Mitsotakis: ‘We will make no concessions on education issues’

Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasised education during the closing address to the party’s 2nd preconference in Patras, saying that ND “does not divide Greeks into left and right, privileged and less privileged.”

Addressing the conference, which focused on young people, ND’s leader referred in detailed to the changes at all levels in education, from preschool to university, that his party plans to make if elected to power.

“We will make no concessions on issues that concern education and that is my personal political promise, that our programme for education will be implemented fully,” he said.

Mitsotakis also insisted that he will not back down on the issue of evaluations in the public sector, while stressing that this will not be “punitive” nor linked to dismissals. “Evaluation will be a mechanism for improving and educating those that do not perform well and a mechanism for rewarding those that excel,” he said.

“There was no doubt that universities need greater autonomy and evaluation, which will be carried out by the best and especially by people that are not part of the system but external evaluators, who come from abroad and offer their services, often for free, to the Greek public education system,” he added, promising to abolish laws passed by the present government.

Along the same lines, Mitsotakis said he would defend university asylum “but asylum with its true meaning, in other words asylum of free expression, protection of free expression and not every unlawful behaviour within the university.”

Regarding the brain drain and the Greek scientists emigrating abroad, he said the only way to bring them back was to create a large number of good jobs through an “explosion of private investments”.