Enforce asylum law, says minister

Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos yesterday fueled the debate about the university asylum law by appearing to suggest that the police, and the ministry responsible for overseeing the force, are not enforcing current legislation properly. Discussion about whether the asylum law, which prevents police from entering university grounds unless invited to do so by the rector or if a criminal act is being carried out, should be changed was ignited by Friday’s raid by hooded youths in Kolonaki, central Athens. It was reported that many of the vandals prepared for the attack on university grounds. While saying that he was open to discussing possible amendments to the law as part of the education reform debate that started recently, Spiliotopoulos suggested that existing legislation was comprehensive enough. «Our aim is to safeguard asylum so that it protects ideas, their free movement, teaching and research,» said the minister. «Beyond that, it is clear that the law which does this already exists. «Many times, this law is not enforced but that does not mean that now is the time to look into who is responsible for this.» Spiliotopoulos was responding to questions about a recent comment by Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannnakis, who is responsible for public order matters, with which he suggested that political consensus is needed for the law to be enforced. Spiliotopoulos also suggested that a solution to the universities in central Athens becoming breeding grounds for violence is to relocate them. He said the buildings of the National Technical University of Athens, also known as the Polytechnic, could be turned into a museum of national resistance.

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