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Airline strikes and cancellations set to continue in August
A cabin crew strike at Ryanair in Spain, which began in June causing hundreds of flight cancellations and delays, will continue until January 2023 with regular 24-hour work stoppages, two workers’ unions said on Wednesday.
That means that if you’re travelling with the low-cost airline in August to and from Spain, there’s a chance your flight will be affected.
You should be on the lookout for delays or cancellations for your flights to and from Spain if you’re travelling from:
- August 8th to 11th
- August 15th to 18th
- August 22nd to 25th
- August 29th to 31st
So far, most of the cancellations and delays have been for flights travelling to or from Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Ibiza, Málaga, and Valencia.
The following link includes some of the confirmed cancelled flights for early August.
On a more positive note, EasyJet flight crews have ended their strike after reaching a deal with management that raises wages by over a fifth, the USO trade union said. that means that remaining strike days planned for July 29th, 30th and 31st have now been cancelled as have any potential stoppages in August.
New immigration rules to offset labour shortages come into force
Spain’s government recently decided to ease the country’s immigration laws to make it easier for citizens from outside the European Union to work in the country to address labour shortages in areas such as tourism and agriculture.
Under the reform , which comes into force on August 15th, foreigners from outside of the bloc who have lived in the country for two years or more can seek temporary residency papers.
The reform will also allow international students to work up to 30 hours a week while studying, and to start work in Spain at the end of their studies.
It will also make it easier for foreigners to obtain a work visa to come to Spain and take up jobs in areas facing labour shortages.
These measures will “improve the Spanish migratory model and its procedures, which are often slow and unsuitable” and have “high social and economic costs for Spain,” the social security ministry said in a statement.
Social Security and Migration Minister Jose Luis Escrivá said the reform aims to “encourage regular, orderly and safe immigration”.
READ MORE: How it’s now easier for foreigners to work in Spain
Spain expecting its third heatwave
Temperatures finally dropped in late July after a heatwave that caused dozens of wildfires and over 1,000 deaths due to heat-related causes.
However, after a few days of slightly lower temperatures, 34 of Spain’s 50 provinces are again on orange and yellow alert at the start of August.
Daytime and nighttime temperatures are expected to again be suffocating according to national weather agency AEMET, with the mercury 5 to 10 degrees higher than normal for this time of year.
Brace yourselves because August could end up being just as stifling as July.
New measures to help with energy usage and costs
On August 1st, Spain’s government will approve a set of urgent measures aimed at addressing energy efficiency in the country.
Although it’s not clear yet what the exact measures will be, it is expected that they will include electricity price cuts for families and businesses whilst also placing limits on the amount of power used in public buildings to prevent squandering at a time of increased energy usage.
Spanish Parliament closes until autumn, with dozens of key laws pending
The Spanish Parliament will be shutting down for August, with many key members on holiday. However, there are still many laws that are still in the pipeline and have yet to be approved. One of these is the Housing Law, which has been awaiting approval for more than a year and still hasn’t been ratified due to disagreements between PSOE and Unidas Podemos.
There is still pending legislation on prostitution, abortion and new taxes for banks and electricity companies, which will now not be sorted until the autumn.
Despite this, the Spanish government has passed more than 20 laws since January which include the labour reform, the waste law, and changes to pension plans.
A deal on UK licences in August after failure to reach agreement in July as promised?
At the end of June, British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott said that a driving licence deal would be “likely by the end of July”. “The UK and Spain are now in agreement on the core issues that have been problematic and we’re now very close to finalising the actual text of the agreement,” he said in a statement at the time.
However, the British Embassy in Madrid posted an update on their Facebook page on July 27th saying: “Although, as we’ve said before, it’s impossible to give an exact date on when they will conclude, we want to be open about the fact (that= things may take longer than we’d like during August”.
Even though their message suggested that an exchange deal is almost certain to make it to the Spanish cabinet, it could be that August will not be the month when the agreement is finalised, especially keeping in mind how this is the official holiday month in the country.
August public holiday in Spain
August 15th is a public holiday across Spain, meaning that anyone not already on holiday will be able to take one on this day. It celebrates the Day of the Assumption of the Virgen.
Operación Salida for August
Operación Salida or the ‘great exodus’ refers to the days when millions leave the cities and head to the coasts or the mountains for their summer holidays in August. It typically brings traffic jams and chaos on the roads. This year, the worst days are expected to be the weekend of July 30th and 31st, just before the start of August.
According to Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) 67 percent of the routes will go to the Mediterranean coast and to the south of Spain, with 20 percent to Valencia and surroundings, 24 percent to Castilla La Mancha and the northern part of Andalusia and 23 percent to the Andalusian coast.
The roads will clog up again around August 15th which is a national holiday across Spain and then the return journey on Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th, which will see the biggest number of cars on the roads returning to the cities.
READ MORE: ‘Operación Salida’: What to know about driving during Spain’s summer exodus