Students boxed in by crafty lecturers

The ongoing game of cat and mouse between university teaching staff and students took another twist yesterday as lecturers at the Athens Technical College deployed a fake ballot box in a bid to ensure that elections for a new rector ran smoothly. The trick worked, as students protesting the vote ran off with the bogus box, allowing the elections to be completed peacefully. Voting for rectors at institutions around the country has been repeatedly disrupted over the last two weeks by leftist students protesting the government’s education reforms. Despite the successful conclusion of the vote yesterday, lecturers at Athens Technical College said they would abstain from work until Friday to protest the behavior of some students. The University of Piraeus is expected to hold its elections today despite a threat by a leftist student group, which is not affiliated to any of the parliamentary parties, that it will attempt to disrupt the vote. The head of the National Education Council, Dr Thanos Veremis suggested yesterday that police should be invited onto campuses to ensure elections are carried out without interference. He dismissed fears that this would lead to violent clashes between students and officers. «I did not recommend an invasion by marines,» said Veremis. Education is also expected to be the main topic of debate between party leaders in Parliament today.