Court rejects university appeal against staff layoffs

A top court on Thursday rejected an appeal by eight universities against a ministerial decision to put 1,349 administrative staff from the institutions into a so-called mobility scheme involving forced transfers and layoffs.

The Council of State rejected the claim by the universities’ managers and staff that the overhaul would leave the institutions unable to function. The ruling was issued a day after it emerged that the government is considering forcing back to work staff of two Athens universities who are in the 10th week of a strike protesting the mobility scheme.

According to sources, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is prepared to issue civil mobilization orders to force staff back to work amid concerns about thousands of students losing the first semester of the academic year.