GREECE: Injured rector resigns

The Rector of Athens University, Christos Kittas, who was attacked and injured by a group of youths invading the institution, tendered his resignation immediately he was released from hospital, saying the reason was mental and physical exhaustion.

"I am unable to offer any further services to the institution I have served for the last 38 years due to my mental annihilation and my physical weakness as a result not only of the events in the field of education in the last few years but also of last week's unfortunate blows," Kittas wrote.

He had tendered his resignation last year but was persuaded to withdraw following a personal request from the President Karolos Papoulias.

Meanwhile, the president and the management council members of the Athens Law School, which has been occupied by students for more than a week, called on the Senate Committee of Athens University "to take all necessary measures to ensure the smooth operation of the institution and the continuation of the teaching procedure".

They demanded the lifting of the occupation, the removal of the student radio station and all other illegal installations. The school has been occupied by students opposed to the abolition of the academic sanctuary. They are also reacting to a suggestion by the school's president, Theodor Fortsakis, that universities should be guarded by security officers in the manner of foreign institutions.

On another front, neither the standing Rectors Conference nor the Education Secretary Anna Diamandopoulou who attended its deliberations came anywhere near to offering an end to violence or a solution to the problem which is escalating dangerously.

Having discovered the academic sanctuary had lost its historic meaning and no longer helped in the free dissemination of ideas, the rectors stopped short of asking for its abolition but demanded - with Diamandopoulou's complete agreement - "the strict application of the law".

What that means in practice is that the rectors will be obliged to call the police on to their campuses when acts of violence are being committed on the premises of the institutions they manage.