Acropolis staff back down

Contract workers at the Culture Ministry decided to stop blocking the entrance to the Acropolis yesterday, just hours after President Karolos Papoulias said it was «inconceivable» for the entrance to the Sacred Rock to be closed. The public servants took a vote and decided to continue their picket at the Acropolis but to allow visitors in to see the ancient monument. Hundreds of tourists had been prevented from seeing the Parthenon up close on five occasions over the last two weeks as a result of strike action by the employees who are demanding payment of outstanding wages as well as positions of permanent employment. In a meeting with the «Friends of the Acropolis» association on Wednesday, Papoulias said he sympathized with the contract workers’ demands but suggested that there were other ways that they could make their point. The workers decided to continue their rolling 24-hour strikes, which means a number of museums are being forced to close or remain open for fewer hours.

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