ATHENS Aug 5 Several Greek domestic and
international flights were cancelled on Wednesday as air traffic
controllers went on strike at the height of the tourism season,
asking for European-based reforms to be brought in to civil
At Athens airport, Greece's biggest, about 22 flights were
called off and 173 rescheduled due to the four-hour stoppage,
said an airport spokeswoman.
The civil aviation authority said it could not provide
figures on how many flights were cancelled across the country
but had informed passengers about possible delays.
The controllers, who are striking from 1100 to 1500 GMT,
want their government agency to be restructured and an
independent one set up in line with European Union rules.
They say that this will help the country deal with staff
shortages and a lack of funds for the maintenance of air traffic
Cash-strapped Greece is struggling to clinch a new bailout
deal with its international lenders to stay afloat in the euro
zone and get its economy back on its feet.
Tourism is a major cash earner, accounting for about one
fifth of Greece's economic output.
The air traffic controller's union has threatened to step up
action from Aug. 14 if the government does not respond to its
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and