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Spain’s national rail calls train strikes: What you need to know

Workers for Spain’s national rail network Renfe have announced stoppages across the country during October and November 2022. These are the trains that will be affected and the confirmed strike dates.

Spain's national rail calls train strikes: What you need to know
Renfe strikes announced during Oct and Nov 2022. Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

UPDATE OCTOBER 27TH: Unions have called off their planned strike action on Spain’s state rail network Renfe after making progress in negotiations with company bosses, avoiding delays for thousands of passengers across Spain in October and November. Find out more here.

The walkout – called by Spain’s General Union of Workers (UGT), the Workers’ Commissions (CC.OO) and the Spanish Union of Railway Drivers (Semaf) – is set to affect thousands of commuters for several days throughout the next two months.  

According to the unions, there are three reasons for the strikes – the lack of trains, the lack of drivers and the fear that Renfe will transfer its powers first to Catalonia and, later, to other regions across the country.  

The unions called for the strikes after Renfe failed to meet their demands at a meeting with Spain’s Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA), which ended without an agreement being reached.  

CC.OO has stated that these stoppages are due to a “series of protest actions” to show Renfe that they are not listening to their workers.

According to reports, the situation continues despite “repeated complaints” by the unions, “our approaches and proposals have not been taken into account,” a spokesperson for CC.OO said.

UGT added that Renfe “is unilaterally and deliberately blocking collective bargaining, which involves serious damage to the entire workforce.”

They are also criticising the lack of staff “in all areas” and the poor situation suffered by supervisors.

The unions already held a protest in front of the Congress of Deputies on October 19th and sources have indicated, they will demonstrate again if there is no positive response from Renfe.

When will the strikes be?

The walkout is due to begin on October 28th and so far three days of strikes have been announced. These are:

  • October 28th, from midnight to 11pm
  • November 7th, from 6am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm
  • November 11th, from 6am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm 

Which trains will be affected? 

The Ministry of Transport has not confirmed exactly which trains and which lines will be affected. They have also not yet confirmed the minimum number of services that will run.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

Those with Spanish citizenship are in luck because their passports are the third most powerful in the world, meaning they can travel to many different countries without the need for a visa.

Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

If you want to go on a last-minute break, it’s really only possible to countries that don’t require you to apply for a visa beforehand or issue you with a visa upon arrival. 

The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and each year it reveals the number of destinations that passport holders from around the world can access without a prior visa.

The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations and offers all kinds of information on global mobility, ultimately revealing which passports are the most powerful. 

Each country is scored on the total number of destinations that a holder of its passport can access without a visa. For each travel destination, if a visa is not required, they receive a score of one. This also applies if holders are able to obtain a visa on arrival, visitor permit or electronic travel authorisation (ETA) upon entry.

The rankings for 2023 show that Spain, along with Germany, is in joint third place, meaning that Spanish passport holders can visit a total of 191 countries without needing a visa.

READ ALSO: Why Spain is second favourite country for Americans to move to

In joint first place are Japan and Singapore whose passport holders can visit a total of 193 countries without requiring a visa.

They are closely followed by South Korea in second place, whose passport holders can visit a total of 192 countries.

After Spain and Germany, there are several European countries on the list. Those from Finland, Italy and Luxembourg come in fourth place, able to visit 189 destinations, while those from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden come in fifth place able to visit 188 destinations.

These are followed by passports from France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom in sixth place, allowing them to visit 188 countries without a visa.

According to the rankings, only 17 percent of countries give their passport holders access to more than 80 percent of the world without a visa.

The three countries with the least powerful passports are Afghanistan whose holders can only visit 27 countries without the need for a visa, Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.

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