"It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone, particularly in economics". John Maynard Keynes (1936, The General Theory).

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lawsuit (& complaint to the Eur. Commission) against the Ministry of Education for the programme "Herakleitos II"

On Thursday, October 6th 2011, I filed a lawsuit in front of the Athens Administrative Court against the Ministry of Education regarding part of the funding approved for my research project "Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece", asking for the amount they refuse to pay for the time period since 1-6-2009 until August 2010, i.e. almost half of the scholarship from the funding programme titled “Heracleitos II - Enhancing human research personnel through performance of PhD research”.

The story is as follows: in March 2009 I submitted a proposal...

for research funding from the “Heracleitos II” which is co-funded by the European Social Fund. The announcement of the results was supposed to be delayed for some months, but it finally took 1,5 years to be done. The partial results came out in autumn and winter 2010 (!) and the official results on January 13th 2011!

The most interesting issue, of course, was not so much the delay of results but the decision of the then Deputy Minister Mr. I. Panaretos to adopt a Minister’s Act determining that the opening of financing of the projects will start from September 1st 2010 rather than May 2009 as previously announced in the call for proposals. In fact, this decision was a service to doctoral candidates who with bad or good reasons (i.e. a lack of economic ability or because of inability to borrow), had delayed the implementation of the research tasks according to schedule already submitted with the funding proposals. At the same time, however, students who had worked according to the time schedule (because if they got the scholarship, they would have to submit deliverables, i.e. summaries, reports, etc. to receive funding) had been found in a gap ... of law and financing, as the Ministry denied (with no reason!) that they are eligible to receive funding for the research work they have done since May 2009.

Please, note that the Ministry delayed the announcement of the results without discharging the student researchers from their duties, i.e. students regardless of (not) receiving any funding, had to keep up with their research schedules!

In endless telephone conversations with various and different officers of the Ministry, I did not receive any specific response and ultimately in my correspondence with the Ministry of Education, they simply replied negatively without justifying their refusal.

Except that there have not been left for me but the official channels to complain and ask actually for my compensation for the work already done, I have also three questions to resolve:
A) Why are they punishing those who have worked properly and in compliance with their obligations for 2,5 years?
B) Where will the money go, if they do not give this to me at all?
C) Who is managing during the last 3 years those funds, which bank accounts are they in and who is receiving interest from public (Greek and European) money?

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