Greece taken to court on opticians’ degrees

The long-simmering fight between Athens and Brussels over Greece’s refusal to recognize degrees awarded by non-state colleges in the country is likely to be settled in the European Court following a decision by the EU Commission yesterday. The Commission said it was taking Greece to court over its failure to recognize degrees awarded to opticians by colleges functioning in the country under franchising deals with universities from other EU member states. For years, Greece has adamantly refused to officially recognize such local departments of EU educational institutions as competent to issue university-level degrees, arguing that tertiary education cannot be treated as a commodity. But the Commission said that Greece’s policy was discriminatory against both graduate opticians and the institutions that awarded them their degrees.