Article 64 on Abolition of University Asylum Passed in Greek Parliament


(FILE - Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)

ATHENS - Article 64 of the inter-ministerial bill on the abolition of university asylum was passed on Thursday evening by New Democracy and Greek Solution MPs who voted in favor.

Movement For Change (Kinima Allagis-KINAL) voted 'present', while the Greek Communist Party (KKE) voted against the article.

Main opposition party SYRIZA and MeRA25 did not partake in the voting as they has both walked out of the plenary in protest of a last minute addition of two law amendments by Labour Minister Giannis Vroutsis, the first introducing a maximum monthly pension payout cap of 4,608 euros and the second pertaining to workers' firings and compensations.

KINAL, KKE and Greek Solution had also walked out in protest of the Vroutsis amendments but returned during the roll-call. A cornerstone of new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ pledge to end lawlessness - eliminating asylum on Greek college campuses - was set to be voted on by the

Parliament on Aug. 8 in the face of vehement opposition from critics.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that his government wants the universities to become reflection cells and places of creation without fear, addressing the parliament on Wednesday during the debate for the draft law that includes the abolition of the university asylum.

"We do not want police officers in the universities but to kick out the hooded individuals. Those who wear uniforms and the Greek emblem are organs of the democracy and give account to it" he said addressing main opposition SYRIZA deputies underlining that those who wear hoods are serving dark interests.

He said that the bill on the asylum protects the education, the research, the culture and the citizens.

"Abolition of the university asylum means ban on delinquent behaviour inside the universities" said Mitsotakis.

It is wrong for the state to compromise, said Mitsotakis and accused main opposition SYRIZA of showing "tolerance to delinquency".

Tsipras accuses ND of 'ideological obsession' on the university asylum

Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused New Democracy (ND) government of "ideological obsession" on the issue of the university asylum addressing the parliament during the debate of a bill that includes the abolition of the asylum on Thursday.

"Your ideological obsession concerns the Greek public university and whatever this socially, politically and culturally symbolises for our country" he said.

Tsipras said that ND's obsession starts from its inherent aversion to the public and its bias in favour of the private universities and of course its obsession to anything symbolises, at political and ideological level, the public universities in Greece.

Tsipras also accused the government of "extreme-right ideology".