Students wearing protective face masks hold flags and banners during a a demonstration against government plans to set up a university police, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Athens, Greece, March 10. [Louiza Vradi/Reuters]

Student rallies were held in Greece’s two largest cities on Wednesday morning to protest against a new law reforming education and insufficient measures to protect against the coronavirus in schools.

A policeman lies injured on the road after coming under attack during clashes in Athens after protesters firebombed a police station. [Aggelos Barai/AP]

The center of the Nea Smyrni district in Athens was transformed into a war zone for several hours on Tuesday as groups of hooded men launched attacks on police with firebombs and stones, set fire to dumpsters and went on a vandalism spree.


Students and teachers take part in a rally against education reforms promoted by the conservative government – which, among other things, foresee the presence of police on university campuses – in Athens Thursday. About 4,000 people marched to Syntagma Square, while a smaller gathering took place in the northern port city of Thessaloniki. The rallies were held in defiance of government rules, which came into force Tuesday, that prohibit more than 100 people from gathering at any given time in any private or public setting. The main leftist opposition slammed the ban, designed to preempt super-spreader events, as “arbitrary and undemocratic.” [AP]


The ban by the Hellenic Police on large gatherings of more than 100 people to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus until February 1 was denounced Tuesday in Parliament by opposition parties as an affront to democracy.