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Strike paralyses Madrid metro

A strike by Madrid metro workers brought the system to a standstill on Tuesday, forcing millions of residents and tourists to find other means of transport to get to work or to the airport.

Metro employees did not provide the minimum service normally present during such walkouts, unlike on Monday when around 50 percent of the trains were operating.

The workers are protesting a wage cut of around 5.0 percent imposed by regional authorities on the public sector.

Many buses and commuter trains were packed to capacity and taxis did brisk business Tuesday morning as pickets prevented any movement on the city’s underground rail system.

Spanish media said it was the first time since 1991 that such a strike had paralysed the metro system, now used by around two million people daily.

The metro is a cheap and fast way to reach Madrid’s Barajas airport, and the national airline Iberia recommended passengers find other means of transport in order not to miss their flights.