The Association of Scientific Book Publishers decided to suspend the distribution of scholarly books to university students for the 2017-2018 academic due to the delay of payment from the Education Ministry.
Each year, scholarly books and textbooks are given to higher education students for free, and the publishers get paid by the education ministry. The decision to stop the distribution was taken after an unusual meeting on Wednesday. An association member said that the stoppage of distribution of scientific books was inevitable because, “The Ministry of Education has unprecedentedly delayed the fulfillment of its financial obligations.”
According to the association, the ministry’s financial services are currently looking into payment of invoices for the spring semester of the academic year 2015-16. “It is easy for everyone to understand the plight of the industry,” the association member said, describing the decision as “the most difficult and tough decision ever taken by the industry.”
The association member said that there were payment delays in the past as well. However, this time, the scholarly book sector cannot endure the cost since it is facing cuts in orders that have reached 55% and on top of that, payments are further delayed. As a result, he said, the sector is suffocating.
The industry member called on Education Minister Costas Gavroglou, to find a solution immediately, “so that even at the last hour, the industry can get out of the financial stalemate and meet the high demands of the beginning of the new academic year.”