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Aristotle University’s rector was accused of initiating strikes

15 November 2012 / 23:11:43  GRReporter
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The rector of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Milopoulos, was charged with initiating and financing  trikes of employees in order to blackmail the Ministry of Education to allocate funds for the university.

The head of the workers’ centre in Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Tsaramboulidis, made the serious allegations during a press conference, stating publicly that the rector in collaboration with the workers’ centre had urged the workers responsible for the cleaning of the university to strike.

"The strikes of the workers responsible for the cleanliness, who have signed temporary contracts, began with the blessings and urge of the rector and the vice-rectors, who wanted to blackmail the Ministry to allocate money. The specific management spent the money of the university and so, the budget was broken in August. When it realized that the ministry was not inclined to grant more money, it changed its tactics and told the employees to stop the strike."

As he stated, the rector Yiannis Milopoulos had made numerous calls to the workers' centre to hold a protest outside the Ministry of Education. "When I told him that this could not happen because the police would meet us and that some of us did not have the financial means to travel to Athens, his answer was, "You are right about the first issue. We will arrange the second one."

According to the allegations, the rector responded to the warning of the intention of the employees to occupy the rectorate building with the phrase, "Well, Panagiotis, have you been waiting for me to tell you this?"

The rector’s reaction was swift. In an angry letter, he accused trade unionists stating that they "serve their policy on the back of ordinary employees, organized strikes and occupations, promised appointments, i.e. they are representatives of the system, which has taken the country to its present condition. Now, they are lying and slandering to justify their inexcusable actions."

Yiannis Milopoulos said that the university had supported the demands of employees with temporary contracts and submitted a concrete proposal to suspend the strike. "But the intransigence and maximization prevailed and the proposal was rejected. Those responsible for this should explain their actions to the employees and the Greek society."

The employees’ strike that lasted for more than two months has led to the formation of mountains of waste across the university area. Indicative of the mood and the organizers of the protests is the fact that students - members of left parties attacked some of the teachers, who had decided to clean up some of the waste that threatened to block the doors of their offices. The left accused them of being strike-breakers and even pasted up mocking posters that presented them as cleaners.

A few months ago, the Greek media spread information that the rector and his colleagues from the university management had spent large amounts for personal needs. According to them, Yiannis Milopoulos paid for the tickets of those invited to the wedding of his secretary in Istanbul with university’s money and his deputy gave an actress an iPhone which he had bought again with official money. The most impressive example indicative of the wastefulness was the repairs of the rector’s lavatory, which cost the university budget 30 thousand euro.



Tags: SocietyAristotle University of ThessalonikiStrikeCleaning workersRector
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