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Bildt Closes Embassy and Consulates

Published torsdag 23 juli 2009 kl 13.13
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

The Swedish Foreign Ministry decided Thursday which embassies and Consulates General abroad will be shut down. Among others two consulates in the US, in Los Angeles and in New York, will be closed. And more are likely follow.

Thursday’s decision meant that the two consulates in the US will close, as well as the consulates in Canton, in Kaliningrad and in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo. The Swedish embassy in Algiers will probably have to share with another Nordic country in order to save money.

But according to Swedish Radio News this may just the beginning of the closures. A committee will be in place from Thursday to reassess the structure of the administration abroad. After the meeting, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said to Swedish Radio News that he doesn’t want to close several of the Swedish embassies in Europe, which has previously been believed.

“Not necessarily, but the administration will be transformed. We are living in times when I think we need an administration that looks somewhat different than what we needed say 10 or 20 years ago,” Carl Bildt said.

Apparently, it is all about the money. Bildt spoke of a deficit of 6, 5 million US dollars already in 2006.  

“You cannot have an administration operating with a deficit which is carried through year by year,” said Bildt during the press conference.

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