French air traffic controllers strike

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French air traffic controllers began a strike late Tuesday which is expected to disrupt flights to and from the two main Paris airports, Charles de Gaulle/Roissy and Orly.

The strike and storms forecast for Wednesday could force the cancellation of one in firve flights from Roissy and half of all flights from Orly, said officials from France's DGAC civil aviation authority.

The action is scheduled to run until Thursday morning.

French unions called the strike to protest plans to integrate French air traffic control into a European system.

But junior transport minister Dominique Bussereau denounced the action as inappropriate.

French unions staged strikes over the same issue in January and February.

The French action came as Spanish Transport Minister Jose Blanco said the military would replace air traffic controllers in Barcelona, two-thirds of whom reported in sick Tuesday in what has been described as an undercover strike.

© 2010 AFP

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