In Greece, artists’ strike closes theaters, music schools

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Performing artists and art students ‒ some banging drums, playing trumpets and dressed in clown outfits ‒ gathered outside Greece’s parliament Thursday during a strike that closed theaters, halted TV shoots and disrupted art school classes.

More than 2,000 people took part in the demonstration, on the second day of a 48-hour strike to protest changes in a government labor qualification system used to set wage scales and for civil service recruitment.

“People have spent years on the job, teaching and in performance roles, and suddenly they do not know what their qualifications are worth,” singer Argyro Kaparou, who heads one of the associations organizing the protest, told the AP.

Strike organizers say they want the government to pause the reforms until a general election is held sometime before the summer.

The center-right government says it wants to streamline government hiring procedures before the elections.