Wednesday, March 30, 2011

School closures spark protests across Greece

Educators and pupils today took part in the latest of a series of demonstrations against plans by Greek minister for education Anna Diamantopoulou to close or merge 1953 high schools nationwide. Despite claims that the shake up in secondary education is being carried out for educational reasons trade unionists say that the cutbacks are part of a wider plan to bring down Greece's public spending bill.

In the northern port city of Thessaloniki 1,500 people took part in a march to protest the changes which are part of a wider shake up in the country's educational system. However, many teachers voiced their doubts over whether such changes can bring about an improvement in Greece's economic performance which has been in freefall since the imposition of austerity measures by the nation's creditors in 2010.

With unemployment set to reach record post war levels this year, government coffers empty and GDP down 6.6% many teachers and other civil service employees believe that that the current reforms have less to do with with upgrading the school system than balancing the books.


Jim Gourley said...

I hope this doesn't precipitate a series of strikes. We were going to come to Greece in 2009, but changed our plans when Athens had riots. I've just bought my ticket for the end of April, and I'm hoping that thing stay calm. It's a bit selfish, I know, since the student/education strike sounds quite legitimate.

teacher dude said...

Your main worry as a visitor will be if the air traffic controllers go on strike. See here for a list of upcoming strikes in Greece.