STAFF REPORTER
PALMA

THE state of alert enforced when air traffic controllers staged a wild cat strike on December 3 leading to the closure of Spanish airspace and airports is to be cancelled at midnight tonight.

Due to the chaos caused by the walk out by air traffic controllers, Spain was virtually brought to a complete stand still for nearly 48 hours causing chaos at national and international airports but the government was quick to act and placed all air traffic controllers under the command of the Spanish air force which brought about a swift conclusion to the strike.

A number of air traffic controllers were forced to go back to work by the Guardia Civil or face being arrested.

However, while many of the air traffic controllers which were in the towers bur refused to work or did not turn up claiming to be sick, are still facing prosecution, Spanish air travel has returned to normal.

The government initially introduced the military law for two weeks but, with the dispute with air traffic controllers unresolved, decided to prolong the state of alert until after the Christmas and New Year holidays to prevent any further chaos.

Talks between the government and air traffic controllers over working conditions have resumed and are due to continue on a daily basis until the end of the month. But the airport problems do not end there. Spanish airport authority staff are threatening strike action over the government's plans to part-privatise the country's airports and put some smaller air traffic control towers, such as Ibiza, up for tender to private companies.

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