More than 5,000 police officers will be on duty on Saturday and Sunday for events commemorating the 46th anniversary of a student uprising against Greece’s junta amid simmering tensions following a series of raids on squats as well as a standoff earlier this week between police and students at the Athens University of Economics and Business.
The Greek Police (ELAS) has “specially formulated” plans for each university campus and “specific orders and instructions,” Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Eleftherios Oikonomou, a former ELAS chief, told Parliament on Friday.
He said ELAS was in contact with academic authorities at universities to ensure that there are no problems.
The anniversary is traditionally marked by clashes between police and self-styled anarchists. Authorities are particularly wary this year, however, as the so-called asylum law that had banned police from university campuses was abolished by the conservative government in August.
Responding to questions by opposition MPs about whether police would enter campuses, Oikonomou said that there would be interventions in the event punishable offenses are committed, be they the manufacture of firebombs, drug dealing, vandalism or acts of violence.
However, he said that any action by police would be a “measured response.”
Separately, in a letter to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Education Minister Niki Kerameus, students from Athens University Law School have complained about ongoing sit-ins at their faculty by a minority of students.
Describing themselves as the faculty’s “silent majority,” the students asked how long they will have to put up with “illegal and unconstitutional procedures.”