Further tension builds up at universities

There was another day of tension at Greek universities on Tuesday, with a senior academic resigning in Thessaloniki and students disrupting a senate meeting in the northern city.

The vice rector at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Yiannis Tzifopoulos, resigned after an older TV interview of his was posted online. In the footage, Tzifopoulos argued that university authorities should take a harder line.

“I am afraid unless those of us in power become more fascist-like, the Greeks will not change,” he said. “If you misbehave you should get a slap as happens in Germany, Australia, Canada and all the serious countries in the world.”

Tzifopoulos argued that the clips uploaded onto the Internet removed the context from his comments during the interview.

The vice rector’s resignation, though, did not dampen the reactions. A group of students interrupted a teleconference of university senate members and prevented them from continuing their discussion.

The unrest came a day after students at the University of Athens dumped trash on vice rector Antonis Kalokairinos’s desk in protest at measures recently introduced by rector Theodoros Fortsakis. The incident was recorded and uploaded onto the Internet.

Reacting to the students’ actions at Athens University, Education Minister Andreas Loverdos suggested on Tuesday that the institution’s authorities should take legal action against those involved.

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