Holiday fears

LAST UPDATED: 15 Feb, 2010 @ 11:34
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Holiday fears

SPANISH air traffic controllers have been accused of threatening the recovery of the Costa del Sol tourist industry.

Talks to reduce the salary of controllers – who can earn up to 800,000 euros – have broken down.

Now the Easter holiday plans of British tourists could be thrown in chaos if a pay strike takes place.

“We cannot allow the interests of a small and elitist group to put the economy of provinces such as Malaga in jeopardy”.

Ana Gomez, head of the Costa del Sol Tourist Board in the south of the country, said the controllers’ attitude was “intolerable”.

She added: “They might ruin the good work done by lots of people over the past year”.

Spain is still licking its wounds from a 16 per cent drop in visitors last year.

Joaquin Fernandez Gamboa, vice-chairman of the Association of Travel Agents, said: “We cannot allow the interests of a small and elitist group to put the economy of provinces such as Malaga in jeopardy”.

Development minister Jose Blanco has pledged to cut controllers’ pay by up to 40 per cent after their soaring salaries were revealed recently.

The current pay deal for controllers ends on March 31, just four days before Easter Sunday.

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