Colosseum employees plan more protests

The Italian government says it has sourced the funds necessary to pay arrears owed to employees at the Colosseum who have engaged in two impromptu protests over the last week.

Ministry of culture workers are to be paid their outstanding wages from January to the present according to a statement issued by the ministry on 25 June.

The employees’ union called the protests over late payment of overtime as well as staff shortages on weekends and public holidays, which led to closure of the Colosseum for several hours on 20 and 23 June.

Despite the ministry's pledge to clear all outstanding debts, the union says it remains in a "state of agitation" and will hold a third protest on Friday 28 June from 08.30-12.30. In addition to the Colosseum the protest will affect Rome's state museums, galleries and archaeological sites.

The Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero estimates that the three-hour protest on 23 June resulted in the loss of €39,000 in ticket sales, in addition to the discomfort of tourists.

The Italian hoteliers' association Federalberghi said the protests have caused "incalculable damage" to Rome and the tourist industry. It also said the "mistreatment of tourists in Italy seriously damages the image of the country and has grave economic repercussions".

Photo Il Messaggero