Catalonia-owned company puts 4,000 jobs in limbo
BARCELONA (Agencies) Spanair, the airline that has survived only thanks to a total infusion of €1 billion from the regional government of Catalonia, went out of business on Friday, leaving 20,000 passengers stranded without warning. No warning was given to the company's 4,000 staff, either. In fact, the company was still selling tickets online on Thursday evening, according to passengers who bought some. The president of Catalonia, Artur Mas, said in response that it had been decided that, given the present financial crisis, the regional government could no longer keep the company going. "It was a good idea from the start, but we have been unable to interest an international investor to come aboard," he said.>>>
In the meantime, the Minister for Development, Ana Pastor, expressed her shock at the way the company acted, although it was no surprise that the airline is no longer viable. She said that the company could be sanctioned with fines of up to €9 million, plus losing its licence to fly. The employees were told this morning that they were on a 'paid permission' but union representatives wonder how they will be paid their January salaries, let alone any kind of 'permission'.