ATHENS – Amid ferocious protests, Greece’s New Democracy government plans to add another 600 campus cops to 400 already-trained special guards charged with protecting universities they’re not allowed to enter.
In a concession to demonstrating students and academics who don’t want any kind of police force despite incidents of violence, drug-dealing and anarchists occupying buildings, the campus cops will only patrol outside the country’s four major institutions of higher learning.
The new force will be known as the University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI) when they begin duty, although that’s not been said when yet, and as the Citizens’ Protection Ministry is recruiting more, said Kathimerini.
The initial recruits are awaiting a ruling from the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State and turnstiles that will be used to monitor who goes onto campus grounds haven’t been installed in some places, nor have security cameras.
If the extra 600 are not deployed, they will be transferred to departments with staff shortages, said the paper, as are the 400 already trained in other positions waiting to start their jobs.
Students earlier said they would blockade universities against the campus cops, not wanting protection, the government earlier having ended a policy of asylum on campus grounds used by criminals as hide-outs.