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Nobel Prize Winners Petition for Greece

Nobel Prize

International Nobel laureates are calling on European and US authorities to step in and take hands-on initiatives, such as releasing funds for research and education, which will contribute to Greece’s recovery and return to development.

Stressing Greece’s role as the birthplace of democracy and human ideals, 15 Nobel Prize winners as well as distinguished academics headed by Dr Harald zur Hausen are urging European and American decision-makers in a petition to take action now.

In the petition, the prominent intellectuals have also counterposed media stereotypes of “lazy Greeks” by referring to “the excellent human potential” working in country’s universities and research centers”, and adding that “Greeks are hard workers, innovative and creative”.

Dr Harald zur Hausen

Dr Harald zur Hausen

“Greece is in the midst of a prolonged and deep economic recession that has already changed dramatically the lives of its citizens and threatens the very existence of its structures necessary for future recovery. To regain its forward momentum, keep alive its competitive institutions, and implement its huge reform agenda, Greece needs our help. We are confident that Greece, which has contributed enormously to European culture, can do what is called for to create a brighter future,” states Dr zur Hausen, who received the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.

“To succeed in this difficult task, special emphasis should be given among other things to science and technology, areas in which Greece possesses particularly strong institutions and human potential. By utilizing existing structural funds, and by promoting close cooperation between major European science and technology centres and existing Greek clusters of excellence, Greece can be enabled to sustain its scientific structures, build up its own technological future, and secure a competitive economy in the long run.”

The petition is addressed to European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and an accompanying letter has been sent to Greece’s Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation, Costas Fotakis.

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