THE Spanish air traffic controllers who staged a wildcat strike over the weekend have failed to get any public sympathy at all. Infact, air traffic controllers, who ruined the holiday plans of thousands of people, are amongst the most unpopular people in the country (after Spanish Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero!)
One of the reasons they are so unpopular is that they earn four times more than most Spaniards - their pay packet is in excess of 200'000 euros a year plus overtime. An air traffic controller earns double the amount of Balearic leader Francesc Antich. In other words most Spaniards believe that they shouldn´t be complaining because they earn a small fortune and still they want more.
The damage they have caused to Spain by their strike is enormous. Yesterday, I was interviewed by IB3 television and asked how British travellers had reacted to the strike. I said that most people were furious and there was a danger that many people could cancel their holidays if there were further strikes. The Spanish government are deeply concerned and plan to keep the emergency powers in place for the next two months. This will allow them to use the army if necessary. Overall, it is a most worrying time for Spain and its government.