Protesters interrupt blessing ceremony at University of Athens

Students protesting a government decision to ouster so-called “eternal” students on Monday interrupted the traditional blessing ceremony marking the inauguration of the new academic year at the University of Athens.

The term refers to the thousands of students enrolled at universities across the country who are taking far too long to complete their courses. As a result of reforms passed a few years ago, the names of any students taking longer than 11 years to complete courses that should run to a maximum of five years will be scrubbed from university registers.

On Monday, a group of protesters stormed the hall where the ceremony was taking place carrying banners and shouting slogans against the decision.

Last week a group of about 50 protesters interrupted an address by incoming rector Theodoros Fortsakis as he officially took over from Theodosios Pelegrinis, shouting slogans against the measure as well as the new rector.

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