Students block streets in Athens to protest against private universities bill

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More than 15,000 protesters gathered in central Athens on Thursday to reject Greece’s conservative government’s plan for private universities to operate in the country starting next year.


The predominantly youthful protestors yelled “hands off education” as they gathered outside the University of Athens’ main building. A large protest sign hung over the gate, reading “Their Profits or Our Education.”

Greek police shot tear gas and flashbang grenades at a group of around 30 hooded teenagers who were throwing petrol bombs and setting fire to garbage cans after a student march in central Athens, as reported by Ekathimerini.

Clashes on athens streets between protesters and police. Photo Ekathimerini.
Clashes on Athens’ streets between protesters and police. Photo: Ekathimerini.

Greece’s conservative government intends to enable foreign universities to establish branches in Greece that will function under the national exam system for student applicants.

Opponents claim that it will damage public universities, many of which are currently experiencing financing challenges.

According to AP News, student protest groups have staged many protests around Greece and stormed dozens of university faculty buildings, forcing classes and examinations to be held online.

Parliament is scheduled to vote on the education bill before the end of the month.

Source: AP News and Ekathimerini

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