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State of alert extended past Xmas

Thu 16th Dec 2010

Spain's house of Congress met today to debate the Spanish Government's request to extend the ‘State of Alarm' imposed on Spanish air traffic control since the wildcat strikes two weeks ago.

The Government succeeded in extending the status until January 15, not giving credence to the letter of promise signed by 85% of the Air Traffic Controllers, that they would not leave their posts again over Christmas if the ‘State of Alarm' was lifted.

The Prime Minister was present for the debate, but delegated the defence of the Government's position to the Minister for Presidency, Ramón Jáuregui, who told the house that ‘If the chaos is repeated, it would be catastrophic for the country'.

For his part, Jose Blanco, Spain's Development Minister wants to use this extension as an opportunity to meet with the controllers and unions once more, without the threat of similar action, commenting ‘We can't believe them, and that is why the Government must not drop its guard'.

A number of AENA employees have been demonstrating at Barajas airport against the Government plans to privatise 49% of the Airports Authority. The CGT union called the action in order to demand information over their future, however it was attended by only few demonstrators.

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