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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Albania: unexpectedly stop by the radar men. Strike or illness?

Flights suspended at Tirana airport. Police and Army guard the control tower

An unannounced shutdown by the AlbControl's flight controllers led today to the cancellation of all air connections to and from Albania. With the radar men, other employees of the State-owned company are also stopping all kinds of activities: together they protest against the reduction in wages (decided due to the crisis triggered by the pandemic) and working conditions. Latest news from Tirana to AVIONEWS tell of a tense climate and an airport, that of Tirana-Rinas armored by the Army and Police forces to guard the control tower and the nerve centers of the airport. The carriers Austrian Airlines, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Air Albania, Aegean, Pegasus, TUI, Alitalia are potentially affected by today's unrest.

It seems that the Government has decided to take a hard line towards the strikers, and the attempt to appease the minds of the Minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku seems to have led to nothing, according to rumors at the headquarters of AlbControl (of which among other things she was an employee), to discuss the requests of air traffic controllers and other employees. "The serious sabotage of the activity of the 'Mother Teresa' airport - in Tirana, Editor's note- will not be tolerated. The organizers will be prosecuted and will have to face the law, which strictly prohibits the cessation of the tower by the controllers", Balluku said it.

The same source, however, reports to AVIONEWS that it is not a real strike: "We have declared our temporary incapacity, which is an obligation for every air traffic controller in case he/she feels unable to perform the tasks described in the manual" .

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency
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