Greece: Violent demonstrations against privatisation of universities

riot police blocking a street in athens

There have been violent clashes between police and protesters at demonstrations calling for an end to the planned reforms of Greek universities.

On Thursday, demonstrations were held against a law privatising Greek universities, university students, university teachers, some school students and zworkers joined a demonstration of 35000 people in Athens. There were clashes in the centre of Athens, outside the parliament buildings where the law was being passed. Running battles were fought in the streets, with police using truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets; with the students responding with molotovs and stones. In all some 61 arrests were made, 12 for assault and GBH and 49 for public order offences.

There is an open file for attempted murder after the guard booths surrounding the tomb of the unknown soldier were set alight using molotovs.

There were smaller demonstrations in the towns of Thessaloniki, Patra, Karditsa and Giannena. These demonstrations also ended with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, although we have no reports of arrests.

Friday morning families, friends and supporters of those arrested arrived en masse at the courts to demand their release. The POSDEP (Greek federation of university teachers and researchers) met on Friday to elect an executive and to decide on proposals for future action.