Greece: students explain why the University of Rethymno is occupied

”Corporations off campus” slogan sprayed on the van of private catering company

The students demand:

An increase in state funding as well as academic and administrative staff
Free meals to the 700 students who no longer qualify to receive them. Free meals for everyone. Public operation of the university restaurant through government funding.
Paid internships and complete workers’ rights granted to all students
Decrease in the price of bus tickets and bus cards through the financial contribution of the municipal and prefectural authorities. Free transportation to all.
Public buildings to be used as students halls.

The following is the announcement of the squatters:

”After the voting of the 3d memorandum we are now facing the most harsh period since the beginning of the financial crisis. The coalition government Syriza-Independent Greeks, in alignment with the rest of the pro-memorandum powers, are presenting the new harsh measures as inevitable. These new austerity measures ordered by the E.U., reinforce unemployment and precarious workfare, promote the selling-out of public property and enforce even greater salary and pension cuts. This is the same E.U. that provides support to the war in the Middle East and ensures that the victims of war are drowned in the Mediterannean.

Education has also been targeted in this context. Both secondary and tertiary education are increasingly under-funded and under-staffed. These conditions prevail at the University of Rethymno and pose a great risk to the operation of the institution since a possible shutdown of the university is a real threat. With the beginning of the new academic semester a large part of students found themselves without free meals (onlly 1 in 8 students qualify for free food) and housing, while bus tickets for our transportation to the university are now more expensive. So, it is now impossible to continue our studies or live in the city. Furthermore the university legitimates illegal and unpaid work through unpaid internships illustrating the future working conditions being prepared for us.

We started to put pressure on all competent bodies but without any meaningful response our general assembly decided to occupy the University as a means of struggle towards finding a solution to our problems. Based on our experience within the student movement we are aware that every struggle can be won. The same applies to the struggles of the local residents against the Industrial Renewable Energy Sources. In this prospect of victory we call on all fighting segments of society and all those affected by these measures to join us in the struggle for a public and free university which will respond to the needs of society.”

SOLIDARITY with the Occupied University of Rethymno

source: katalipsirethymnou


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