Worker strike shuts gates to Acropolis

Tourists intending to visit the Acropolis were forced to settle for a snapshot from a distance yesterday, as Culture Ministry employees launched a 24-hour strike over pay demands. Museums and archaeological sites were shut by striking workers around the country, landing a blow to the tourism sector at a time when it is struggling due to the global financial crisis. Tourist arrivals in Greece fell by 1.4 percent in the first 10 months of the year, according to recent data. Experts have warned that 2009 will be a difficult year for the sector if appropriate measures to help draw visitors and support tourism businesses are not taken. Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said earlier this week the conservative government is working on a support plan for the industry.

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