THESSALONIKI – Riot police had to be called in to repel anarchists protesting that a hangout room they created at the University of Thessaloniki was being turned into a library, taking it away from them after 30 years.
Anarchists have regularly taken over university buildings in Greece for decades, with school officials looking the other way at the seizure and destruction of school property in fear of tangling with them and their supporters among students.
The New Democracy government has become the first to try to regain control of school grounds, ending a policy of asylum that saw criminals flee onto campuses to avoid police, and unarmed campus police will be deployed at major schools.
The protesters were upset at losing their free living space that had been carved out more than three decades earlier under generations of lenient governments and school authorities but now are being taken on.
The space they took over was taken apart by police in a raid in December, 2021 and the move, coupled with adding 400 security guard police squads has drawn fire from students and even from some academics although professors had been attacked too.