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An update from Kalamarià

ODF_textdocument_48x48George Georgiadis, head of IT at the Greek municipality of Kalamarià, has commented that the almost ubiquitous use of MS Office in the Greek public sector is hindering the adoption of open source alternatives, according to a report on Joinup, the EU’s public sector open source news website.

Kalamarià is drawing to the close of switching all of the council’s 170 desktops to LibreOffice and is one of the few Greek local authorities to have adopted an open source office suite (news passim). Part of the reason is financial: the council cannot afford to renew proprietary software licences and insists on using properly licensed software on its machines.

As regards the ubiquity of MS Office, Georgiadis is planning to contact all public sector organisations that have institutional links to Kalamarià, to explain how their IT choice is limiting technological options of others. “We’re planning to help the Greek Linux User Group in organising a conference on this topic. We would like to invite all municipalities, the regions and the central government and universities, to tell them how useful it is to switch to free and open source,” he said.

Georgiadis and his IT colleagues are ready to help their fellow workers to switch smoothly to LibreOffice, he says. “We’ve made sure that we know how to use it ourselves, so we can teach others.” Kalamarià’s IT department will be using the open source e-learning tool Moodle to provide training and are very enthusiastic about the very good courses available in Greek on Freemoodle for LibreOffice.