ATHENS – A plan by the New Democracy government to tighten security on university grounds where academics have been attacked and buildings occupied is seeing some professors back away, worrying about reprisals.
Professors are anxious that students and political forces will target them if they go along although a number of them had written to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis demanding protection from incidents of violence that kept up.
The major rival SYRIZA Progressive Alliance, led by former university agitators when they students and is riddled with terrorist and anarchist sympathizers, is fiercely resisting the proposal, as have some university officials.
The opposition and critics said that the schools already have regulations for penalties against perpetrators of crimes and misdemeanors although it’s almost never used out of the same fear of retaliation, said Kathimerini.
Students choking a professor, keeping a rector hostage by bricking up his door while he was in his office or dumping trash in another office, all got away with it because no one wanted to confront them, the paper added.
Professors also say that, without radical changes in the administration, the new setup will be undermined from within.
“It is usually the new professors, fresh from teaching in institutions abroad, who show a zeal to prosecute malefactors without realizing the pushback such a decision would get from student organizations,” an Athens University professor who wasn't named told the paper.