Greek Prosecutor Probes Drug Dealing at Thessaloniki University

THESSALONIKI – Already the scene of violence and squatters trying to occupy spaces in buildings, the troubled Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece’s second-largest city is also the focus of reported drug dealing.

The prosecutor’s office ordered an investigation into reports that dealers are operating freely on the grounds, as reported by a local website, school officials not doing anything about it.

Earlier in January, University students of the United Independent Left Movement on Monday occupied the administration building, protesting an Education Ministry bill over protection of academic freedom.

That came after an earlier protest march by 1,500 far-left activists turned violent when some demonstrators threw firebombs and rocks at riot police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

Police prevented the marchers from reaching their intended destination, the campus of the school and 30 were detained, of whom 27 will face charges, police said.

The march was the culmination of a week of protests over the New Year’s Eve eviction of activists who had occupied a room at the university’s biology department for 34 years.

The occupation did not disturb the department’s functioning and the room had become an activity hub. The department decided it needed the room to expand its library and police broke through a locked door into the room, which was empty at the time.

In response to violence at a number of major universities, the New Democracy government will put some 400 unarmed campus police on their grounds and limit access, an idea drawing fierce opposition.


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