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Testing times

Winners of EU funds may think they are safe from the effects of the financial crisis, but there are no guarantees. Laura Greenhalgh spoke to a researcher at the University of Athens, where strikes by administrative staff have caused a two-month shutdown.

“Since the end of September, there has been no access to any part of the university campus,” Yannis Ioannidis, a principal investigator in informatics and telecommunications at the University of Athens, explains. “Actions such as audits and reports, which require physical copies or work from administrative people, cannot be done.”

Ioannidis, who is involved in 15 EU-funded projects, says the closure is not only causing significant problems for his team but for international partners too. “If we don’t have an audit report, we can’t send it to the European Commission—so the Commission doesn’t pay anyone in the consortium,” he says. “After all, those are the rules of Framework 7.”

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