School vandalism costs 1 mln

A school complex in Pangrati, eastern Athens, is due to reopen to students today after being ransacked last week, but the bill for repairing the damage could reach 1 million euros, officials revealed yesterday. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis visited the school complex and urged parents in Pangrati to create associations to help teachers «so that we may never witness such scenes again.» Kaklamanis also revealed that the work to repair the damage to the complex, which houses six schools, would cost some 1 million euros and would be met by the Education Ministry. Repairs to the building, classrooms and offices will cost about 400,000 euros. Work to fix the damage done to science laboratories will also cost 400,000 euros. A further 100,000 euros will be spent on cleaning up the schoolyard. It will also cost some 100,000 euros to replace textbooks that were torn apart by the vandals. Kaklamanis said that the City of Athens will investigate why authorities did not intervene to stop the vandalism. «I will look into why nobody intervened as the director told me that the police were notified from day one,» the mayor said. «Some students may have been involved but the majority of offenders have no connection with the school.» Police suspect a group of some 10 vandals took advantage of a student lockout at the complex to run riot. One suspect, who was wanted by authorities for other offenses, has been arrested. Education Minister Evripidis Stylianidis, who said he was «enraged» after visiting the site on Sunday, pledged he would force the culprits to pay for the damage they have caused. It is not known when all the repair work at the school complex will be completed but broken windows have been replaced and the electrical and heating systems have been checked for potential damage. The schools have also been disinfected so that students can return to classes today after more than a week.