Education International
Education International

Greece: EI condemns use of violence against teachers and students

published 4 April 2007 updated 4 April 2007

EI sent a strong message to the Greek Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs on 4 April, condemning the use of violence by the police against teacher unionists and students during their demonstration on 8 March.

The police used excessive force to suppress a peaceful demonstration by teacher and student unionists who were protesting against government plans to privatise higher education in the country. Many of them were wounded.

In its letter, EI pointed out that Greece is a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and its government should be well aware that social dialogue is a cornerstone of democracy.

EI fully supports the view of its member organisation, the Omospondÿa Leitourgÿn Mÿsehÿ Ekpaÿdeysehÿ (OLME), that education is a public good that should be publicly funded and regulated, and not a private operation for profit. It should be a government's priority to invest in the public school system and not leave education to market forces.

"State-run education systems, including higher education, are the best guarantee for the equity and equality of access to education," wrote EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen.

EI urges the Greek authorities to commit to continue funding public education, and foster the negotiations with the teacher and student representatives.