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Belgium strike forces airspace closure

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Air traffic controllers start a 24-hour walkout
  • Belgocontrol calls the strike a "wild action" and says causes are unclear

(CNN) -- Belgian airspace was shut for 24 hours Tuesday afternoon because of a strike by Belgian air traffic controllers, officials said.

The two sides held one last meeting Tuesday but failed to avert the strike, which began at 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET), said Guy Visele, a spokesman for Belgocontrol, the Belgian air navigation service provider.

"We do not even know what they want," Visele said, calling it a "wild action" by the unions.

The strike was not related to Europe-wide protests, scheduled for Wednesday, over government austerity measures, a Belgocontrol spokeswoman said earlier.

Britain's Foreign Office warned travelers to expect flight delays and cancellations and said domestic and international flights in Belgian airspace would be affected.