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Air Traffic Controllers Announce Strike December 15th

air traffic controller strike cyprusAir traffic controllers have announced a 12-hour strike for December 15th starting from 9am to 9pm that is set to affect tens of flights to and from the island, said the Pancyprian Union of Air Traffic Controllers (PASEEK).

The announcement comes in the wake of a three-hour strike held by state employee union PASYDY during which more than 8000 public sector workers demonstrated outside the House of Representatives. The 80-member PASEEK used to belong to PASYDY but left the umbrella organisation after a dispute.

The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) reacted strongly to the development, saying that the air controllers offer essential services that should be exempt from strikes. With their decision, PASEEK have added extra economic damage amounting to millions of euros and have undermined Cyprus on an international basis. The island will be isolated from the world for 12 hours, said the CCCI.

The economy is already in terrible trouble and cannot sustain more damage from strikes in the essential services, said the CCCI.

Both strikes are against austerity measures. MPs are in the process of debating the 2012 Budget and a new package of cut backs and new taxes which includes a two-year freeze on public sector salaries. The measures are aimed at cutting state spending, increasing state income and averting Cyprus' entry into the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF).

Passengers are advised to contact their airline for more details as all flights from Larnaca and Paphos airports will be affected for the duration of the strike.

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