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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Status of private universities, funding dominate PM's meeting with rectors
  • [02] Dep. FM outlines eco, developmental diplomacy
  • [03] Athens on results of Montenegro referendum

  • [01] Status of private universities, funding dominate PM's meeting with rectors

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday had a meeting with the rectors of Greek universities, in the presence of Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou and deputy education minister Spyros Taliadouros.

    Athens University Rector Georgios Babiniotis, a noted linguist and also the chief editor of an eponymous dictionary, afterwards said they had asked the prime minister to make universities fully self-governing on an academic, financial and administrative level. Discussions also centred on a revision of the Constitution that will henceforth allow the establishment of non-profit universities that do not belong to the state sector.

    According to Babiniotis, rectors are not against lifting the Constitutional ban on private universities as such but stressed that these must operate on the same high standards as state universities in order to have the same prestige and will not, by themselves, solve the problems that currently assail tertiary education.

    Regarding the asylum status currently enjoyed by Greek universities, Babiniotis said that responsibility will go to the universities, although details were not discussed.

    Finally, talks with the prime minister focused on the issue of funding, with rectors outlining their current problems and what they need. Specifically, they asked for greater autonomy and mechanisms for universities to fund themselves, as well as the use of endowments and special fund-raising accounts.

    "We want the right to handle these with greater freedom and less bureaucracy, and all this was understood," Babiniotis said.

    Caption: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, left, enters a meeting on Monday, May 22, 2006, with the country's university rectors. ANA-MPA photo / P. Saitas.

    [02] Dep. FM outlines eco, developmental diplomacy

    Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis on Monday outlined the role that Greece seeks to undertake through its economic and developmental diplomacy in the Balkan region, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, in addressing the 3rd annual conference organised by the magazine "Diplomacy" on the theme "Security and Defence in the 21st century".

    According to Stylianidis, Athens bases its policies on political, developmental and economic diplomacy, seeking to make utmost use of its advantages to adopt a peacemaking role, since peace could not exist without prosperity and stability, development and democracy.

    Greece offered 0.24 per cent of state revenue, or 464 million, for projects in developing countries, especially those in its immediate neighbourhood, he said. This made Greece the biggest donor to the Balkan region at this time, in addition to a major developmental programme of 500 million in subsidies for Greek and mixed business enterprises investing in Southeastern Europe.

    He also emphasised the strong presence of Greek banking and construction-sector firms in the region and Greek economic activity in Turkey, especially in energy and services, a development that has led to a 40-per cent jump in exports to Turkey this year.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Stylianidis.

    [03] Athens on results of Montenegro referendum

    Commenting on the results of the Montenegro referendum over the weekend, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros on Monday stressed that Greece always did its utmost to maintain a climate of stability, peace and tranquillity in the Balkan region but could not, of course, dictate how a people should express their will.

    Asked whether a Montenegrin vote for independence from Serbia might undermine Balkan stability, Antonaros said there had been several Greek initiatives, including a strong economic presence by Greece in the region, to keep the situation stable.

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