As a strike by administrative staff at two Athens universities approached the end of its 11th week, judicial authorities intervened Wednesday after repeated efforts by the government failed to break the deadlock.
Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani called on the rector of Athens University, Theodosis Pelegrinis, who has expressed support for striking workers, to take action to reopen the institution or face legal consequences. Judicial sources said similar action will be taken against the academic leadership of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), whose office staff are also on strike in protest at a civil service overhaul.
Support for the employees remained strong, however, even at universities where staff are not on strike. Members of the senate of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University resigned en masse yesterday, an apparent act of solidarity following the example of their peers at Athens University.
Striking staff are to meet again Friday to discuss their next move. Even if they back down, however, it is likely that the upheaval will continue as some student groups have threatened to occupy faculties. Other students have protested against the action which is likely to sabotage the first semester.
In a related development, Athens Court of First Instance prosecutor Panagiota Fakou ordered an investigation to determine why the workers’ strike is continuing despite having been deemed illegal in court.