Coalition passes controversial education bill


Lawmakers from the ruling leftist SYRIZA party and their coalition partners Independent Greeks (ANEL) have passed a controversial bill aimed at overhauling Greek universities and technical colleges.

The vote was conducted by roll call in Parliament Wednesday following a request by main New Democracy opposition that has fought the reforms saying they will plunge universities into the past.

Breaking ranks with the coalition, ANEL MP Dimitris Kammenos, who was recently appointed deputy speaker of the House, voted against Article 3 of the bill which essentially reinstates an asylum law scrapped by the previous conservative administration.

The new measures are designed to strengthen the role of students in the management of universities while making it more difficult for police to enter university grounds. Another provision foresees 40 percent of students enrolled in postgraduate programs being exempt from having to pay university and college fees.