12/03/2008, 00.00
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Bangkok: demonstrators leave the airport. The first domestic flight lands

Flights into and out of the international airport Suvarnabhumi should return to normality by December 5th. Antigovernment protesters have left the airport ending their week long siege. On December 8th the new Premier will be nominated, while the country counts the cost of the protests.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The situation in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport, should return to normal within the next two days according to the general manager of the Thai hub.  He has confirmed the end of an eight day siege by anti-government protesters. “I have strong confidence that everything will be OK and will back to normal in two days” confirms Serirat Prasutanond. The first international flight should land at midnight on December 4th, while the first domestic flight, from Phuket, landed today at two o’clock local time.

People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters decided to lift their siege after the courts outlawed the ruling majority – People’s Power Party – and another two coalition partners.  The judges also issued a ban on active participation in national politics for Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat and other party leaders.  The current Constitution provides the possibility for many parliamentarians belonging to the banned parties to form new political groups, thus in all effects holding onto power in the country.

The interim Premier Chavarat Charnvirakul has confirmed that parliament will vote next Monday.  “I have spoken to the Parliament Speaker – refers Chavarat – and we have agreed to elect the new Premier on December 8th”.

In the interim Thailand is counting the economic costs of the paralysis: almost one million people employed in the tourist industry risk loosing their jobs; the national economy, which grew by 4.7% last year, is in ranger of a heavy losses; the orchid industry alone – the national flower – is loosing almost a million dollars a day.  Recent estimates put total losses in the tourist industry at between two and three billion dollars. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand’s Minister for tourism, has described the prolonged protests as “a bullet to the head”.


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