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article imageGreek police fire tear gas at culture workers, storm Akropolis

By Andrew Moran     Oct 14, 2010 in World
Athens - Dozens of employees at Greece's culture ministry, occupied the Acropolis and protested over unpaid wages and lay-offs. Greek police fired tear gas and chased the workers around the Acropolis. The protest affected thousands of tourists.
The Acropolis is one of the most visited sites for tourists who come from all around the world. However, their planned visit was affected for one day after culture ministry employees barricaded themselves inside, padlocked the entrance and attempted to occupy the area until Oct. 31, according to ABC News.
Dozens of workers are protesting over unpaid wages. They claim they have not been paid for the last 22 months of work. Furthermore, the protestors are upset that 320 temporary staff employees will lose their jobs by the end of the month.
“All our colleagues stand beside us, so the monument will not operate today no matter what happens,” said one leader of the protest, Nikos Hasomeris. “We want the ministry to cancel the planned dismissal of 320 staffers and settle its dues to people who have been unpaid for 22 months.”
On Thursday, video footage shows Greek police dressed in riot gear and firing tear gas. The officers used a side entrance and began to chase the protestors. Footage shows at least one person arrested.
BBC News reports that despite the arrests, the protestors said protests would continue on Friday: “The authorities must accept their responsibilities,” said Hasomeris.
According to Agence-France Presse, Deputy culture minister, Telemachos Hytiris, has offered to speak with the protestors but has not promised permanent contracts: “Thousands of short-term workers have been laid off until now, the law applies to all.”
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