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Flights into and out of Heathrow and Gatwick are being disrupted today as workers across Europe prepare to stage a series of strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures.

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The walk-out is expected to involve around 40 groups from 23 countries.

Heathrow Airport said 12 flights have been cancelled as a result of the austerity strikes.

A spokesman said: “British Airways flights travelling both to and from the continent are affected.

“Passengers due to travel today are advised to contact their airlines for the information.”

The action, which was urged the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), has also caused five departures and five arrivals to be axed at Gatwick throughout today.

A spokesman for the airport said services between the UK and Lisbon, Porto and Madrid were affected.

Strikes in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy have been planned as part of The Day of Action and Solidarity across the EU.

Protests are also expected in Belgium, Germany, France and some eastern EU states.

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