Fifteen Nobel laureates have co-signed a petition urging European authorities as well as the United States to help Greece recover from the financial crisis and return to growth, in an activity initiated by Dr. Harald zur Hausen, who won the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.
In their petition, addressed to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the signatories note that Greece had suffered from a deep, continuous economic crisis which has impacted negatively the lives of Greeks, the country’s infrastructure and its future, as well as its research centers and universities.
“In these difficult times, the people, whose country is the cradle of European culture, should be supported with respect for what they have offered to culture and civilization and for what they can offer with their human potential,” the petition reads.
“The real problem in Greece is not the deficit but the mechanisms of creating deficit and debt. The remedy, obviously, is proper EC policy management, measures and proper use of the excellent human potential working at the Universities and Research Centers of the country,” it continued.
The 25 professors also state that Greeks are hard workers, innovative and creative and that the country possesses strong research institutions and excellent human potential. “It is unfair that the best part of human resources, i.e. the young well-trained people move massively to other countries for a better future, thus strengthening other countries and weakening their own and options foe recovery,” they said.
The letter concludes with a plea to release funds for universities and research institutions noting that austerity has been hard on the citizens and the academia and “cannot lead anywhere.”
“Measures and policies should contain the parameter of development or else they are ineffective, prohibit progress and result in further recession,” the 15 Nobel-prize winners said.
In the letter accompanying the petition to Alternate Minister for Research and Innovation, Costas Fotakis, the distinguished professors say they hope this action will help Greece in the decisions being taken by European leadership and give the country the opportunity to recover. “The excellent human potential of Greece in science and technology can be the catalyst for growth and prosperity,” they note.