March 24, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Police throw chemicals at striking actors

Actors and theater workers went on a 48-hour strike on Wednesday and Thursday to protest the government’s pay bill for the sector. Authorities responded with tear gas as demonstrators attempted to reach the National Theatre.

On February 1, 2023, actors and theater workers went on strike. The protesters are extending their mobilization to the daily film sets of the TV series, where the cameras will be turned off for the same two days. Stand-up comedians and other performers in bars and other places of entertainment also joined the strike.

Union members said that under the proposed law, “the remuneration of artists in the broader public sector and in private organizations would not be determined by collective bargaining agreements, but by the respective government.” Other unions said the bill would downgrade their art degrees to high school diplomas.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted on Facebook last week that he would consider the actors’ requests, but they were not sure the necessary action would be taken.

According to the forthcoming legislation, acting degrees should be equivalent to high school diplomas. The government dismisses all union claims as “fake news”.

On February 2, the strikers held a protest march, but were met with tear gas from the MAT police squad.

In particular, after a sit-in protest at Syntagma, the march of artists headed towards the Rex Theater and continued towards the old building of the National Theater, where police forces were lined up on their way, who began to spray the protesters with tear gas for no reason.

Actors sadly joke that they are trained to play dramatic roles where you have to cry a lot. And they nod at the comedians, who now have to laugh through their tears.

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