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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-09-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New school year starts Wednesday, as teachers are set to strike

  • [01] New school year starts Wednesday, as teachers are set to strike

    ANA-MPA -- The new schoolyear opened officially on Wednesday with the traditional blessing ceremony as teachers from primary to high education level declared a series of long-term strikes to protest budget cuts and staff transfers in education.

    Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos, who visited several Athens' schools, expressed the wish for a good academic year with schools remaining open.

    However, next week several schools will be closed after the federation of public high school teachers decided to hold five-day rolling strikes. Teachers in private schools will strike on 16 and 17 September, while the primary school teachers will decide what to do by Wednesday. Teachers are protesting against the reserve labour measures and staff shortages, claiming that this school year will start with 16,000 teachers fewer than last year.

    Government Vice President Evangelos Venizelos met with the board of the Schoolteachers' Federation (DOE). After the meeting he said that they discussed the huge problems that exist in the education but that the most important issue is that the schools remain open. "We can discuss everything else with good will and find solutions despite the strict fiscal framework," he stressed.

    Moreover, Venizelos underlined the importance of all-day schools, special schools for children with disabilities and the normal operation of the public educational system which is a fundamental good for the society and is not negotiable.

    On his part, the president of DOE Haralambos Kokkinos said that the union will decide by Thursday what their stance will be but clarified "the certainty is that there will be strikes and other mobilisations that will highlight the issues that are bothering us."

    Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, who is currently in the city of Thessaloniki, visited an elementary school and gave his wishes to the pupils and the teachers for the new school year. Addressing the pupils' parents, Kammenos wished them courage to support their children because education is a nation's foundation.

    "Keep your head high and don't allow to anyone to treat you as second-rate citizens, study and keep your soul's eyes open," said Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas, who visited the technical lyceum of Petroupolis on Wednesday.

    Koutsoumbas said that KKE will do whatever possible and will offer its resources to the people's benefit, adding that the despair and indignation the populace feel are justified.

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