Insularity taken into account in setting flights.

Each airline will be required to maintain one return flight on the routes between the Peninsula and the Balearics, between islands (Canaries and Balearics), between the Peninsula and the Canary islands and the Peninsula-Melilla/Ceuta under the minimum services decreed for the June 20 general strike by the central government and announced yesterday. A spokesman for the ministry said that the percentage of the minimum services was higher than in other sectors, and insularity has been taken into account. He added that there are now more airlines than at the time of the 1994 strike, and so it had been necessary to adapt the minimum services of that year, but “they have not varied.” On air routes between Spanish cities on the Peninsula, where alternative means of public transport mean travelling more than 500 kilometres, there will be one return flight by each company operating the routes. In flights between Spanish and foreign cities, the frequency of flights will be reduced to one return flight for each country and each company operating the routes. For sea transport, Links between the Peninsula and the Balearics have been reduced to one return trip on the Barcelona-Palma-Barcelona run and the Mahon (Minorca)-Barcelona-Ibiza run. The ministry spokesman said that the maritime transport frequencies were identical to those of the general strike of 1994. As to trains, between 25 and 30 per cent of the short haul trains should function, which is considerably less than the 1994 services, when up to 50 per cent of the trains were in service. No minimum services have been established for regional and long distance trains. In Majorca yesterday, unions continued their rounds of meetings to explain the reasons for the strike to members and seek their support. After the meetings, they staged a demo through the streets of Palma, going along Calle Olmos, Plaza España and the Avenidas, handing out strike literature and seeking support for the strike and for the rally which will be held in the Plaza España at 7pm on Thursday. The march disrupted traffic in the busy Avenidas for about ten minutes. Union members also demonstrated outside the office of the government representative in the Balearics, demanding the “immediate withdrawal” of the controversial labour reforms. The union later revealed the content of a letter addressed to Prime Minister José María Aznar, in which they called for “full social protection” and guaranteed pensions. They are also demanding “full labour rights, a 35 hour week by law and steady jobs,” as well as improved working conditions. Other demands are a free and universal health service, equal pay for women, and solidarity and social justice for the poorest parts of the planet.


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