ND sees political bias in history textbook

A new modern history school textbook that has already offended Cypriot sensibilities by unfavourably comparing the island’s EOKA resistance movement with Third World anti-colonial movements prompted a lively debate in Parliament yesterday between the government and opposition MPs. Responding to accusations by conservative New Democracy’s Ioannis Varvitsiotis that the third-year senior high school book was politically slanted, Deputy Education Minister Nikos Gesoulis admitted that he had not read the book. «But it was written and judged by academics,» he said. «Half the academic team belonged to ND-affiliated unions.» Varvitsiotis claimed the book, which will be sent to schools in September, leaves out important facts regarding ND founder Constantine Karamanlis’s achievements, and has a left-wing bias toward the 1821 Greek War of Independence and the World War II resistance movement. Simitis’s call, however, will most probably fall on deaf ears. While the party barons are conscious of the threat of PASOK’s political humiliation and will strive to avert such a prospect, they are not willing to give up their personal ambitions for the succession, which surface ever more clearly as time goes by.