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Athens University of Economics and Business shuts down among lawlessness

The maudlin conditions prevailing in the premises surrounding the building of the Athens University of Economics and Business (former ASOEE) led the school's Senate to decide to suspend the Foundation's operation.

After reviewing the situation in the premises surrounding the institution due to the presence of traffickers and drug users, it found that the conditions described in the Senate Resolution of 18 October 2018 pose great risks to safety and hygiene of students and workers in the Foundation and cause fear and deep concern to employees and especially to students, with the result that they are discouraged from attending courses, they have suffered and are getting worse in recent days.

On the occasion of the suspension of university activities, the rector, Emmanuel Yakoumakis, reported yesterday on the efforts to solve the issue of delinquency in the places surrounding the university.

"For the past two and a half years, I have informed the authorities about the problems," he said and reiterated that trafficking in and use of drugs is taking place in the premises around the institution. He talked about "unpleasant and illegal situations" that pose hygiene, security and access issues to the university, hampering academic work.

For Mr. Yakoumakis, the problem needs a permanent solution rather than an occasional intervention by the police. "Police are constantly interfering. But the problem is changing without being resolved," he said, and pointed out that it is a matter for the competent bodies to intervene in order to find a definitive solution to the problem.

A few hours ago, however, the Education Minister, speaking to a radio station, said: "We are categorical about the drug issue. Drug trafficking is a felony and we do not understand why the rectors do not call the police. End of story".

Indeed, he added that the rectors must take that responsibility. "If there is no response to his responsibility, let's face it and see why there was no response and close this issue at last," he said. In fact, he underlined the importance of "for the first time" the ministry accepting that there were problems of delinquency and for this reason the Paraskevopoulos Committee was established.

As for the specific institution, Mr. Yakoumakis commented that the rector's responsibility is within the university premises, and not what happens in the surrounding streets.

Finally, it is worth noting that the senate will meet early next week to review the situation.