Minister will not yield on reforms

The government will implement the extensive reforms proposed for Greece’s education system despite protests by teachers, professors and university students, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou said in an interview with Kathimerini’s Sunday edition. As university professors and students consider resuming the protests they staged in the capital this spring, primary school teachers today will enter their third week of strike action and will be joined by high school teachers. The teachers’ demands center around pay raises; they are insisting on nearly 50 percent increase in salaries for new educators. University professors and students, meanwhile, are protesting government-imposed changed on higher education, including a performance assessment for universities and their faculties, a cap to the number of years students can be registered before graduating and the prospect of non-profit, private-sector higher education establishments competing with existing state universities. Giannakou says she will continue to talk with professors’ representatives. However, she is adamant about three points: the need for universities to be more self-reliant and accountable, an end to «eternal students,» and the participation of all students in elections for university administrators.