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The university reform has been adopted despite the protests

28 March 2013 / 22:03:52  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Short clashes between a group of protesters and a detachment of riot forces marked the last student protest against the vote on the plan "Athens" to reform higher education.

Over 5,000 people protested in Athens. Some of the students had come from the countryside, such as a group from Patras.

Traditionally, the members of the student and pupils’ organization of the Communist party MAC held the protest marches first. They held a procession from Syntagma to Omonia square, where they stayed in front of the parliament for more than an hour. The students were shouting slogans and beating drums while the deputies were passing the bill. They gradually withdrew to make room for the students - supporters of left-wing organizations and parties.

They gathered in front of Athens University. They had started with the slogans long before the procession set off to Syntagma through Omonia Square and Stadiou Street.

"Students are not a trade union, they are fighting for public and free education." "Listen well to what students are saying: food, lodgings and free education." "We want jobs, not unemployment. Hands off diplomas," they were rhythmically shouting.

"No student will leave," they warned since the plan "Athens" and the law on higher education, which had been voted in 2011, provide for measures against "eternal" students.

When they reached the street in front of the parliament, they set fire to the flag of united Europe, shouting the slogan: "Mass clashes everywhere, let’s chase away the reformers."

Then, the young people set off to Vassilis Sofias Avenue, which the police had blocked with two buses. The students continued to shout slogans, headed with determination to the riot forces detachments and started hitting the busses with the sticks of the red flags they were carrying.

The police forces repulsed them with a small amount of tear gas. The students stayed there for more than an hour and fiercely shouted slogans, but no other clashes followed.

Then, they withdrew and set off to Athens University. After 6 pm, the traffic on the streets in central Athens resumed.

The plan had been adopted a little earlier after a roll call vote. It allows the creation, mergers, separations, changes of names and the closure of faculties even after the beginning of the academic year.

It also determines the number and manner of admission of prospective students to various departments.

There were also protests in Thessaloniki, which involved students from Serres, Patras and the Polytechnic School in Xanthi.


Tags: SocietyStudents protestsPlan AthensUniversitiesClashes Police
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