NEWS

Immigrants leave Athens Law School

The undocumented migrants who had been occupying Athens University?s Law School as part of their protest about Greece?s immigration policy left the building in the early hours of Friday morning and were escorted to another location in the city center.

In a bizarre twist, the 237 migrants are now being housed in the former home of late opera singer Maria Callas, according to Skai Radio. It is believed the owner of the neoclassical building?s reluctance for his property to be used was one of the stumbling blocks during lengthy negotiations between authorities and the immigrants.

University, judicial and government officials began talks with the migrants and their supporters, which include student and leftist groups as well as migrant rights organizations on Thursday evening after Athens University?s rector, Theodosis Pelegrinis, asked a prosecutor to temporarily lift the asylum law that prevents police from entering any institution?s campus.

Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis paid tribute to Athens University representatives for their part in ending the standoff, which PASOK clamed on leftist groups. ?The university authorities helped ensure that the aims of those who want to create a source of conflict in our country failed.?

Most of the migrants, who started their protest on Monday, left the Law School building at 3.20 a.m. and walked to the new location, which is located on the corner of Patission and Ipeirou streets. Some of the protestors had to be taken to the house by car as they were weak from the hunger strike they began on Tuesday.

The economic immigrants have said they will only consume water and sugar during their protest, which is designed to pressure the government into granting them residence permits. Supporters said that the protest will also highlight the failings of Greece?s immigration policy and force the government to review its position on the issue.

The owner of the building the migrants have moved to has reportedly agreed for them to stay there for two weeks only. According to Skai Radio, Athens University is footing the bill for renting the building but other reports said the Migrants? Forum has agreed to pay.