Spain says to declare state of alert if air traffic chaos continue

18:15, December 04, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The chaos caused by a wildcat strike by Spain's air-traffic controllers Friday afternoon continued Saturday morning and the government threatened to declare a state of alert.

A cabinet meeting on Saturday morning said a state of alert would be declared if the strikers refused to return to work.

Early reports indicate that, although three transatlantic flights were able to land at Madrid's Barajas airport overnight, there were no other aircraft movements.

Spain's airports are all closed with passengers told to stay at home until further notice, while the airspace over the majority of the country is also closed to air traffic.

There was no news on whether controllers scheduled for the morning shift Saturday had reported for work and all flights in Spain were grounded until at least 11 a.m. local time.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Government was holding an emergency cabinet meeting to decide how best to deal with the situation, which has left over 250,000 passengers stranded at the start of a holiday weekend.

Everything points to military air traffic controllers taking control of the situation should their civilian counterparts not return to work, as announced by Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba on Friday night.

"Given that the representatives of the controllers have refused to change their attitude, we have proceeded, in agreement with the constitution and with the current laws, to use the mechanisms that we had previously predicted," Rubalcaba said.

Spain's air-traffic controllers, according to the Spanish Public Works Ministry, "abandoned their workplace in massive numbers."

The strikers gave no warning of their impending action so that many passengers were forced to disembark after their planes had been on the runway preparing for takeoff.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • U.S. President Barack Obama (4th L, front) shakes hands with outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (1st R, front) as Vice President Joe Biden (3rd L, front), Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (2nd L, front), and Army General Martin Dempsey (1st L, front) look on during the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Change of Responsibility Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, the United States, Sept. 30, 2011. Army General Martin Dempsey succeeded Mike Mullen to become the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff on Friday. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
  • Chinese national flag guards escort the flag across the Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2011. More than 120,000 people gathered at the Tian'anmen Square to watch the national flag raising ceremony at dawn on Oct. 1, in celebration of the 62th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
  • Pedestrians walk along the barrier set by police on Wall Street in New York, the United States, Sept. 30, 2011. Police set up the fences to keep away the demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street campaign. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
Hot Forum Discussion