NEWS

Prosecutor investigates sit-ins

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a preliminary investigation into how almost 600 high schools around the country have been occupied by pupils, as the government pledged that all the lost teaching hours would be made up as soon as the protests come to an end.

Prosecutor Yiannis Tentes instructed judicial authorities to investigate whether the pupils conducting the sit-in protests were committing any crimes, such as destruction of property or theft, or whether their parents were guilty of any offenses, such as neglecting a minor. There have also been reports of adults occupying some schools. One school reportedly suffered 100,000 euros? worth of damage.

Chief Athens prosecutor Eleni Raikou also asked police to check if any crimes that justified the immediate arrest of perpetrators were being carried out at the schools which are under occupation.

The Education Ministry said that some 580 junior and senior high schools have been shut due to protests against the lack of textbooks and the general lack of investment in secondary education.

The government believes that some of the students are being encouraged to protest by political groups and Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou on Thursday criticized Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras for not speaking out against the sit-ins after he met with representatives of the Secondary School Teachers? Federation (OLME).

Tsipras denounced the government?s education policy and called for Diamantopoulou to resign.

?The problems in education will not be solved through closed schools or occupied schools that have been vandalized but we did not hear anything about that from SYRIZA,? said Diamantopoulou.

She pledged that the teaching hours being lost due to the sit-ins would be recovered by canceling school excursions and bringing pupils in for lessons on Saturdays. ?The school term will also be lengthened if necessary,? added the education minister.