Greek universities go bankrupt

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THE Deans of Greek Universities and Technical Colleges are to take the Bank of Greece to court accusing the Bank of investing the universities’ funds into Greek State Bonds, without informing the universities, which were then restructured (‘haircut’) by 54 per cent. The universities say that their funds have lost over 68 per cent of their value.

Greek colleges closed on Thursday and Friday in protest.

The President of the Athens Technical College D. Ninos accused the Bank of Greece of turning their cash assets into Greek State Bonds just three days before their ‘haircut’ two weeks ago.

It is estimated that colleges have lost some 150 million Euros due to the ‘haircut’. If no solution is found, Ninos stated, then the Athens College will shut down ‘indefinitely’.

Ninos also pointed out that the colleges’ budgets have been reduced this year by 50 per cent as compared to 2009.

The Council of the Deans of Greek Universities say that the Bank of Greece’s actions are ‘arbitrary’ and demand the immediate return of what they have lost. But the Bank of Greece say that their actions were lawful according to a 1997 Law.

Professors at the Law School of Athens University and of the Athens Polytechnic have also launched yet another protest against Greek police for allowing scores of illegal drugs dealers to openly operate next to the Law School and the Polytechnic. The Professors say that this gives an impression to the public that universities are places of drugs’ usage and hotbeds of unlawfulness.

In an effort to calm down the universities and colleges, the Greek Education Minister Yiorghos Babiniotis stated on Wednesday that the government have decided to ‘disconnect’ the Education Law from the state funding to universities and colleges. Due to tremendous opposition by university professors, staff and students, the government have failed for a year to implement the reactionary Education Law voted in the Vouli (Greek parliament) last summer. The government had insisted that unless universities and colleges accept the Law, there will be no funds available to them.

But the Greek state bonds’ “haircut” has sent universities and colleges to the wall and the Minister is trying to but some time especially since a general election is due at the end of April.