Even as the Greek Teachers' Federation warns that some schools may have to close due to lack of heating oil, regional mayors in western Macedonia have stated 300 schools will remain closed after the Christmas break.
Municipal mayors in western Macedonia have stated schools will remain padlocked on January 7, the date children are due to return to school. Ta Nea reported a statement was issued saying: "We will not allow our children to die from the cold."
The government has failed to release funds needed to operate schools, with the budget slashed from €110 million to €80 million. This has left many schools unable to purchase heating oil. Ekathimerini reported the Teachers’ Federation (DOE) released a statement saying: "Many schools are facing serious problems with heating oil supplies and it won’t be long before they will have to suspend classes because of the cold weather."
The government's decision to equalize the price of heating oil and diesel has resulted in a price rise of 48 percent, with 42 percent of the price comprising taxes.
As families struggle to heat their homes due to the high price of heating oil and electric, children are just as likely to shiver at home as at school. The transition of many households to wood burning stoves and fireplace to save on heating costs has led to the Ministry of the Environment asking for a cap to put on the amount of firewood that can be logged. To Vima reported the request came in an effort to preserve forests. Proposals include limiting the amount of firewood households may receive.