NEWS

Rectors arrive at asylum consensus

Rectors attending a summit on Saturday chaired by Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou agreed that the university asylum law preventing police from entering campuses should not be abolished but effectively enforced, as the minister called for a tally of all institutions currently under partial occupation by students or self-styled anarchists. «We reached a general consensus to work together, with specific initiatives, to ensure that the ideal of safeguarding university asylum becomes a reality,» Diamantopoulou said. These initiatives include determining which areas should be protected by the asylum law and which should not. «Sidewalks and roads do not fall within the remit of the law,» the minister said. Diamantopoulou said she also wants a list to be drawn up of all campuses, or sections of campuses, currently under occupation. «It is unacceptable for public areas to be under occupation by individuals,» she said. Rectors will be asked to monitor faculty buildings more carefully and, if they feel it is necessary, introduce security-boosting measures such as the employment of guards outside campus gates or the issuing of identity cards to students. Diamantopoulou said that she wanted student unions involved in debate about the new proposed measures. «I would like to make a public appeal to students to express their opinions,» the minister said, noting «an absence of dialogue in this whole debate about universities and asylum.» Diamantopoulou said that it would be a debate among academics, students and the government that would result in changes to the enforcement of the asylum law, not the activities of «thugs and criminals» – a clear reference to the self-styled anarchists who broke into university buildings and attacked academics last weekend.