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Greek Actors, Artists on Strike Over ‘Downgrade’ of Qualifications

Actors artists strike
Actors and artists demonstrate against the downgrade of their studies. Credit: AMNA

Greek actors and artists are on a 48-hour strike that started on Wednesday protesting against government plans to downgrade their educational qualifications leading to pay cuts.

The Union of Greek Actors announced the strike to demand the withdrawal of a presidential decree that classes the educational qualifications of all artists as non-university level.

Noting that the decree was issued 40 days earlier, the union said it was time to “use our ultimate weapon, that of strike action, and stop everything for two whole days, trying to make ourselves heard.”

It also announced a protest rally in Syntagma Square on Thursday.

On the two days of strike action, it called on actors and actresses to not attend any film or television shoots, performances, rehearsals, classes or recordings.

Greek artists and actors “face intense job insecurity”

The Member of the European Parliament, Alexis Georgoulis, who is also an actor, expressed his solidarity to the strike action.

The popular Greek actor turned politician is at the forefront of efforts as a member of the European Parliament to promote common EU approaches to culture and heritage.

“The academic and labor rights of artists are once again in the spotlight. Artists naturally face intense job insecurity. The government bears responsibility because instead of making serious planning and policies to mitigate chronic diseases, it exacerbates and inflates the problem with omissions and misguided actions, destructive to the sector,” Georgoulis of SYRIZA said.

“With the excuse that until today artistic studies are ‘disconnected from the rest of the education system of the country’, they are written off as unborn,” he added.

“At the same time, the false dilemma and the promise that ‘if the ruling party secures a second four-year term, by 2025 the fair remuneration of all artists will be legislated’ constitutes an unacceptable blackmailing of the artistic world, in a pre-election period,”, Georgoulis said.

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