Fears of upheaval as hundreds of migrants camp on Thessaloniki campuses

Fears of upheaval as hundreds of migrants camp on Thessaloniki campuses

Police in Thessaloniki fear prompting upheaval if they intervene in an ongoing sitin at the city’s Aristotle University, organized by supporters of the No Border Camp pro-refugee movement, Kathimerini understands.

Police have briefed prosecutors about developments on the campus, where activists have occupied the philosophy and law schools and set up makeshift showers and kitchens, according to sources.

However, they are keen to avoid upheaval, especially as hundreds of migrants from reception centers have been brought onto the premises, Kathimerini understands.

An estimated 1,000 people have arrived on the site since last Friday.

University authorities have expressed concern about the safety of valuable equipment and books on the premises after activists broke into the philosophy faculty on Friday.

On Sunday, activists leased six buses and used them to shuttle hundreds of migrants to the campus from reception centers in the broader region.

Although participants at the sitin have said that the migrants will return to the centers once the event is over, authorities fear that the campus might be transformed into a makeshift camp for migrants and refugees.

Giorgos Kyritsis, the government official responsible for coordinating Greece’s response to the refugee crisis, said he was “not bothered” by the sitin, “as long as it does not disturb the smooth operation of the university.”

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris struck a different tone. “Asylum does not mean lawlessness,” he said.

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