The Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) will symbolically shut down Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in protest at what it describes as authorities’ indifference over the increasing number of drug addicts finding refuge on its premises.
In a petition Tuesday, the AUEB’s senate said the growing number of addicts, some of them aggressive, on university grounds pose a threat to students and staff, and are creating a health hazard.
“Drug addicts come as a rule from the [neighboring] Pedion tou Areos park and enter [the university] unimpeded and inject drugs in toilets, corridors, stairwells and even in teaching areas,” the petition said, adding that nothing has been done despite repeated calls to relevant authorities.
For his part, the university’s dean Emmanuel Giakoumakis told Kathimerini that Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis, Attica Regional Governor Rena Dourou, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos and Education Minister Costas Gavroglou have all been informed about the deteriorating situation, but to no avail.
He added that apart from the damage to the university’s academic image, the dismal conditions are also making students reluctant to attend classes.
“There is an intense feeling of insecurity,” said Giakoumakis.
A number of professors also told Kathimerini that addicts are regularly found in an unconscious state while the university grounds often serve as a convenient outdoor toilet.