A government campaign to overhaul the administration of Greece’s higher education system suffered a heavy setback this weekend as university rectors said they were rejecting every single proposal put forward by the Education Ministry. Speaking after a marathon 10-hour meeting on Saturday between university rectors and senior administrative officials in Lavrio, a port town southeast of Athens, Ioannis Pallikaris, rector at the University of Crete, said, «The conditions for a proper discussion do not exist.» His comments were seen as a response to recent allegations of nepotism in staff hirings by Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Panaretos. The Socialist minister has also threatened to turn off the funding tap to institutions that fail to provide requested feedback. Pallikaris warned on Saturday that the government’s stance could result in turmoil. A statement released after the meeting, which took place as hundreds of students outside protested the proposed reforms, said that any changes must be aimed at ensuring full independence, unobstructed state funding and free education for all.