A protest in downtown Athens after noon-time on Thursday disrupted the city center, as student groups, educators’ unions and party-affiliated groupings expressed opposition to the Greek government’s draft law allowing recognition of non-state, non-profit universities operating in Greece.
Students were joined by some universities professors, who declared a 24-hour strike for Thursday, as well as the country’s civil servants’ confederation (ADEDY).
The coordinating body of student organizations made an announcement calling on the academic community, along with pupils and teachers of primary and secondary education in a “joint battle” against the government’s attempt to present them as “criminals”, as they claim, for their opposition to the proposed legal reform in the higher education sector.
— Mpetelem (@mpetelem) February 8, 2024
The student group has threatened to escalate the fight in the event the bill goes to vote.
Meanwhile, reports at ToVima cite more than 250 universities departments as currently occupied, which has affected operations including the current end-of-semester exam period.
Some of the institutions in greater Athens that are occupied include: the Athens University of Economics; the National Technical University of Athens; Panteion University; Athens School of Philosophy; the University of Athens Schools of Sciences, School of Education, Faculty of Art, and Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences; the University of Piraeus; the University of West Attica, the Agricultural University and other universities throughout the country.
As a result of the protests, the main avenue in front of the University of Athens’ administrative building (Propylea) was closed at press time, with the protest rally winding its way towards Parliament.