ND turns its attention to education

The new education minister, Aris Spiliotopoulos, is due to meet Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today for the pair’s first in-depth talks about how to deal with the unrest in the secondary and tertiary education sectors, as university students decide whether to continue their sit-in protests. Following the shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos by a police officer on December 6, thousands of high school pupils and university students have used protests to draw attention to shortcomings in the education system and their opposition to the government’s reforms. Spiliotopoulos, who at 42, like his predecessor Evripidis Stylianidis, is seen as young enough to connect with Greece’s youth, has let it be known through his aides that he is open to dialogue with students in a bid to resolve many outstanding issues plaguing education. But it seems the new minister will get no grace period as leftist students have organized another protest in Athens on Thursday, starting in front of Athens University at noon. Student groups will also begin meeting today to discuss whether to continue their occupation of universities, which could jeopardize the whole term as the law allows no more than two weeks of classes to be missed.

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