“I believe with all my being that this bill will increase educational opportunities in Greece and its social mobility”emphasized the Minister of Education, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, in his intervention, during the elaboration of the articles of the bill on non-state universities by the Educational Affairs Committee of the Parliament.

“I put my signature wide and look you in the eye saying that the country will become better” with this initiative of ours, said Mr. Pierrakakis about the bill entitled “Strengthening the Public University – Framework for the operation of non-profit branches of foreign universities”. After repeating that of the 205 articles of the bill, 176 pertain to the public university and that these should receive cross-party support, since they are proposals of the university community, he spoke of hypocrisy on the part of the opposition, as under the SYRIZA government, the tuition fees in postgraduate programs “rocketed”. “Woe to you, hypocrites of the Pharisees! Did you cut tuition? No,” said Mr. Pierrakakis.

“For thirty years, ND has been trying to bring private universities to the country and always talked about revising article 16. It had never been invoked […] that there is also European law” noted the SYRIZA-PS rapporteur D. Kalamatianos.

“Nothing has changed. Our Constitution is the same, the provisions of article 16 are from 1975, when Konstantinos Karamanlis and K. Tsatsos instituted this Constitution. Nothing has changed, not even in the European legislation or in the country’s obligations in relation to the European Union,” remarked Mr. Kalamatianos. He even claimed that what the ND is saying now, late, invoking a circumvention of the Constitution, is saying it to serve, “obviously, private interests”.

The rapporteur of PASOK-Movement for Change, Stefanos Parastatides said that the government pretends to seek consent, while actually torpedoing her. Specifically, he said the government is cramming into the bill a chapter it knows is a cause of conflict, along with provisions for the public university, instead of bringing in two separate bills: “You don’t believe in dialogue, you don’t believe in consents, you don’t believe in independent authorities, you don’t believe in the Constitution. But you believe in the god of self-interest, not the national one” said Mr. Parastatides.

“Our position starts from the position that the establishment of private universities on the one hand, and the privatization of the public university on the other, are two sides of the same coini.e. the university of the market”said the KKE shopper, Aphrodite Ctena. As he noted, the Communist Party represents the great social majority which, for two months, has been demonstrating against the establishment and operation of private universities, with or without constitutional revision, against the imposition of tuition fees in any course of study, against the many and different forms of business activity in public university.

The buyer of the New Left, Meropi Tzouffi said that the bill is rejected by the majority of society, is rejected by the entire university community and students. He even emphasized that the government’s only companions are SEV and the Central Union of Chambers of Greece, “carriers and devotees of neoliberalism, the free market and the privatization of everything”.

In his intervention, the head of “Niki” KO, N. Natsios, referred to the government’s argument that the bill will stop student immigration saying: “It doesn’t bother you that hundreds of schools in Epirus are closing and you took the pain of student immigration… Now you make us the student fathers… Say clearly that you are looking for customers for education entrepreneurs and shed crocodile tears for the flight of young people abroad”said Mr. Natsios.

The buyer of the “Spartiatons” club, Io. Kontis, said that the Constitution was written by wise men, but it is addressed to the common man of the people and it must be understandable, and not need interpretations, such as those attempted by the government with article 16.

Question of unconstitutionality re-raised by the buyer of the Greek solution, K. Boubasemphasizing that education should not be the privilege of the few.

We vote against any privatization of higher educationsaid her buyer Plefsis Eleftherias, Sp. Bibilas.