Wikileaks: Η αμερικανική πρεσβεία ζητούσε την προστασία των Θάνου Βερέμη και Θεόδωρου Κουλουμπή.


2/9/2011 20:07
H αμερικανική πρεσβεία ζητούσε την προστασία της ανωνυμίας των αντιπροέδρων του ΕΛΙΑΜΕΠ Θάνου Βερέμη και Θεόδωρου Κουλουμπή, για τις πληροφορίες και εκτιμήσεις που έκαναν σχετικά με την αποτυχία ιδιωτικοποιήσης των πανεπιστημίων. Η πρεσβεία χαρακτήριζε την ιδιωτικοποιήση ζήτημα ιδιαίτερης σημασίας για τα αμερικανικά συμφέροντα.
http://bit.ly/o7p03X


GOVERNMENT CAVES TO STUDENT PROTESTS, POSTPONES

UNCLAS ATHENS 001556

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV, SCUL, PREL, GR
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT CAVES TO STUDENT PROTESTS, POSTPONES
PROPOSED UNIVERSITY REFORMS

REF: ATHENS 01507

This message is Sensitive but Unclassified, please handle
accordingly.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In the face of continuing, mass student
protests and demonstrations, Education Minister Yiannakou
announced on June 13 that she would postpone submitting the
draft bill on education reforms during the summer parliament
recess as originally planned (Ref A). Sources told us the
Prime Minister ordered the retreat to prevent the throngs of
summer tourists from witnessing destructive demonstrations
in central Athens. Protests have lasted for over a month
and gained momentum during the past week.
General feeling is that the postponement is a political
defeat for the ruling New Democracy party, and the future of
necessary university reforms – especially the acceptance of
private, non-profit institutions, a key interest of ours —
is now uncertain. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Greek Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou
announced on June 13 that she would not submit the
university reform bill to the summer parliament session as
she originally pledged, but would defer until the plenary
session beginning in October. In her announcement,
Yiannakou characterized the delay as necessary in order to
have additional dialogue with the university community “for
as long as necessary to arrive at the broadest possible
consensus.” The postponement was a reversal of statements
she made as late as June 12, in which she was determined to
introduce the proposed reforms to Parliament. (The reforms
had been discussed in principle for a year with the National
Committee on Education, and Yiannakou has stressed that
Greece should be harmonized with EU education directives by
2010, otherwise Greek university degrees run the risk of not
being recognized within the EU.) Protests and ongoing
university sit-ins continued even after the Minister’s
announcement, and on June 15 storefronts in central Athens
were again smashed and firebombed by a small number of
anarchists during an otherwise peaceable demonstration by
several thousand students. The next student protest is
planned for June 22.

3. (U) It is generally accepted that comprehensive reforms
of Greek higher education are long overdue. Proposed
changes would be two-dimensional, involving a) the
deregulation of higher education to allow and recognize
private, non-profit universities; and b) administrative
changes in the operation of existing universities that would
make them more manageable, efficient and quality based, but
would conflict with many vested interests. The two reforms
complement each other but the former requires a
constitutional amendment (that would not be ratified until
the next Parliament, if passed) while the latter, also known
as “the education framework law,” could be applied as soon
as it was passed by the current Parliament. Although
parliamentary debate this summer would have inevitably
involved discussion of the university deregulation issue,
the actual vote would have been on “the education framework
law.” Demonstrators seemed to confuse the two, perhaps on
purpose, linking the unpopular possibility of recognition of
private, non-profit institutions to the question of internal
reform within Greek universities.

4. (U) Press reports reflect this confusion of issues among
protesters and generally characterize the postponement as a
defeat for the GoG, and particularly for Minister Yiannakou
who has gone on record strongly advocating education reform.
Media also focus on how the decision caused tension within
the government as several ministers, notably Defense
Minister Meimarakis and Environment and Public Works
Minister Souflias, did not agree with the postponement.
Elite dailies To Vima (opposition) and Kathimerini
(generally pro-GoG) also speculate that the GoG decided on
postponement to avoid extreme student reaction of the kind
that broke out in France a few months ago that could
potentially disrupt Greece’s tourist season.

5. (SBU) Close Ministry of Education contacts Professors
Thanos Veremis, Head of the National Council on Education
(protect), and Ted Couloumbis, Director of ELIAMEP
(protect), Greece’s foremost think tank, agree that press
reports of the controversy are generally accurate and
confirm that the decision was the Prime Minister’s. Veremis
expressed strong disappointment over the postponement,
noting that the timeframe for real reform is now extremely
vague and that the GoG has lost face, credibility and
momentum. Couloumbis opined that the maneuver reflects the
ruling New Democracy party’s desire to maintain its edge
over the opposition PASOK party, whose leadership first

expressed doubts about the current path of reform following
the demonstrations. Couloumbis also said he believed the
GoG’s postponement was a petty political maneuver geared
towards upcoming municipal and prefectural elections.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: The government’s postponement in the
face of student protests is disappointing to us: a number
of U.S.-based private, non-profit universities operating
here would benefit from these reforms. While we are still
hopeful that the constitutional amendment to allow private
universities will pass by 2009, we are less confident of it.
Many forward-looking, frustrated academics also tell us that
without these reforms, the country’s under-competitive
universities will lag even further behind international
standards. Despite Yiannakou’s inability to forestall the
protests or cool tensions once they started, her cabinet
position does not seem to be in danger.

thepressproject.gr

Καταχωρίσθηκε στὴν κατηγορία Άρθρα. Φυλάξτε τὸν μόνιμο σύνδεσμο στὰ ἀγαπημένα σας.

Μία ἀπάντηση στὸ Wikileaks: Η αμερικανική πρεσβεία ζητούσε την προστασία των Θάνου Βερέμη και Θεόδωρου Κουλουμπή.

  1. Ὁ/ἡ Μ.Ρ. γράφει:

    O Ser vasilios exi dikaio……..

    Μοῦ ἀρέσει

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