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Society

Greece Starts Recruiting for New University Security Forces

ATHENS – A contentious plan to set up security teams on Greek university grounds that had seen a number of incidents of violence and criminals using them as bases is going ahead with recruiting members, who will not be armed.

The special police force of some 1,000 guards was created by the New Democracy government over the objection of political rivals, students and some university officials although others on campuses asked for them.

Opponents of the plan say that it threatens academic freedoms established after the end of the 1967-1974 military dictatorship although the government had also ended asylum on university grounds that was reinstituted by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that's riddled with anarchist and terrorist sympathizers and has a hard core who were student agitators themselves.

The government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the plan will boost  security and combat vandalism on campuses and use the special guards to patrol to keep out troublemakers, said Kathimerini in January.

Access to campuses would be limited to keep out those who aren’t students or staff but the plan drew a mixed response, some academics wanting an end to violence and others not wanting government or police involvement.

University sit-ins, flyposting in the campus and disruptions of senate meetings by students will lead to disciplinary action,  said the business newspaper Naftemporiki at the time.

The bill described the discipline as being applied to “the deliberate obstruction of the proper functioning of the institution, including its educational, research or administrative operation as well as the operation of its single-member and collective bodies and services, as well as the uninterrupted use of facilities and equipment.”

Another provision also bans the use of indoor or outdoor areas, facilities, infrastructure and equipment of the university without the permission of university officials, who had regularly let students do what they want and occupy areas.

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