Teachers, school and university students have been protesting this week in Athens against so-called 'reforms' by the government against a background of massive cuts to the education service. Schools are being closed and merged, teacher numbers cut and the exam system changed. Moreover there is a lack of textbooks - a problem which has been endemic in the school system ever since the beginning of the crisis in 2008.

Up to 500 secondary schools all over Greece have been occupied and closed by their students since Monday. The government has responded by rushing in new powers to clamp down on school occupations, a move which has only enraged the students further. Meanwhile, control of university property has been handed over to private security firms.

Ironically the education minister apparently said that while it is true that school funding has dropped due to the crisis, this does not justify the closing of schools by students. So while the temporary closure of schools by students is to be deplored and stopped their permanent closure by government is justifiable.

According to one : 'What the system is afraid of is an autonomous, uncontrolled rebellion on the part of those campaigning for their rights, as the students are now doing. The education minister doesn't seem able to manage this crisis, which was largely caused by his own decisions.' 

This year 2500 Greek teachers were suspended because of cuts, including the leader of the secondary teachers union, OLME. Teachers and students have been all the cuts and 'reforms' of the education system, imposed by the so-called Troika of EU bankers, politicians and the IMF vigorously, with strikes, demonstrations and occupations.