Madrid was without its subway service for a second day as workers continued a strike over pay cuts ordered as part of austerity plans.
Officials said rush-hour traffic in the Spanish capital was a third heavier than usual on Wednesday as people took to cars and buses.
But they said the gridlock was not as bad as the first day of the strike, when unions announced unexpectedly that they were reneging on an obligation to run 50% of scheduled trains, according to The Press Association.
The Mayor of the capital, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, said he considers the unions had made a big mistake by not respecting the minimum services. He said the obligation to do so on the unions was not just a legal one, but also a moral one.
Speaking on breakfast TV, the Mayor noted that 12% of the country’s GDP comes from Madrid and that the strike had paralysed economic activity.
The dispute is over the 5% wage cuts which Metro workers will get as part of the cuts ordered by the PP Controlled Regional Government.
Minister for the Interior, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, offered Aguirre the services of his Ministry on Tuesday in an attempt to help resolve the situation, Typically Spanish reports.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated