On April 7, Tuesday, the Greek student movement, Students’ Struggle Front (MAS), demanded that the government initiate immediate measures to address the concerns of the student community in the country amid the COVID-19 emergency. Among their major demands is the provision of a direct housing allowance of 800 euros (USD 868.63) to all student families who pay rent for the months of March and April. MAS also called for the waiving of tuition fees and fees for postgraduate and other programs for the period, and for taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of students staying in dormitories.
As per the statement issued by MAS, the government cannot ignore its larger responsibility towards public health and safety by hiding under the cover of “individual responsibility” to fight the pandemic. It has demanded that the government ensure the “essential protection of the health, life, and rights of workers and students” who face a grave threat in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
“While giving support packages to large business groups and paving the way for employers to take even tougher measures, it adds new burdens to students’ families and working parents, and increases tuition costs,” MAS said.
In another statement, MAS also demanded the free distribution of books and study material to students across the country, especially through online sources. MAS-affiliated Panspoudastiki Kinisi Synergasias (PSK) cadre in Greek universities have also joined voluntary blood donation campaigns to replenish blood banks in the wake of emergency requirements notified by the National Blood Donation Center.
MAS expressed its solidarity with the Day of Panhellenic Action for Health on April 7 and started an online petition supporting the demands of medical workers in the country who are battling the pandemic at the forefront.