March 13, 2009

Acropolis strikes end

Posted at 5:43 pm in Acropolis

Following a plea by Greece’s president, the Acropolis has now re-opened following strikes that have closed it for the last week.

Athens News Agency

Acropolis opens to public

Culture Ministry’s employees on Thursday cancelled their 24-hour strike and opened the archaelogical site of the Acropolis for visitors, in an act of good will after reassurances by Culture Minister Antonis Samaras for resolving the problem of paying contract staff working at the culture ministry through a bill to be tabled in Parliament within days.

A number of staff at the ministry, who had originally been taken on with temporary contracts and had won temporary court orders allowing them to continue working at the ministry until their case was settled, had found their pay blocked by the Court of Audit after the start of the 2009, which refused to approve ministry payment orders on the grounds that there was no obligation to execute a court decision that was not final, so that staff were essentially working unpaid.

Associated Press

Acropolis reopens after Greek president’s plea
2009-03-12 13:01:25 –

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Striking workers have reopened the Acropolis to visitors, suspending their protest following a plea by the country’s president.
The famous Athens monument had been closed down by workers five times in the last two weeks over a labor dispute. Hundreds of frustrated tourists have been turned away, embarrassing the government, which has failed to conclude negotiations on job security and unpaid wages.
Culture Ministry archaeologist Yannis Nakas, who took part in the protest, said the Acropolis reopened Thursday following the plea by President Karolos Papoulias but said the blockade could resume if the demands of those who work at the site are ignored by the government.

Kathimerini (English Edition)

Friday March 13, 2009
Acropolis staff back down

Contract workers at the Culture Ministry decided to stop blocking the entrance to the Acropolis yesterday, just hours after President Karolos Papoulias said it was “inconceivable” for the entrance to the Sacred Rock to be closed.

The public servants took a vote and decided to continue their picket at the Acropolis but to allow visitors in to see the ancient monument. Hundreds of tourists had been prevented from seeing the Parthenon up close on five occasions over the last two weeks as a result of strike action by the employees who are demanding payment of outstanding wages as well as positions of permanent employment.

In a meeting with the “Friends of the Acropolis” association on Wednesday, Papoulias said he sympathized with the contract workers’ demands but suggested that there were other ways that they could make their point.

The workers decided to continue their rolling 24-hour strikes, which means a number of museums are being forced to close or remain open for fewer hours.

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