Europe still in snowstorm's grip

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Europe still in snowstorm's grip

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More snow, more travel misery, as northern Europe continues to find itself blanketed.

In Britain, London’s Gatwick Airport still remains shut following heavy snowfall.

The government has defended itself against opposition and media criticism that it’s acted too slowly in trying to clear the hub.

British Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:’‘There has been a major weather event across Western Europe. Gatwick airport is closed because of the sheer volume of snow that is falling. A hundred thousand tonnes of snow have been cleared at Gatwick from the runway and the taxiways over the last 24 hours, but it is still not possible to open the runway safely.’‘

In Poland, the severe weather has also seriously disrupted road, rail and air traffic and killed at least 18, mostly homeless, people.The government has urged Poles not to remain indifferent if they see someone in trouble. In the Western city of Lodz, one woman criticised authorities.

‘‘It’s really hard, nothing is being cleared. I don’t know, I guess all the road cleaners are still asleep and those in charge are also probably asleep,’‘ she said.

In Germany, Berlin also woke up to a fresh blanket of snow, causing major chaos to the capital’s rail services. With forecasters predicting a plunge in overnight temperatures, things could get worse before they get better.

A similar scenario in Belgium, with the capital Brussels enduring the wintry weather but as ever some managed to make the most of things.