In a statement issued on Thursday, the Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) slams the plans of New Democracy's (ND) conservative government to abolish university asylum.
"The supposed government's concern about criminality in higher institutions is fake", writes the KNE statement and adds: "It is not the university asylum that prevents the tackling of crime and drug trafficking in the center of Athens, in Menidi and other areas where there is no university institution. The existing framework can address these issues in the universities. Like drug trafficking which is not treated through supervised use areas. On the contrary, it strengthens even more".
The Communist Youth points out that "what is missing from higher education isn't riot police squads and suppression forces in the universities and technical institutes. What is missing is sufficient funding to solve problems, such as the lack of lighting, maintenance and protectio that leave room for phenomena that later are hypocritically used against the asylum".
The statement also mentions that "SYRIZA, as a government, contributed to the intensification of repression against pupils, students, workers and for 4.5 years served the business function of the universities. This function also requires the abolition of asylum in order to ensure "immunity" in the profits of large business groups, to hit the rights of the students".
"The forces of KNE will do everything in our power to prevent the abolition of asylum", writes the statement, adding that the Communist Youth will be in the forefront of the struggles, alongside students and their associations.
Established in 1982, university - or academic - asylum was established as a constitutional right and prohibits any state authority, including police, from entering university premises without the express permission of the university authorities or exceptionally in life-threatening situations. It must noted that the tragic events of the 1973 Polytechnic uprising, which led to the fall of the military dictatorship, consist a reminder of the timeless significance and value of academic freedom.