Greek Parliament Approves Founding of Private Universities

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In a historic vote, the Greek parliament passed a bill allowing for the establishment of private universities on Friday night. The legislation, titled "Reinforcing State Universities - Framework for the operation of non-profit branches of foreign universities," was approved by the ruling New Democracy party (ND).

The bill passed with 159 votes in favor, all from ND and one independent MP.

Opposition parties unanimously rejected the measure after a three-day debate that saw Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tout the legislation as a "radical change in education." Opponents, however, expressed concerns that private universities would threaten the viability of Greece's public universities.

This vote marks a significant shift in Greek higher education policy. Previously, the constitution prohibited the creation of private universities. The new framework paves the way for the establishment of non-profit branches of foreign universities within Greece.

The bill was violently opposed by students who clashed with Greek riot police ahead of the parliamentary vote on the private education bill.

Police used tear gas and batons to push back the students, who responded by hurling stones and Molotov cocktails. At least eight people were injured and nine were arrested during the clashes.

 

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