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Society

Athens University Rector Says Vandals, Thugs Operating With Impunity

ATHENS – Vandals and thugs keep taking over university grounds in Greece because it's been tolerated by successive governments doing nothing about it, Andreas Boudouvis, Rector of the National Technical University of Athens said.

The school had been known as the Athens Polytechnic and a famed center of resistance to the 1967-74 rule of the military junta and Colonels brought down after students kicked off a rebellion.

But Boudouvis, in an interview with Kathimerini, pointed to vandals recently using hammers and spray paint to desecrate buildings and getting away with even though the New Democracy government, which ended asylum on university grounds, said it wouldn't tolerate such acts.

“In no other country in the world do universities suffer from similar, often recurring situations,” he said, adding that it happens because of “a peculiar regime of tolerance of extreme delinquency, manifested in universities on the part of the state, which has lasted for decades in our country.”

He said it was unfortunate that, “We find it difficult to draw a clear line between academic freedom and its protection from its blatant violation,” with students regularly taking over classrooms and university grounds and buildings and refusing to go to class while demanding more freedoms.

The former Ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, ousted in July 7, 2019 snap elections by New Democracy, had even implicitly condoned the acts, many of the party's hard core cutting their teeth as students doing the same.

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