ANNO XVI Gennaio 2022.  Direttore Umberto Calabrese

Lunedì, 21 Settembre 2015 00:34

Colosseum closed by union meeting, culture minister irate

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Rome - Tourists in Rome on Friday were unable to visit the Colosseum and other major archeological sites, including the Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, and Baths of Diocletian, because of a union meeting lasting until 11:30 am..

The news was received with indignation from Italy's culture minister, Dario Franceschini, who called Friday morning the "last straw" and said he would propose a measure in the Council of Ministers "this very evening" to redefine museums and places of culture as essential public services, which are protected from strikes. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi also commented on the incident on Twitter, stating that the government would not leave culture "hostage" to unionists who do harm to Italy. He tweeted that he sided with Franceschini on the need for swift legislative action. "Right when safeguarding and promoting our cultural heritage has returned to the centre of the government's agenda after years, right when data on tourism has been remarkably positive, just when the Expo and Jubilee are garnering even more of the world's attention, just when I as minister am involved in talks on the stability law and seek to find more resources for culture and the ministry's personnel, a new union meeting - this time at the Colosseum, the most important archaeological site in Rome - meant that tourists were left to wait in line before the whole world," Franceschini lamented. "Evidently, common sense in applying rules and in exercising one's rights is no longer enough to avoid damaging your own country. This is why this morning we, together with Prime Minister Renzi, agreed that I will propose new legislative measures at this afternoon's Council of Ministers," he stated. The chairman of the Italy's strike authority, Roberto Alesse, agreed on the need bring cultural sites back into the fold of essential services. "Yesterday," he said, "the Senate began discussing the bill to change the law on lawful strikes, which the government has pushed for, and I hope that the topic will be approached with precision and professionalism." "Leaving our cultural heritage outside the category of public services means continuing to give our country a negative image to its citizens and the millions of tourists of choose to visit our cities daily." (AGI)

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