The Gordian knot
A share of the responsibility belongs to rectors, who do not use the legal means at their disposal to isolate troublemakers, university students who cannot isolate instigators, and opposition parties, which often resort to double-talk.
Two cries of anguish stand out in the terrain of almost daily violence at certain universities.
One is the voice of a student at the Athens University of Economics and Business, where a professor was beaten by hooded individuals while he was lecturing.
In a text published by Ta Nea, Charalambos Theodorakis underlined that while the government is in the midst of consultations and even as the training of the new university policing force proceeds, the Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE) is in peril of becoming the new Marfin Bank, where employees were killed in a fire when during a protest march Molotov cocktails were hurled at the bank.
The second cry of anguish is from Deputy Education Minister Angelos Syrigos, who in an interview with the weekend edition of Ta Nea implies that a criminal organisation is active at the University of Thessaloniki.
He said that three rectors who led the charge to close the occupied university hideaways of anti-authority groups are in danger from the rage of individuals who may violently attack them.
If a university student has the right to ring the alarm bell, then a minister has the duty to take measures to eradicate the danger.
We insist that universities must be solely loci of learning and research, and they must stop being held hostage by certain minorities that want to create upheaval.
The problem is complex.
Violence has existed at Greek universities for decades. A share of the responsibility belongs to rectors, who do not use the legal means at their disposal to isolate troublemakers, university students who cannot isolate instigators, and opposition parties, which often resort to double-talk.
Yet, only the government can cut the Gordian knot.
It is time for the government’s electoral pledges to be implemented.
Thuggery, threats, and printing a funeral announcement for a rector have no place in our universities.
They must once and for all become a thing of the past.