KKE: Government feeling the pressure of youth opposing private university plans

KKE Communist Party of Greece

The mass reaction of young people against the government's plans for private universities in Greece "has already squeezed the government," the Communist Party (KKE) said on Friday.

The statement followed an announcement by a prosecutor in Athens for a preliminary investigation into the protest sit-ins at state universities.

"After the lies, the false news, threats and blackmail about students missing examinations proved fruitless, the government of New Democracy has resorted to authoritarianism and suppression. It is very clear now that the massive, majority opposition of young people against the reactionary and unfair bill for the founding of private universities has already squeezed the government. The struggles will continue even more massively and will win, because they are just," the KKE said.

Greek students mobilise against private university plan

Since the beginning of the month, students in more than 40 cities across Greece have been protesting against private universities. They are worried both that their degrees will be downgraded and that less funding will be allocated to public education.

Thursday saw the third of what's expected to be a series of demonstrations held by students and professors opposing the privatization of universities in the country.

What started as a peaceful demonstration escalated to scuffles, tear gas and stun grenades being deployed by riot police.

All this as thousands took part in protests in the Greek capital over the government's decision to pave the way for private universities to set up shop in the country.

Demonstrators worry that part of the already decreased public funding will be allocated to private institutions.

"Public funding for universities has been sliced almost in half since the financial crisis," university student Evgenia told CGTN. "Instead of decreasing the public budget and giving to private universities, the government could allocate that to upgrade our facilities."

She added: "My university doesn't even have dorms. Coming to Athens to study I had to rent an apartment, and now they want me to pay for tuition. I'll be out here every day to protest if needed."

Marching through the Greek capital before arriving at the parliament, thousands of students and professors chanted, "education is not for sale" and "studying is a right, not a business."

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