Warning that a government bill that would make it very difficult for private school owners to sack teachers bodes ill for the entire private business sector, school-owners and industrialists yesterday appealed to Education Minister Petros Efthymiou to reconsider. In partial response, during yesterday’s third and last day of debate on the bill by the parliamentary committee on educational affairs, Efthymiou backed down on a single point. Instead of leaving the final decision of whether school-owners should be allowed to sack teachers to a five-member committee – in which teachers’ union representatives were the majority – it will now be up to a three-member committee made up of representatives from the ministry, teachers unions and school-owners associations. But owners will still be able to sack no more than one teacher a year. This was welcomed as a «step forward» by school owners association president Thanassis Zachopoulos. But he added that it was not enough. He said that the minister should not forbid sackings, although he could set a reasonable limit on them. Speaking at a press conference also attended by the chairman of the Federation of Greek Industries, Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, Zachopoulos said the bill, if eventually passed by Parliament’s plenary session, would radically lower teaching standards and force many private schools to close.Kyriakopoulos said the bill would have a deleterious effect on competitiveness. The army will still be based on conscription, but obligatory military service will be reduced from 18 to 12 months. Over the next few days, legal procedures by Super Sport against Alpha Digital for the broadcasting rights to the matches of several other clubs, namely PAOK, Panionios, Panachaiki, and Ethnikos Asteras, are expected to begin.