Rallies in Greece as Universities' strike continues

Thursday, June 15, 2006

University students continue their opposition to a new law, proposed by the Greek government, through organizing new rallies in Athens and Thessaloniki as well as through the persistent occupancy of many departments in the two biggest Universities of Greece, the University of Athens and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Students are opposing the law—proposed by the Minister of Education Marietta Yannakou—which has to do with the foundation of private universities in Greece as well as other aspects of the academic organization.

The strike of the students has been backed by the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE), the Synaspismos and KKE-Communist parties, as well as by various Professors who oppose the specific governmental law. Today, students organize demonstrations in the two biggest cities of Greece. More specifically, students and University professors have gathered at Propylea in central Athens and march towards the Ministry of Education while in Thessalonika the demonstration has been focused outside the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace.

During the previous week and more specifically during the demonstrations of last Thursday, the rallies had resulted to fights between anarchists and police in the centre of Athens; for that the Minister of Public Order had been accused for the violence that police forces exercised. However Greek police officials answered that anarchists who took part in the rallies caused heavy damages and provoked the police forces. Yesterday, a specific statement by Thanos Veremis, professor and Ministry of Education official, in which he characterized the protesters as roughs and eternal students(sic), caused much of irritation and agitation within the university students' movement.