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Politics

After Reform Bill OK’d, New Democracy Targets Campus Violence

February 14, 2021

ATHENS – A multi-faceted education bill setting higher standards for Greek universities, approved by the Parliament over the objection of critics, will seen campus police-style security forces instituted.

The aim, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told Kathimerini in an interview, is to try to stop crime on campus grounds and assaults against academics, such as that against a University of Athens rector.

The school official was attacked by self-styled anarchists who supported squatters being driven out of buildings by police under the New Democracy government and had a sign hung around his neck showing their cause.

It was posted on social media in an embarrassing moment for the school and government that had vowed to crack down on trouble at universities that had been tolerated by the previous ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.

The mission of the new police force to serve on university campuses will be to avoid the “humiliation” of any more rectors, said Chrysochoidis. “The issue is not just to investigate crimes. Our goal is to prevent them,” he said.

He said the campus security forces that will be in place will coordinate with Greek police and intervene to protect staff and students but that school officials will still have the right to let students occupy rooms and buildings without punishment.

The officers though can act on their own if they see a crime such as drug dealing that has been prevalent on the school grounds around the country and can detain a suspect if it's needed.

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