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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-26

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Seaplane base eyed for Thessaloniki
  • [02] Synaspismos proposes free college admissions

  • [01] Seaplane base eyed for Thessaloniki

    A seaplane base will be constructed in the Thessaloniki port area, while a proposal will be forwarded to the ministries of merchant marine and transport recommending the launching of a seaplane route to and from Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city and historically the most significant metropolis in the Macedonia geographical region.

    The decision was reached during a meeting that Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis had on Monday with Thessaloniki Port Authority S.A. officials and Air Thalassa airline company representatives.

    Caption: A seaplane is shown in the port of Patras, western Greece, on Sunday, April 9, 2006. ANA-MPA / G. Korbaki.

    [02] Synaspismos proposes free college admissions

    The Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) party on Monday unveiled its framework for higher education reform, with the most radical proposal calling for the free admission of all high school graduates into local colleges and universities.

    Synaspismos leader Alekos Alavanos, moreover, reiterated his party's absolute disagreement with the government's recently tabled draft law for higher education reforms, as Synaspismos has mostly spearheaded heated opposition over the past few months to proposed changes in Greece's voluminous but sluggish tertiary education sector.

    Basic conditions for implementing such a prospect, according to Alavanos, include keeping the higher education system exclusively within the state's domain; earmarking 5 percent of GDP for education immediately and then raising the figure to 8 or 9 percent; and, moving beyond just the academic sphere, promoting an "alternative policy that supports the public sector, the social state and full employment".

    Alavanos, whose leftist party controls six seats in the 300-MP Greek Parliament, also proposed that university students enjoy free room and board as well as public transports.

    In line with the proposal for free university access to all high school graduates, he pressed for the abolition of the nationwide entrance examinations along with the 200-point grading system in high schools, opting instead for the one-time elementary school system of "below passing", "passing", "good", "very good" and "excellent".

    Other proposals include abolishing a ceiling on the number of admissions and, by extension, the recently instituted minimum passing grade -- 10 out of a possible 20 (50 percent) for gaining entrance to any higher education institution.

    Caption: A file photo of Synaspismos leader Alekos Alavanos. ANA-MPA photo.

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