of Greece and a state-run technical chamber over a decade ago, but had been rejected, even though she graduated from high school with the prerequisite grades needed to make the short list of candidates eligible for a job in the public sector.

In the letter – also signed by Michalis Kouroutos, the head of the Federation of Private School Teachers (OIELE) – Tsipras is urged to see to it that “our young have equal opportunities in education and the workplace, regardless of the school they went to and their socioeconomic background.”

Athanasiou’s daughter is among many people who have suffered the consequences of a decades-long problem whereby people holding forged degrees from private technical schools have been hired as civil servants, allegedly in collusion with teachers and parents.

Even though legislation has been passed over the years to tackle the problem, critics say it has not abated.

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