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More Greek Students Giving Up School Occupation Protests

ATHENS – Most Greek students are giving up school occupations that were protests demanding better protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues such as Greece buying fighter jets from France.

The number of sit-ins around the country has fallen from a reported high of 770 to about 200, said Kathimerini, those still occupying schools changing their focus to complaints about shortages of teachers.

Some teachers have backed the demonstrations to voice their objections to plans by the New Democracy government to evaluate them on their performance, which they are fiercely resisting.

While the sit-ins are waning, some students said they will go ahead with a plan to march outside the Education Ministry on Oct. 9, supported by the secondary school teachers union OLME.

The teachers don't want to follow orders from the ministry to mark absent those students who are still occupying schools and not going to class as the government has not moved to end the sit-ins with force.

The edict came from Education Minister Niki Kerameus as the government said the occupations were staged by leftist rivals.

Pupils at occupied schools will have to take makeup classes for the studies they missed, including on holidays and weekends, Kerameus said.

“Every position has the right to be aired, but dialogue happens with schools open,” she said, with no backlash after her declaration.

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