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Greek air traffic controller strike disrupts holiday travel

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Greek air traffic controllers on Wednesday observed a four-hour strike to press demands for a system overhaul, causing 22 flight cancellations and scores of delays at the height of Greece's tourist season.

[ATHENS] Greek air traffic controllers on Wednesday observed a four-hour strike to press demands for a system overhaul, causing 22 flight cancellations and scores of delays at the height of Greece's tourist season.

The work stoppage between 1.00 and 5.00 pm (1000 and 1400 GMT) hit airports nationwide, including on the Aegean islands prized by holidaymakers.

Six of the cancelled flights were international, a spokeswoman said, adding that 173 flights were delayed, some considerably.

The controllers are calling for an overhaul of the air traffic control system to bring it in line with European norms.

"Maintaining the current structure causes deficiencies... (and) undermines the procedures and systems of monitoring (air) traffic," the employees said in a statement.

The strike came as Greece's beleaguered far-left government was in negotiations with its international creditors for a third bailout, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras saying a deal was in sight.

AFP