More Swedish embassies may be closed
More Swedish embassies may be closed next year. The government says this is the result of the parliamentary decision cutting staff budgets – a proposal approved by the opposition against the will of the minority center-right government.
News reports maintain that Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has already decided to close the embassies in Guatemala, Amman in Jordan, Nicosia on Cyprus and Kampala in Uganda as well as the general consulate in Hong Kong.
Critics say that the closing of embassies is unnecessary and that there is enough reserve funds to cover the cuts - and that the government is trying to blame the closures on the opposition.
Critics have been especially angry over the foreign minister's decision to close the Swedish embassy in Hanoi - claiming Sweden is losing years of good will after providing so much development aid to Vietnam. They add that this is will also hurt Swedish companies trying to establish themselves in Vietnam's booming economy.