Mitsotakis Says He'll End Greek University Asylum Protection

The National Herald

FILE - ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is touring the region of Corinth, Oct. 15, 2018. (Photo by ND Press Office/Dimitris Papamitsos via Eurokinissi)

ATHENS – With a number of Greek university officials saying their campuses are overrun with drug dealers and criminals, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he'd scrap an asylum law that prevents police in most cases from going to the school grounds to chase suspects.

With big leads in polls over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that reinstituted asylum on university grounds, Mitsotakis said if elected he would end the program that critics said is being used by criminal elements to have safe grounds to conduct unlawful activities or hiding after doing so. "We want universities where students and teachers aren't afraid; universities that we are not ashamed of ... I pledge that the no space will be occupied in our public universities. The gangs that that today exist there will be eradicated," in an address to academics in central Athens, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki.

He also promised to establish an evaluation process for higher education institutions and allow universities and other tertiary schools the right to determine how many undergraduates they will accept for admission every year.

Protesters and students at the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and Aristotle University in Thessaloniki meanwhile again demanded the government and law enforcement stop open drug dealing and use on their campuses, where Greece are barred under a sanctuary law.

AUEB officials said they would shut down the school temporarily unless something is done. “Every day we are faced with the sad image of delirious or half-dead addicts sprawled out in the surrounding streets,” the school’s senate said, according to Kathimerini.

“AUEB’s administration has repeatedly appealed to the relevant bodies and the prime minister’s office. Unfortunately, the problem persists and develops but is never solved,” it added.

Aristotle University officials said that, “Drug dealers move freely in the university’s courtyard and sell drugs in full view of passers-by and even university security guards who apparently cannot do anything about it,” and nothing has so far.