Microsoft contract is sealed

Parliament approved yesterday the cooperation agreement between Greece and the US information technology firm Microsoft Corporation, with votes for the project only from the government’s deputies. Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday branded the agreement «balanced, with significant financial benefits and particularly favorable terms for Greece. It offers Greece important benefits for citizens, particularly pupils and students, small and medium-sized enterprises and the state and forms part of the digital strategy of the government for closer cooperation between the state and companies in the private sector on IT issues.» He placed emphasis on the section of the deal that concerns the creation of a Microsoft Innovation Center in Greece and the foundation of social centers for technology education outside Athens for the development of skills in new technologies. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou responded to accusations from the opposition that the deal is unbalanced, saying that similar strategic deals have also been signed by countries such as Great Britain, Germany and Spain.