University standoff intensifies
University teaching staff and students are stepping up their campaign against government plans to introduce non-state universities by staging sit-in protests across the country, and threatening to postpone the June examination period. The general secretary of the Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP), Ioannis Maistros, told Kathimerini that 22 teachers’ unions have voted in favor of strike action. Meanwhile, students have started sit-in protests at 182 university faculties and departments across the country as a means of saying «no» to private universities. Additionally, some 60 tertiary technical colleges (TEI) have also been affected by the students that have taken over campus buildings. Ministry sources said that it is likely that the June examination period for universities will be pushed back to September. Alekos Alavanos, the chairman of Synaspismos Left Coalition, yesterday called on the government to hold a referendum on whether private tertiary institutions should be recognized by the government.