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European rescue flights out of Thailand

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European rescue flights out of Thailand

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The long wait is over for many Spanish travellers stranded by protests in Thailand, with Madrid paying for special military flights to get them home. People from other countries are not so lucky, though, as the political crisis in Bangkok drags on, shutting down the city’s main airport.

The anti-government People’s Alliance for Democracy, which is calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister, has urged its protesters to converge on the airport. The group is ending its three-month occupation of the Prime Minister’s office, to consolidate its action at the airport. Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is refusing to step down, rejecting claims that he is merely a pawn of his brother-in-law, the former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Many travellers have made their way by bus and boat to international airports at Phuket and Chiang Mai, where flights are operating. As stranded travellers voiced their frustration outside the French embassy, Paris said it would also be chartering a plane to repatriate its nationals. A plane was due to leave Paris on Monday.