By Jason Moore

AIR traffic controllers being ordered back to work by armed soldiers and police, the army taking control of air traffic centres and lorry loads of troops at the major airports.

This is what happened in Spain over the weekend as the Spanish government battled to end the wildcat strike by air traffic controllers. I don´t understand why Prime Minister Zapatero had to use the army. Surely, a local police officer could have done the job of soldiers and paramilitaries? Was it really necessary to employ the army? What concerns me is the image the incident will give Spain outside the country.

The government forced the hand of the controllers and in the end they had to return to work;many are facing prosecution for an illegal strike. But why didn´t the government have a contigency plan in place? The air traffic controllers have been pushing for a fight for sometime but when the dispute finally spiralled out of control, there was nothing in place to remedy the problem. The government intends to keep the state of emergency in place for some time which will allow Zapatero to use the army again if necessary. This is a dark time for Spain, as it battles with recession and industrial unrest. I suspect that there are going to be more strikes on the horizon.

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