British consulates in Bordeaux, Lyon to close
21 December 2004
Paris – The British consulates in the French cities of Bordeaux and Lyon are to close as part of a worldwide cost-cutting programme announced by the Foreign Office in London.
The consular services currently based in Bordeaux and Lyon are to become managed by consular staff based in Paris.
In the most radical overhaul of British diplomatic missions in years, nine British embassies and high commissions are to close around the world, along with nine consulates – including Bordeaux and Lyon – mostly in Europe and America.
No date has been given for the introduction of the changes, but all are to be effective before the end of 2006.
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, announcing the move earlier this month, said the worldwide closures would save GBP 6 million (EUR 8.6 million) per year.
“The savings made will help to underpin higher priority work in line with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s strategic priorities, including counter- proliferation, counter-terrorism, energy and climate change,” Straw said in a written statement.
“Since 1997 we have made a series of changes in the overseas network to respond to changing priorities. UK-based staff numbers have grown by 9% from about 5,600 in 1997 to about 6,100 now,” Straw said.
“We have opened 18 new sovereign and subordinate posts with UK-based staff since 1997, along with 13 locally-staffed posts. 10 posts have been closed over the same period. By comparison France, with a network of almost identical size to our own, has since 2000 opened 9 new posts and closed 3. Germany today has 11 fewer posts than in 1997.”
© Expatica France News
Subject: French News