ND softens stance on universities

In an effort to dissipate opposition to its university reforms, the government indicated yesterday that it would consider changes to its recently unveiled bill, while also hinting at further reforms in the future. «The government began this process with a good disposition, with a dialogue that produced results, and I am sure the education minister will act along these lines during the remaining parliamentary procedure,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos when asked if the ruling conservatives will make any changes to the bill. This response is seen as a move to make the government appear more flexible to students and teachers who oppose the bill. Roussopoulos also indicated that the government intends to change university entrance rules. «Universities, not the state, should set the number of students they accept in each department,» he told journalists. It is thought Roussopoulos made this claim in a bid to undermine PASOK on the same day that the Socialist party’s leader, George Papandreou, presented some counterproposals to the bill.