Patra University Rector Venetsana Kyriazopoulou on Thursday condemned the violent interruption of a meeting of department chiefs earlier in the day.
Kyriazopoulou said that around 150 students were invited into the meeting, which was the first of the academic year for the recently appointed rector, to discuss their concerns and grievances, before proceedings were hijacked by a smaller group.
“Some 30 people stayed back after the students departed and verbally attacked the rector and the [department] presidents in an effort to prevent the briefing and the meeting of the council that was scheduled for today,” Kyriazopoulou said, adding that the protesters “violently prevented” the academics from leaving the hall.
Such incidents, the rector added in her announcement, “do not contribute to constructive dialogue… and ultimately do not lead to solutions for the problems of the academic community as a whole.”
The incident comes just a few days after a professor at Athens’s Panteion University was targeted by anti-establishment protesters who pasted dozens of posters around the Athens neighborhoods of Koukaki and Exarchia with a photograph of the academic, accusing him of being a “fascist.” The smear campaign is thought to have been triggered by the upcoming trial of a student sued by Professor Angelos Syrigos over a physical assault earlier this year.
Last month, some 35 anti-establishment protesters barged into an events hall in the northwestern city of Ioannina where Syrigos was speaking and started smashing microphones and other equipment.