Gov’t puts its foot down over uni violence

Gov’t puts its foot down over uni violence

As part of the effort to crack down on the chronic violence that has plagued Greek universities, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a series of measures on Monday for the protection of both staff and students as well as campuses.

These measures foresee the establishment of university police, the installation of cameras and an entrance card for universities, as well as harsher penalties for offenders.

“After the punishment of Golden Dawn, the time has come to face the other side of the parastate, the one that this time wears a left-wing mask,” Mitsotakis said addressing a teleconference with university rectors. “Fascism may change colors, but it has the same substance,” he added.

The campus policing body will have special training, will be based in universities and will prevent criminal behavior on the grounds. When required, it will seek the assistance of the Hellenic Police (ELAS).

Kathimerini understands that the force will have pre-investigative duties, meaning its officers will be able to file cases if crimes are committed. It has not been clarified whether they will be a part of ELAS or the administrations of the universities, as well as whether they will be armed or not. 

The government’s response came in the wake of the latest attack last Thursday by self-styled anarchists who entered the office of the rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business, smashing everything in sight and hanging a sign round his neck with a slogan.

SYRIZA’s shadow education minister Nikos Filis took issue with the PM’s comments, which he said seek to equate the Left with fascism and accused him of sowing division in society.

“The prime minister turned back the clock of history to division in order to mislead society, to hide the government’s responsibilities for the financial and health management of the pandemic,” he said.

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