In first round, doctors lose second state job

With the hearing on the more crucial matter of a new law forcing university doctors to choose between private practice or state employment pending, a high court has upheld an older ban on the same category of doctors holding a second public-sector job. In a decision made public yesterday, the Council of State found that Stylianos Rokkas, an associate professor at Athens University, had not been unfairly dismissed from his academic post in 1999 on account of his second job in the National Health System (ESY). The court decided that the constitutional principle that no civil servant should hold two public sector jobs applies to university staff as well. Meanwhile, on January 31 the court is due to hear an appeal by university doctors sacked from ESY after refusing to relinquish their private practice. A controversial new law makes them choose between private and state work. In the small town of Matejce, ethnically mixed before the war, about 3,000 ethnic Albanians have returned to their homes, while about 1,000 of its prewar Slav-Macedonian residents are still afraid of returning to what is a mostly ethnic Albanian-populated area.

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