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Greece: Acropolis Guards hold strike to protest ticket control privatization plans

Added 2023-12-22


In line with the right-wing Mitsotakis administration's plans to gradually liberalize/privatize key sectors like tertiary education and public health, a similar policy is being followed in the culture sector with five of the most popular & renown Greek museums (Athens Archaeological, Athens Byzantine & Christian, Thessaloniki Archaeological, Thessaloniki Byzantine, and Herakleio Archaeological),  spun off as independent public corporations in April 2023. Now, an international bidding call for the privatization of ticketing services and visitor control at the iconic Acropolis of Athens, provoked the wrath of the All-Greece Antiquities Guards Union. Its members are currently responsible for these tasks among others, and are obviously worried about their future work prospects amid this general privatization drive, so they successfully organized a one day strike at the Acropolis and other archaeological grounds in Athens, on 19 December 2023. In a press release the Union pointed out that this was just a warning and that the government failed to stop them even though it secured a court order deeming the strike as 'illegal'. This is the slow season so the strike largely went unnoticed by visitors, but it will be a totally different situation in Spring and Summer. In a not so unrelated development the Culture Minister announced that private tours for small groups (at extra charge) will be offered on the Acropolis, a monument which usually symbolizes democracy rather than aristocracy & priviledge, outside the opening hours valid for the polloi, while the entry fee will be raised to EUR 30 from 2025.


Acropolis, Athens