On Wednesday the 18th of May 2021, the communist youth of Greece backed group. The All Student Cooperation Movement, also known as Panspoudastiki KS, emerged victorious in nationwide student elections.
The All Student Cooperation Movement has found a new wave of support in the years since the last election in 2019, with thousands of students and staff joining and supporting it. The support comes after the right-wing neoliberal New Democracy Government’s proposal of an economically discriminatory education bill in early 2021. The bill aims to limit the accessibility of higher education by increasing entrance requirements and privatisation under the guise of “ensuring the conditions for successful studies and the timely completion of studies.” If made law, it would also impose the presence of government hired police in campuses around Greece, thus restricting student’s rights to organise assemblies and demonstrations.
In response to this, the majority of university departments around Greece voted in favour of Panspoudastiki KS, with the group receiving a 34.28% of the votes in 232 out of 266 departments. This is not a minor victory for the group when compared to their competition –– the Pro-governmental, right-wing group DAP received 26.65% , the social democratic PASP 11.39%, Leftist list EAAK gained 8.26%, and the SYRIZA-backed BLOCO fell to the back with only 2.24% of the total votes.
Panspoudastiki KS missed out on victory to DAP in the last elections that took place in 2019 –– the group had received 23.29% of the total votes counted, compared to DAP’s majority of 40.56%. The ratings this year have improved for the Communist Youth of Greece-backed group, with Panspoudastiki KS beating DAP by a whole 7.65%.
The All Student Cooperation Movement, founded in 1974, fights for the protection of student’s rights, labour and professional rights, the government subsidisation of tuition fees and costs of living for university students. Furthermore, the group focuses on an education that provides practical knowledge that is applicable to a future career rather than education purely in service of a diploma.
In response to the group’s outstanding victory the General Secretary of the Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece, Nikos Abatielos, commented:
“We salute the thousands of students who participated in and supported the ballots of Panspoudastiki. Today’s result of the student elections fills us with optimism, but also with the responsibility to respond to the great task of militant regroupment of the students’ movement, towards a direction of clash with policy that deprives students of their studies and the future they need.”
Alex Kramskaya, is a member of the YCL’s North East branch