Athens – Greek researchers have called on members of the international research community to sensitise their governments to the problems in their country’s research landscape. “The orderly execution of the badly needed reforms takes time,” Michalis Haliassos and others said in a open letter. Haliassos is a professor of economics at the University of Frankfurt. Restructuring quickly would be only possible with arbitrary cuts, the researchers added, and could harm the research community in Greece permanently.
“No one doubts comprehensive reforms are necessary in Greece’s research infrastructure,” Haliassos said, but qualified that by saying indiscriminately laying off staff or closing research centres would hamper the long-term recovery of the country’s economy: “International creditors must keep up the pressure for reforms, but they shouldn’t be too impatient regarding the time frame,” he said. “We need to heal the patient – not kill him with an overdose.”
In an op-ed article a few days earlier, Kevin Featherstone – an economist and the first foreign member of the Greek National Council for Research and Technology – said the council is “busy putting in place reforms that will radically alter the research landscape (and)…it is imperative that Greece be afforded the opportunity for an orderly implementation of such measures."