Contemporary Southeastern Europe
Event Analyses

The Abolition of University Asylum as the Inauguration of the Era of (New) Authoritarianism in Greece

  • Dimitra Mareta
After almost 5 years of the government of the SYRIZA-ANELL coalition (Coalition of Radical Left-Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras-SYRIZA and Independent Greeks-Anexartitoi Ellines-AN.ELL), the party of New Democracy won the elections on 7 July 2019. It is the oldest conservative party of the country; it aspires to be thought of as a liberal European party and has formed the first no-coalition government since 2011, a fact that allows it to apply its policy freely and easily. The new government immediately began to prepare and vote on bills in order to proceed with a series of so-called reforms. Among the very first bills voted in July and August—the summer period during which the legislative activity is usually almost null—there was a law that totally and without any doubt abolished university asylum in Greece. The central concept of this analysis is that its abolition is not a substantive movement indispensable for social peace and public order in the country, but a movement to spread the word that the era of toleration is over and in its place a new era is inaugurated—one of authoritarianism.