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live Tensions and clashes between students and police shortly before 17 November

13 November 2014 / 11:11:58  GRReporter
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Tensions and clashes at the Law School of the University of Athens were reported after a group of students tried to force their way through the police chain to occupy the building. Until then, all their attempts had been thwarted although there had been clashes. To repel the students, the police used small quantities of tear gas. One student was slightly wounded in the face.

The riot police forces are ordered to not allow the students to reach the entrance of the school. The protesters, in turn, have gathered on the walkway that leads to the university, chanting protest slogans.

The riot police forces were deployed outside the school and the rector’s office of the University of Athens last night at the request of Rector Theodoros Fortsakis. The university leadership is concerned that shortly before the 41st anniversary of the events at the Polytechnic School in Athens groups of students may attempt to "conquer" some of the faculties.

There is strong police presence around other universities in central Athens too, including the University of Economics on Patission Street. Meanwhile, a message calling for the holding of a protest rally at 08:00 am today has appeared on the website associated with the Greek anarchist circles. By decision of the leadership, the central building of the University of Economics will be closed from today until 18 November.

In a statement on the events, government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepsi pointed out, "Let all who believe that they can apply the law of the jungle to universities understand the following: schools are not places of occupation."

For his part, SYRIZA MP Alexis Mitropoulos called "to not add fuel to the fire" and invited the members of the rector’s office of the University of Athens to speak with the students to achieve "an atmosphere of understanding."

Later, tensions transferred to the parliamentary banks. "You will understand that there are laws and the rule of law. What you were used to is over. When someone breaks the law he or she will be subject to a check," said Minister of Justice Haralambos Athanasiou.

His reaction was provoked by SYRIZA MP Theodoros Droutsas, who accused the government of taking strict measures against the protesting students. "This is an unacceptable strengthening of authoritarianism on education. The government has chosen to solve the problems in education through the riot forces," he said.

New Democracy MP Kostas Markopoulos replied, "You are with those who are out, we are with those who are inside. You are with terrorism, occupiers and lawlessness," and provoked strong reactions from SYRIZA MPs.

Tags: SocietyLaw SchoolStudentsProtestsOccupation17 November
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