Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Work to rule by Policia Nacional creates bottleneck at frontier

Summer delays hits tourism By Brian Reyes

There were long queues and angry scenes at the border yesterday as the ongoing industrial action by Spanish police officers led to lengthy delays.

Pedestrians were periodically forced to wait up to 30 minutes in the blazing sun as passports and identity cards were checked one by one.

Vehicles coming into Gibraltar endured longer waits, at times of up to one and a half hours.

British Airways and Monarch had to make special arrangements to enable a number of passengers arriving from Spain to board lunchtime flights to the UK even though the check-in desks had closed.

At least one passenger caught up in the border queue missed his flight, though he was found a seat on a later flight at no extra cost.

The problems at the border have been evident for a number of days, though the hold-ups yesterday were particularly acute.

Unionised officers of the Policia Nacional are pressing on with a ‘work to rule’ action in response to a breakdown in pay negotiations with the Spanish PSOE Government.

The industrial action affects all of Spain and will continue indefinitely until the pay dispute is resolved, Spanish police unions said earlier this month.

People who have experienced the delays at the border first hand told the Chronicle that the queues tend to start after 9am, once the cross-border commuter rush has died down.

It was clear yesterday that the vast majority of those stuck waiting to get across from Spain were tourists.

Related Articles and Links:

08 August 2005 - Noisy frontier protest as car queues worsen

02 August 2005 - Go-Slow does not affect frontier flow

30 July 2005 - Spanish Police declare go-slow at Frontier

Spanish Government

PSOE - Spain's Governing Socialist Party in José Luis Zapatero's Government

Policia Nacional

Spanish Police Trade Unions:

SUP - Sindicato Unificado de Policia
UFP - Union Federal Policia


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