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Riot police clashes with students opposing private universities (videos)

Riot police clashed with students protesting the opening of private universities in Greece. Students, pupils and teachers marched through central Athens on Thursday in another big rally against the privatization of higher education.

The clashes reportedly erupted in the afternoon, when a group of protestors attempted to break through the police cordon and move to the Parliament.

According to Greek Police, protestors attacked police officers with wooden shafts and they responded with the use of tear gas.

Later and when the rally was concluding in Exarchia district of Athens, protesters started throwing objects at the riot police and set garbage bins on fire.

Police detained six people..

Students oppose the establishment of foreign universities branches in Greece fearing the purchase of degrees for those who can afford it as well as the downgrading of education in public universities. They have started protest rallies and occupations of university facilities.

Two days ago and with his usual arrogance against any complaining citizen,
prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis instead of starting a dialogue leading to the problem solution he likened protesting students with “thieves”.

In an interview with Skai FM, the PM first accused deans who “have a responsibility to inform about illegal acts” adding that “a students assembly cannot legalize an occupation which by its very nature as an act is illegal.”

“A students assembly cannot justify an illegal act, it’s like we are here in the studio ten people and let’s democratically decide to go and rob the grocery store next door,” Mitsotakis said.

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3 comments

  1. Whilst I am not familiar enough about new private universities, I do believe that private schools have been the bedrock of education in Greece for years. Without the private frontisteria grind schools where would these students be?

    • Great question! All Greek families that can afford to send their children to private schools do so with absolutely no guilt or concern. Then, many of those same children (now younf adults) get their undergraduate degrees in Greece and then go abroad for a graduate degree. The incredible dysfunction of the state university system is the only reason that this issue of private universities keeps coming up. The state university system is incredibly nepotistic. Qualified faculty can’t get positions because they’re not connected. How is such an obviously corrupt system be allowed to continue? It is a big factor in Greece’s brain-drain.

  2. I read horror stories about the education system in Greece, especially about how rigid and narrow minded it is and about the panhellenic exams which seems almost impossible to pass.
    Sounds like an education system designed by sadists. Which is also the case in Serbia for example. What you get is nervous anxious and depressed stressed out kids.
    It is almost like they don’t want the children to become healthy, self thinking and well balanced adults.