A recent decision by Greece’s Culture Ministry to charge admission to children and young people who are not European Union nationals at the country’s archaeological sites and museum is causing reactions from tourists and operators.
The Federation of Greek Associations of Travel & Tourist Agencies (FedHATTA) said on Friday that it has written to the ministry reporting numerous complaints about the measure, which is seen not only as causing unnecessary confusion but also as discriminatory.
The latter accusation pertains mainly to complaints concerning schools that have taken pupils on fields trips to museums and archaeological sites and have been asked to pay admission for any “non-European” children among their groups.
According to the wording of the ministry’s decision, young people from European member states up to the age of 25 do not have to pay admission after displaying an identification card or passport confirming their age and nationality. It goes on say that a fee of 50 percent of the full ticket price will be charged, during peak season, which stretches from April 1 to October 31, to children and young people aged 6-25 who do not come from the European Union, on display of their passport.
“We do not know the aim of this particular decision, but it is certainly very clear and we cannot rely on the sensitivities of the people who work at museums and archaeological sites to handle such issues properly,” FedHATTA chief Lyssandros Tsilidis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
Greece’s culture and spirit, he added, needs to be shared “without bias or obstacles,” particularly when it comes to people of a young age.