May 22, 2024

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“Googie” in Parliament for private universities: 4 parties demand withdrawal of bill – “It creates a state diversion”

“Googie” in Parliament for private universities: 4 parties demand withdrawal of bill – “It creates a state diversion”

Parliament's education affairs committee bled with a “good morning” during the first meeting of the bill to establish private universities as the four opposition parties – following an initiative by Syriza – called for the withdrawal of the draft law. Violation of the Constitution and particularly Article 16.

In particular, the official opposition spokesman Dionysis Kalamatianos started the dance, insisting that “we ask the government to withdraw”, citing the decisions of the Council of Ministers, but “the positions of dozens of constitutional experts” who say that the bill is unconstitutional.

He also pointed out that the bill “distracts the state” and “cannot be passed” as it violates the constitution. At Syriza's request, KKE, New Left and Pleussi Eleftherias argued, while Niki's special buyer clarified that the constitutional objection would be filed in the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, MPs repeated the same argument, something that doesn't happen often and reflects the massive backlash against the bill, with Christos Gella, the head of the commission, saying the commission cannot decide questions of constitutional law.

For his part, the Minister of Education, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, countered that as a result of the draft law, educational opportunities in our country will increase, students will return and Greece will be transformed into a “regional education center”.

Should we regulate the “El Dorado” of private education, he wondered, exercising state sovereignty by regulating an unregulated sector? At that point, Pavlos Polakis interjected and accused the majority and Niki Kerameos personally of abolishing high school education in order to find “customers” for colleges.

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From there, the minister presumably repeated the strong backlash argument that Article 16 was enacted during military rule, but he embellished his distaste, saying the article's validity (under Konstantinos Karamanlis) was entirely different.

He referred to the opinions of constitutional experts Vasilios Skouris, Evangelos Venizelos and Filippos Spyropoulos, citing the bill's provisions as – in his interpretation – safeguards for the way non-state HEIs operate.

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