More snow fore­cast, cold snap to dent Ger­man growth

The Pak Banker - - International -

LONDON: Fresh snow fore­casts threat­ened to pro­long chaos caused by a cold snap that could also dent Ger­man growth, and air­lines and rail net­works strug­gled to re­store nor­mal ser­vices in parts of Europe on Wed­nes­day.

Dis­rup­tions to flights and high-speed train travel in con­ti­nen­tal Europe and Bri­tain, have cre­ated travel chaos for tens of thou­sands of trav­el­ers in the busy Christ­mas pe­riod fol­low­ing heavy week­end snow­falls.

Cold weather was likely to clip fourth quar­ter growth in Ger­many, Europe's biggest econ­omy, Volker Treier, chief econ­o­mist at Ger­many's DIHK cham­ber of in­dus­try and com­merce, told Reuters.

"A lot of con­struc­tion projects have been stopped and a lot of busi­ness trips can­celed," he said. "Freight trans­port has also had weather prob­lems. The bot­tom line is the harsh weather will cost about a half a point of growth this quar­ter."

Ger­man rail­ways put on more trains to help stranded air trav­el­ers reach their desti­na­tions but in France the na­tional avi­a­tion author­ity asked air­lines to re­duce ser­vices as a pre­cau­tion af­ter more snow was fore­cast.

In Bri­tain, the bad weather has caused se­vere de­lays to rail ser­vices across north­ern and cen­tral dis­tricts and fore­cast­ers said more heavy snow was on the way.

Travel havoc has trig­gered calls for leg­is­la­tion to force air­ports to deal more ef­fec­tively with bad weather.

Euro­pean Union trans­port chief Siim Kallas said he was con­sid­er­ing forc­ing air­ports to pro­vide a min­i­mum level of in­fra­struc­ture sup­port dur­ing se­vere weather. London's Heathrow, the world's busiest in­ter­na­tional air­port, and Frank­furt Air­port, the biggest on the con­ti­nent, said on their web­sites that op­er­a­tions were re­turn­ing to nor­mal af­ter se­vere dis­rup­tions. -Ap

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