Austerity plans push universities to point of collapse

After the University of Athens announced it could no longer function because of lay-offs demanded by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, universities in Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina and Crete have followed suit. All say that cuts in administrative staff, including guards and archivists, have made it impossible to keep their doors open, writes Helena Smith for the Guardian.

Greece is under pressure to streamline its bloated public sector by relocating 25,000 civil servants into a strategic reserve or mobility scheme on reduced pay by the end of the year. Those who cannot find jobs in other government departments will be culled.

In a letter to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the president of the Federation of University Teachers, Stathis Efstathopoulos, wrote: "With great angst we have ascertained that with the government's decision to place specialist and much valued administrative staff into the mobility scheme our universities are at risk of collapse. Even if we accept that we have a surplus of personnel we cannot, from one day to the next, operate with 40% less staff."
Full report on the Guardian site