Students at the University of Athens and Athens Polytechnic have taken over the university campus in another protest over the Governments legislation on examinations.
GV EXTERIOR Demonstrators carrying banner march down to Greek Education Ministry in Athens (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN Students pass through city centre
SCU Students using loudspeakers shout anti-government slogans
GV Greek police watching demonstration
GV TILT DOWN Demonstration continues along street
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Background: Students at the University of Athens and Athens Polytechnic have taken over the university campus in another protest over the Governments legislation on examinations. On Friday (17 October), the students held a mass protest through the streets of Athens.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of students carrying anti-government banners and shouting slogans crowded the streets as they marched to the Greek Education Ministry in the centre of the city.
The most contentious law surrounding the examination issue was introduced by the Government in December last year. The Education Minister limited students' rights to resit university examinations. The law was designed to prevent some students spending too long at university while not attaining a satisfactory academic record. But many students complain the ruling is too severe. As soon as the legislation was passed through Parliament, there were mass rallies by students throughout Greece.
After a number of university sit-ins and illegal occupations in December last year, the government ordered the closure of all universities until mid-January. But in March this year new student leaders were elected and again protest came to the fore.
In the March rallies, students clashed with security forces. Many youths were arrested. Accusations of police brutality followed. Attitudes hardened.
There was a considerable police presence at Friday's rally but no violence. The students are demanding immediate changes in legislation to alter their examination requirements.
But as the protest continued all classes at the polytechnic and university were suspended.