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Italy: strike-hit travellers await strike-free holidays

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Italy: strike-hit travellers await strike-free holidays

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Travellers in Italy are having a hard time on Friday due to a one-day national transport strike.

Commuters and tourists are scrambling to find the few buses and trains that are running.

The stoppage affects local transport and is due to end on Friday night. It has been called by Italy’s largest unions which are pushing for the renewal of a collective agreement.

At the same time there is wider discontent due to new austerity measures passed last week by the Italian government.

“It’s trouble for passengers, for tourists, foreigners. Maybe for locals it’s normal, for us it isn’t. First time in my life,” said a Chinese tourist.

An American tourist looked on the bright side:

“Worst case, we’re stuck in Rome for a day which is a very good (day) out,” he said.

Stranded travellers may be encouraged to learn that transport strikes are banned in Italy during school holidays, due to start next week.

With Air France intending to take action soon, French MP Lionnel Luca of the ruling UMP party is proposing a similar measure in his country.