ATHENS, Greece - The Associated Press
A tourist takes photographs of the temple of Zeus at the archaeological site of Olympeion in Athens March 8, 2013. REUTERS Photo
Archaeological sites and museums across Greece
have shut down for 24 hours due to a strike by Culture Ministry employees protesting planned reforms that aim to streamline the ministry's operations.
Tourists arriving at the country's most famous monument, the Acropolis, on Friday morning found the gates padlocked and a sign saying the site would be closed for the day.
Workers are objecting to organizational reforms that they say could endanger some jobs and "constitute a tombstone for the Culture Ministry."
Gripped by a severe financial crisis since late 2009, Greece
has been dependent on billions of euros in international rescue loans to remain solvent. In return, it has imposed structural reforms, deep spending cuts and tax hikes that have seen incomes slashed and unemployment spiraling to above 26 percent.