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Justice to investigate allegations of nepotism in Athens university dept

Δημοσίευση 2 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:19 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Justice to investigate allegations  of nepotism in Athens university dept
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The head of the Athens First-Instance Prosecutors Eleni Raikou on Wednesday assigned a public prosecutor to investigate allegations of rampant nepotism in Greek university depart-ments, as reported by Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Panaretos.

The head of the Athens First-Instance Prosecutors Eleni Raikou on Wednesday assigned a public prosecutor to investigate allegations of rampant nepotism in Greek university depart-ments, as reported by Deputy Education Minister Yiannis Panaretos.

Panaretos had earlier written a letter to the public prosecutors' office concerning the department of Social Theology at Athens University, after a formal internal inquiry showed that several members of its staff were relatives by blood or marriage and a number of irregularities in the way the department was run. In his letter to judicial officials, Panaretos apparently referred to "illegalities of an unprecedented extent".

These prompted Panaretos to send a letter to Athens University asking that the entire department be scrapped through a merger with the existing theology department.

Since last September the ministry has asked universities throughout the country to supply information on appointments considered suspect and several such academic appointments or promotions within universities have been cancelled or suspended.

The public prosecutor's investigation is to focus on offences such as breach of duty and providing false accreditation and locating those responsible.

The minister's move has been strongly criticised by the Athens University's senate, however, which opposed abolition of the department and accused him of "heavy-handed interference" in university affairs and self-administration. According to the senate, the minister's letter contained "unacceptable generalisations" that sought to influence public opinion and create the impression that the entire social theology department and the university were corrupt, untransparent and socially indifferent.

The proposal to abolish the specific department has also been opposed by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, in a letter sent to Panaretos and Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou.

The Archbishop stressed the need to examine the issue carefully so as not to harm the departments undergraduate and post-graduate students.