A total of 51 individuals, three in Athens and 49 in Thessaloniki, were arrested over the past two days in separate police raids at the University of Athens’ Zografou dormitory and the Aristotle University, respectively.

The twin police raids on university premises, which a few years ago would have been an extremely rare occurrence, came after a barrage of fire-bombings of vehicles and property adjacent to the Zografou campus in east Athens by masked individuals that exited the latter.

The move more-or-less signals a crackdown on so-called “anti-state” groupings and self-styled “anarchist collectives” that use university premises as a base from which to store materials and launch attacks. In previous years law enforcement authorities avoided entering university premises due to a strict “asylum” law in place for higher education campuses.

The trio of arrested individuals at the Zografou dormitory, according to state broadcaster ERT, included a female Swedish national, an Argentine man travelling with an Italian passport and a local man. Police said none of the three had any affiliation with the university, with an investigation underway as to how they ended up lodging in the students’ dormitory.

The 49 suspects – 30 men and 19 women – in Thessaloniki face a charge of grave interruption of legal public entity (a university in this case) and 48 face a charge disobedience for refusing to give fingerprints.

During the Thessaloniki operation, police said they discovered clubs, flares, sledge hammers, flash-bang grenades and numerous helmets.

The “get tough” pivot by Greek authorities, coming after this past week’s street vandalism in Zografou, was even cited by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who issued a statement noting that “…We won’t allow so-called parties on university campuses to evolve into festivals of blind violence and destruction.” He also cited what he called “isolated minorities” who engage in illegal occupations and vandalism.