Trying to save costs where possible, the administration of the Greek city of Kalamarià is switching to the free and open source office suite LibreOffice, the Greek Linux User Group reports in a press release published last Friday. The volunteer organisation is calling for an alliance, to pool the expertise of Greek public administrations, research institutes and the country's open source advocacy groups.
Greece's public sector will benefit greatly from such an cooperation, the group expects. It will also help to develop a Greek software industry.
Kalamarià is the second Greek city administration in the so-called Thessaloniki Urban Area to move to LibreOffice. The neighbouring municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis began a similar office suite migration in March. "That city is perfectly happy with LibreOffice", says Greeklug vice-president Kostas Mousafiris. "The IT department of Kalamarià is well-aware of the possibilities, being no strangers to open source themselves."
Greeklug is providing assistance to both municipalities. "We're helping out where we can", says Mousafiris. "For instance, we pointed the IT department to LibreOffice training material that is already available online."
Including the police
The city administration of Kalamarià will install LibreOffice on all of its 170 desktop PCs. On 70 of these PCs the ubiquitous proprietary office suite will remain installed as well. Greeklug estimates that the city this way immediately saves 85,000 euro, that it would otherwise have been forced to spend on proprietary software licences and on new computer hardware.
LibreOffice is already the default office suite on 110 PCs in the town hall. Here the office suite is used for city administrative tasks, human resource, the finance department, city planning, city works and by the municipal police, Greeklug reports.
LibreOffice is also installed on the 15 PCs in the office of Kedka, an organisation providing local municipal services. "Three of these are now running Xubuntu Linux desktop software distribution."
According to the Greeklug, there are still 45 PCs to go, including those at the Historical Archive, the tourist office and the Kalemkeris photo museum.