Greek university halts classes to protest over drug use on its doorstep


Classes were called off at Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) on Wednesday in a protest by staff about the increasing number of addicts injecting drugs at its entrance and in surrounding streets.

The university’s senate said conditions around its building in central Athens posed a safety risk to students and staff, calling on state authorities to ensure “the immediate and permanent removal of drug dealers and drug users from the university’s neighboring areas.”

It is a long-standing problem for universities in the Greek capital, including the Polytechnic and the Law School.

Used syringes could be seen lying in undergrowth behind public benches around the Law School on Wednesday, and people said trees and bushes in parks were often used as cover by drug users.

“They don’t bother us but it’s disturbing to watch,” Dimitris Raptis, 18, a first-year law student, told Reuters as he walked past a group of addicts. “We once found a syringe on the street, a student almost stepped on it.”