The rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) has admitted that the campus is being used by peddlers in counterfeit goods, and especially cigarettes, and that this has been going on for at least a decade.
“Illegal commerce in the broader vicinity of the university is a decade-old problems,” Emmanouil Giakoumakis told Kathimerini, adding that there is little university authorities can do to crack down on the phenomenon.
“The people who are responsible for quashing this activity are the same people whose job it is to crack down on illegal trade, and not the university authorities,” Giakoumakis said. “I cannot confirm what is being peddled illegally because this not in my purview.”
The majority of peddlers have their stands set up right outside the walls of the AUEB on busy Patission Street in downtown Athens, which allows them to duck into the campus for cover in the event of a police raid. Law enforcement officers are prohibited from entering university grounds unless invited in by the campus authorities by a law passed in July and revoking the abolition of asylum in 2011.
However, one eyewitness told Skai TV earlier this week that one of the lecture theaters at the AEUB is being used as an outlet for contraband cigarettes and other goods.
Similar complaints have been reported from Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, which also faces a burgeoning drug problem that has resulted in at least two deaths on campus this year.