Students rally over reforms

Rallies by students protesting university reforms are expected to cause traffic disruptions in central Athens and Thessaloniki at around noon today. The atmosphere is not as highly charged as it was this time last year when students and professors staged weeks of rallies and hundreds of university sit-ins in protest at the reforms that foresee stricter administration of state universities and the creation of private universities. Still there was some unrest yesterday as the elections of university rectors got under way. Students staged sit-ins at faculties of Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens, and at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, the University of Thessaly and the Technical University of Crete. At a faculty in Hania, Crete, students broke into the hall where rector elections were being held and disrupted the proceedings. There are fears that similar disruptions may mar rector’s elections scheduled to take place at the technical colleges of Athens and Piraeus tomorrow.