Greece invokes price controls against schools for foreigners
Greece's Socialist government has announced it will enforce controls on tuition fees of private schools for foreign pupils. The recent action will ''effectively prevent the three major English-speaking schools in Greece from future operation,'' according to John Kidner, headmaster of the Tasis Hellenic International School.
Mr. Kidner said government officials ''have made no secret of the fact that they disapprove of private schools in Greece.'' More than 3,000 students attend the three schools - the Americian Community Schools, the Campion School, and Tasis. Most are children of foreign businessmen, diplomats, and American servicemen.
The government first imposed price controls on private education in 1976. Since then, the international schools have been taken to court for not complying.
A number of foreign children of Greek ancestry and a few Greek citizens - who must have special permission from the Ministry of Education - also attend these schools. The parents of some 20 of these pupils have brought pressure on the government to control tuition fees.
Although the government granted the schools an exemption from price controls in 1983, it reversed this decision at the end of last year. The schools now face tuition cuts of up to 30 to 40 percent.
A parents' meeting at Tasis in January voted 306 to 13 to approve the current level of tuition. The government, which had encouraged the vote, denounced the result as contrary to the spirit of price controls. Many parents have warned they would leave the country if the level of education at the schools were reduced.
In February, the government ordered a Tasis teacher fired for allegedly assigning students ''anti-Greek'' work - an essay describing the Turkish invasion of Cyprus from the Turkish point of view.