Strike Closes Greek Museums, Sites

karyatides-new-acropolis-museum4Once again, and as Greece has picked up its campaign to lure tourists back after a disappointing last year, archaeological sites and museums were closed because of a workers’ strike against more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions being imposed by the government on the orders of international lenders.

A 24-hour strike on March 8 shut down the sites across the country. The workers said they were also protesting plans to cut back the Culture Ministry’s operations although it is essential to the tourism industry, the biggest revenue-producer for the country.

Tourists who showed up at the Acropolis found the gates locked as they have been a number of times before, and it was the same at museums and other attractions where people were turned away.

In a written statement, striking employees expressed their opposition to the planned reforms which, they said, would put jobs at risk and compromise the work of the Culture Ministry. Following talks with unionists representing the workers, Alternate Culture Minister Costas Tzavaras has said that his ministry could not intervene and that the cuts would go ahead despite any protests.

Last year, images of protests, strikes and riots, which led to the closing of airports, ports, the subway, public transportation and other sites scared off tourists who headed for other countries, particularly Turkey and the government is hoping to convince them this year that it will be different although workers said more strikes are forthcoming.


  1. Oh for heavens sake, it is not the summer tourist season and there are hardly any tourists now. And the Acropolis has always been closed at times in the winter off season, it is when workers get most of their work done as it can’t be done with hoards of tourists tramping all over the place.

     Far better they strike now than in August.

  2. Better they not strike at all. All these strikes are achieving is further damaging our economy and image abroad. Everyone well knows we have no money. Everyone has to accept some of the burden.

    Some of our unions are killing us. I used to support them until I realized many are abusing unions to put their personal greed in front of the needs of our country.  They confuse words of good intent, with actions of good intent.

  3. Fire them all and hire those who will appreciate having a 40 hour-a-week week job. Working at these sites isnt exactly rocket science. 

  4. Nonsense. I live in Plaka and if you dont think tourism has begun yet, you must be either blind or live in the hillsides.

  5.  I didn’t say that though, I said there are hardly any now. You know compared to summer.

  6. But there are more important employees from the Culture Ministry who are facing and have faced forced retirement than those who merely open the doors at the Acropolis and at the museums. The loss of archaeologists, for instance, from regions accross the country has left many areas unprotected and has lead to sites being looted for the black market trade in antiquities and illegal constructions in other areas of possible cultural significance.  Archaeologists always have done huge amounts of work for the communities in which they worked, over and above their job description and normal work hours. You should get out of Plaka and into the hillsides as bit more.

  7. That’s right boys. Piss off the tourists who tried to visit these sites & they will go back home disgruntled & tell all their family & friends to strike Greece off their list!

    Keep up the fantastic work. We only wants Greeks in Greece. We can feed off history.

  8.  Then you should have a better understanding that some of these jobs are not expendable.

  9. Chora, the archeologists, the ones you almost NEVER see when visiting the Acropolis, Agora, Olympia, Delphi, etc are not the ones who would make a difference whether these sites are shut down due to strike. The stiking workers who are ticket sellers, gate keepers and “security”, which are nothing more than people with a whistle and a cigarette in their hands are the ones designed for crowd control and site security. You could replace every one of these people with hairdressers, cashiers and Everest sandwich makers and there would make no difference in the level of competence needed for these unskilled professions. YET, they are the ones who strike, for a silly reason thinking they are making a difference, who are giving GREECE the negative image and furthering the diatribe that is Greek productivity and passion for anything worthwhile. If you do not understand that, then maybe you are one of the guilty party.

  10. You are right, it is not high season yet, but there fact remains that we have thousands of tourists in Athens right now and certainly a hell of a lot more now than even 2 weeks ago. The con men who work Dionysiou Areopagitou are busy bees right now and the cops are even busier not noticing them fleecing these tourists. What’s worse is that most of them spent hundreds if not thousands to get here only to find our most famous and attractive sights and museums CLOSED due to striking workers who should be fired and left to fend for themselves or get a real job.

  11. Dr.  Korres and his students haven’t been seen in ages anyway…no funding, no passion, no cause for alarm apparently. 


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