Pushing for lifting of asylum (translation)

από nystagmenos 22/12/2008 11:59 πμ.

Saturday night the prosecutor decided unilaterally to lift the asylum that prevents the police from entering university grounds. Only the disagreement of the provost board prevented a police invasion.

Acting on his own authority, the prosecutor on duty on Saturday evening, December 21, decided to lift the asylum [that normally applies to university grounds and prevents the entry of police onto the campus] for the National Polytechnic University of Athens, but in the end the police did not intervene, after the disagreement of the provost's advisory board.

Police intervention in the university schools under occupation in the coming days, with the argument that they are being used as staging areas for disturbances, by means of a judicial decision and not an academic one, is now an open possibility.

The occupations in the central universities are expected to continue through the holidays, while the schools close tomorrow for Christmas vacation and the students bid farewell with a rally at midday on Tuesday in Athens, and they have set a date for a new rally on January 9th, the anniversary of the murder of Nikos Teboneras (murdered during the student uprisings in 1990-91).  In their company will be teachers from all grades, since the unions representing school teachers and university professors decided the day before yesterday to participate in the rally and to act in common with the students, while they are also discussing the possibility of a strike.

Telephone call from the Greek police force about intervention

As the "News" [mainstream Greek daily newspaper] learned, the provost and vice-provost of the NTUA, Mr. K. Moutzouris and Mr. G. Spathis, this past Saturday evening during the episodes in the region around the university, received a phone call from the police force, which informed them a plan was in the works for intervention, since the prosecutor on duty decided that inside the building there were felonies being carried out, such as the construction of explosives.  The law gives to police the right to intervene with an order from the prosecutor, even without a decision to lift asylum from university officials, when it is determined that felonies are being committed.

"Dangerous for victims"

The provost authorities of the university disagreed with this decision. "I believe that the clearing of the Polytechnic [of the occupying students] must happen with dialogue and not police intervention.  I hope that the occupation will have ended peacefully before the holidays," Mr. Moutzouris told the "News".  "The lifting of university asylum is a political decision and if they want, let them make it, as they have the right to do even without our consent.  We don't bring up such an issue because there is the danger of having victims, and also because there hasn't been serious damage to the university and the issue of occupations is more general", added Mr. Spathis.

Under occupation are about 160 schools in universities and technical institutes across the country, with basic centers the Law School, the Economic University and the Polytechnic University in Athens, and the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki.


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