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Spain's pain: Strikes and a heatwave

Friday, August 04, 2017 - 01:54

Holidaymakers are facing delays and long queues at Barcelona's El Prat airport on the first day of strikes by security staff that may be stepped up in coming weeks. As Kate King reports, Spain is also dealing with a heatwave with temperatures soaring past 40 degrees.

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Long delays at Barcelona's main international airport, as security workers checking carry-on luggage staged a partial walk-out. They want better salaries and more staff, and are planning to stop work intermittently over the next four days, in an effort to progress negotiations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARY LANE, TOURIST FROM CANADA, 45-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "Yesterday yeah we're supposed to leave to go to Toronto but we missed the flight and today I'm afraid we are going to miss it again." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTOPHER GRANT, TOURIST FROM THE UNITED STATES, 40-YEARS-OLD, SAYING: "Everyone has been told to come around four hours ahead of time and like most people we got here four, four and a half hours early." If by August 14 the workers demands go unheard, they will strike indefinitely. That could mean even more chaos for passengers during peak summer holiday weekends, but it might not result in major disruption. SOUNDBITE (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Well there is a condition here in Spanish law that they cannot completely stop all flights, some of the flights themselves could be completely unhindered. Nevertheless this is a reputational issue I think for for the airports." But strikes aren't the only thing hitting Spain's grappling with Temperatures have soared to 40 degrees across large swaths of the country. In Barcelona emergency service teams have been tasked with distributing water to the homeless, and checking on the elderly. While holidaymakers have been warned to stay in the shade. SOUNDBITE (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Now we have seen during the course of this year some movement in food prices for instance as a consequence of unexpected weather conditions in the southern part of the Mediterranean and that could come through potentially again." Those remaining in Britain are likely to see temperatures half that of Spain. Heatwave Lucifer, perhaps unlikely then to pour cold water on Brit's plans to holiday abroad.

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Spain's pain: Strikes and a heatwave

Friday, August 04, 2017 - 01:54