Airport delays end, for now

Delays at Greek airports eased significantly yesterday as air-traffic controllers ended a work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions after holding talks with representatives of the Transport Ministry. The workers also called off a planned strike for this Saturday and are expected to hold further discussions with the government next week. On Sunday and Monday, they had been keeping to strict limits on the number of aircraft that could be in Greek air space at any one time, leading to delays for international and domestic flights. The civil servants want to be given control of their department’s budget. At the moment, the 653 air-traffic controllers, who earn an average monthly wage of 3,000 euros, are paid out of the money that Greece gets each year from the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), which collects various taxes from airlines. Last year, Greece claimed 185 million euros from Eurocontrol. This money also covered the wages of some 3,500 civil aviation employees and the upgrading of equipment.

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