The leadership of a high-level council of rectors and the Federation of University Lecturers and Researchers (POSDEP) have approved the government’s intention to abolish the so-called university asylum law – which bans police from entering campuses – after a series of meetings with new Education Minister Niki Kerameus.
The meetings were held ahead of Friday’s visit to the ministry by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who is expected to announce the launch of legislative procedures to scrap the university asylum, whose original purpose was to protect freedom of speech.
Speaking to Kathimerini, University of Crete Rector Odysseas Zoras said that “the asylum no longer protects freedom of speech, on the contrary, it impedes it.”
The asylum law has for years come under fire, as it has been abused by self-style anarchists, students and others who would seek refuge from authorities and occupy university grounds after fighting pitched battles with riot police on the streets.
However, not everyone is on board with plans to abolish the law, as several academics and deans are expected to raise objections.
In a statement, Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) said that “what is missing from higher education is not riot squads and law enforcement on campus,” but adequate financing for maintenance purpose and to protect premises.
Students linked to far-left groups are also reportedly planning to resist the measure’s abolition.