The Slovenia Times

Slovenians in New York Urge Keeping the Consulate


The Foreign Ministry is planning to close four Slovenian embassies in EU member states and two consulates in the effort to save EUR 1.8m. Unofficially, one of the consulates headed for the axe is that in New York.

To prevent this, a letter, signed by 22 Slovenians living in New York, was addressed to President Danilo Türk, Prime Minister Janez Janša, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Ljudmila Novak on Tuesday.

The group expressed concern over media reporting about the planned closure of the consulate general that apart form New York also covers seven federal states on the East Coast.

They believe that the closure of the consulate in this "world economic and cultural centre" that has the largest number of consulates general among all cities in the world, would cause irreparable economic and cultural damage as well as damage to Slovenia's reputation in the US and the world.

They note that New York is where most of Slovenian companies operating in the US are located and that it offers the biggest potential to boost economic cooperation between the countries.

They also point out that the consulate has moved to cheaper premises and only operates with one diplomat and one local administrative employee but is nevertheless "extremely active and successful".

After being endorsed by the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, plans for the reorganisation of the diplomatic network were on Tuesday presented by FM Erjavec to President Türk, who has the final say on the matter.

Erjavec said that the president did not disagree with the proposal, which was why he expected Türk would sign the closure of the embassies into the law shortly


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