The Greek parliament adopted a bill on Thursday evening creating a special police force in the universities, despite the many sometimes violent demonstrations by students who have opposed it for a month.
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MPs from the right-wing New Democracy government majority and those from the nationalist party Elliniki Lyssi voted in favor of this bill, a total of 166 MPs against 132 from the opposition who voted no.
During the debate, a thousand people, according to the police, demonstrated in front of the parliament against the measure, calling it “undemocratic”.
“It is not the police who enter universities, but democracy,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised to the Assembly. It is “a way to close the door to violence and open the way to freedom,” he added.
In Thessaloniki, incidents took place between protesters and the police, according to the Greek News Agency, Ana.
On Wednesday, 5,000 people marched in Athens in the largest demonstration in recent weeks, which was punctuated by incidents.
The police used tear gas and arrested 24 people charged with “possession and use of explosives”, according to a judicial source. Three police officers were hospitalized, according to the authorities, while the organizers deplored four injured.
The deputies of the opposition parties, from the center left Kinal to the left Syriza and the communist party KKE, voted against the bill, believing that the police in the universities would go against the European principle of self-management of these institutions and criticizing the government’s “security” turn of the screw.
According to the new law, this police force of a thousand people, in special clothes and without firearms, but equipped with batons and anesthetic gases, will carry out patrols in the universities.
As in several European countries, universities in Greece are self-managed and the police were previously only allowed to intervene at the request of the rectorate.
Universities are often the scene of violence: the photo of the attack last October of the rector of the University of Economics in Athens by a group of young people, who had made him wear a sign around his neck indicating “Solidarity with the occupations “, Had toured social networks and shocked public opinion.
But the establishment of a university police is a delicate subject in Greece since the bloody repression on November 17, 1973 by the army and the police of a student movement at the Polytechnic of Athens against the junta of colonels. .