SPAIN’S first general strike in eight years has attracted far more support than expected.
But there is bad news for holidaymakers, as thousands of passengers have been left stranded with two thirds of flights in and out of the country grounded.
In particular Budget airline Ryanair has now cancelled all flights within Spain, explaining on its website: “Unfortunately due to the failure of the Spanish government to protect non Spanish airline’s fights with minimum service guarantees, Ryanair have been forced to cancel all domestic flights in Spain on September 29 and most international flights to/from Spain on September 29.”
And national flagship carrier Iberia said it expected to operate only 35 per cent of its scheduled flights.
According to the Spanish trade unions they have 70 per cent support across the country with particular backing in Andalucía, Murcia and Galicia.
And picket lines and demonstrations have been launched nationwide with some protesters taking to the streets before dawn.
The union’s estimate that 10 million people will be out of work today leading to widespread disruption with much of Spanish industry grounding to halt and public transport services slowing.
The 24-hour strike has been launched by the unions in protest against wage cuts, reformed labour laws and an increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67.
And it is set to coincide with a demonstration in Brussels in which thousands of workers plan to protest against public spending cuts.