Spain approved new austerity measures on Friday, and gave the go-ahead for a limited stimulus package in an effort to quiet the markets’ concern over its financial situation. However, just hours after the measures were approved, The Associated Press reported that the nation’s air traffic controllers staged a huge sickout in protest; part of the austerity plan calls for partially privatizing important airports.
Tourism and business alike suffered as at least 200,000 travelers found themselves grounded just before a long holiday weekend. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the prime minister, ordered the military to take the reins. The walkout lasted for 24 hours and is estimated to have cost the tourism industry 350 million euros, according to Reuters, and the airlines and airlines more than 100 million euros.