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Archaeological sites in Greece will not open on holidays

16 December 2015 / 17:12:27  GRReporter
1353 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Archaeological sites and museums in Greece will not open on weekends and holidays. This is the decision of the leadership of the Greek antiquities guards’ union in protest against the introduction of the new payroll table that cuts by more than 30% compensation for working on those days.

The employees whose work brings the state millions of euro in revenue each year are protesting against the change in the mode of compensation payments, which will lead to delays in receiving them in their opinion.

"The payment will be made directly from the state budget and that means that the delay in payment might exceed one year. This will cause great confusion in the tourism sector, as when employees do not receive the compensations they have earned, they respond," union president Yiannis Mavrikopoulos told GRReporter.

He pointed out that the protest of the employees will start this coming weekend and will continue until the changes voted on by parliament are cancelled. The main demands of the sector are for compensations to not be cut and to be paid by the fund for revenues from the exploitation of archaeological sites at the Ministry of Culture.

Mavrikopoulos admitted that the problem will be serious, because during holidays there is an increased visitor flow to famous archaeological sites such as the Acropolis and the Archaeological Museum in Athens, the sanctuary at Delphi, ancient Mycenae in the Peloponnese, the sites in Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Santorini and other places.

"During the New Year holidays we have visitors from cruise ships. Revenues for the state budget inevitably will decrease," said the unionist defining the already ongoing responses from travel agencies as "understandable".

"We understand the reactions of travel agencies and visitors because they are losing revenues as well. We think they should also support us at this point. Above all, the state authorities need to understand that what they are doing is devoid of any meaning. This decision will not save them a few million euros to use them for something else. We are talking about the compensations of around 1,500 people across the country," said Mavrikopoulos.

In his words, when the government has decided to increase the salaries of civil servants, he and his colleagues are the only ones whose salaries are being cut. "And this is happening despite the fact that through our work we bring revenues to the state."

If the government does not meet their demands, the employees in the field of antiquities guarding will probably intensify their protests over the holidays with rallies and hanging posters on archaeological sites.

Tags: SocietyAntiquities guardsClosed archaeological sites and museumsHolidays
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