NEWS

Guides say bill on wrong path

Tourist guides in Greece are putting pressure on the government not to change the law and open their profession to people who are less qualified and do not speak Greek. A bill due to be submitted to Parliament, before its summer recess started early, would have allowed anyone with an archaeology or history of art degree to become a guide. «This would allow foreign graduates to come here and work in our profession,» the president of the Panhellenic Federation of Tourist Guides Chryssa Karageorgi told Kathimerini, while pointing out that a guide in Greece has to take 26 different classes to obtain a license. The bill also proposes that guides do not have to know Greek. «Is it possible for a guide not to be able to read a sign at a museum,» asked Karageorgi. Kriton Piperas, the head of the Union of Athens Guides claimed the measure was aimed at allowing tour operators to use cheaper foreign guides and that it would lead to a deterioration in the quality of service.