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Eyjafjallajökull: EU plans to take charge of volcano impact on Monday

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Uploaded on Apr 18, 2010

European Union authorities will be meeting from Monday to adopt a European decision to coordinate 'properly' the decisions made by government authorities in the wake of the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. The meeting has been arranged for Monday evening at the initiative of Spain, which holds the union's rotating presidency during the first half of this year.

Officials of the European Commission and the Spanish presidency of the European on Sunday struggled to come up with a proper and effective response to what they call an 'unprecedented' closure of European airspace, but said EU officials would meet on the issue on Monday. Since Friday, most of the northwest European airspace has been closed because of a huge ash cloud from Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which began erupting last Thursday.

Siim Kallas, EC Vice-President in charge of Transport and Diego Loez Garrido, Spanish State Secretary for EU gave an overview of the situation in European skies and announced coming meetings throughout Monday to see what European governments and the European Union could do to mitigate the effects of the crisis on passengers and businesses

Most flights remained grounded in large parts of the continent as authorities across Europe said there was no end in sight to the plume spewing out of a volcano in Iceland that they insist is dangerous to planes. Of around 24,000 flights that normally operate on a Sunday only some 4,000 will fly, Eurocontrol said. Eurocontrol, says by the end of Sunday more than 63,000 flights will have been canceled since April 15.

Millions of passengers have had plans foiled or delayed because of a ban on air travel that has gradually expanded over large swaths of Europe since Thursday. The aviation industry, already reeling from a punishing economic period, is facing at least $200 million in losses every day, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano began erupting for the second time in a month on Wednesday, sending ash several kilometers into the air. Winds have pushed the plume south and east across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and into the heart of Europe.

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