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Cutbacks

New York Consulate To Close?

Published onsdag 22 april 2009 kl 20.58
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

As the Swedish embassy in Baghdad prepares to re-open, some of Sweden’s most important business leaders are joining the fight to stop the closure of this country’s consulate in New York.

The foreign ministry has to save up to 6 million US dollars and is looking at ways to cut back. One way is by reducing the number of consulates around the world.

Staff at the consulate in New York apparently feel that they could be one of those closed, and when Renée Lundholm, head of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, heard about the fears she turned to the big-wigs in her board. They include big names in Swedish industry such as Jacob Wallenberg, Michael Treschow and Leif Johansson, and they all signed a letter from the Chamber of Commerce to Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, urging him not to close the consulate.

Lundholm told Swedish news agency TT that the consulate has meant a lot for Swedish and American industry as well as the arts, design and music.

Carl Bildt is refusing to comment on the issue, just saying that the Foreign Ministry needs to make cutbacks and that no establishment should consider themselves immune.

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