The Romanian parliament earlier this week scrapped plans to purchase the "One Laptop Per Child". The OLPC-laptop is an initiative of Nicolas Negroponte, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The computer uses only Open Source software.
Opposition MPs rejected the plan by the Romanian ministry of Eduction, calling it too expensive. Hotnews.ro, a Romanian news service, has House Commission head Lia Olguta Vasilescu calling the laptops 'simple toys'."We do not want to support this project, there's no money for it."
According to news reports, the parliament balked at the 700 million euro price tag. Comments on the OLPC website say this number is an error. The Romanian plan to purchase the minimum of a million laptops would cost 150 US dollar, about 113 million euro.
The Education Ministry wanted to introduce the laptops running GNU/Linux next school year, starting in September. According to the plan, the laptops would be used by more than a million Romanian schoolkids.
OLPC's Negroponte presented the project to introduce affordable laptops to improve children's education, to Romanian Prime Minister Popescu Tariceanu on March 13. The PM said at the time the plan was useful for education and that the country could afford the purchase.
Negroponte this month also visited the Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The Greek government is also developing plans to introduce the laptops into its schools. Volunteers working on the localisation of the software into Greek presented their work at the beginning of March, at a conference at the University of Macedonia.
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