Minister Diaconescu informs of reduction of 55 positions in MAE

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Cristian Diaconescu told a news conference on Friday that he had reduced expenses and the number of staff members in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and voiced hope that the Government, who asked for these measures, would make a reasonable assessment of the characteristic features of diplomacy „that cannot and must not be amputated.”

„Against the background of financial restrictions, we continued the inner process of reducing expenses and making the MAE activity more efficient. We have a very good team, this is my opinion, who is in charge of the finalization of this process both politically and financially.

So far we have decided on reducing or temporarily vacating 55 positions of which 35 are diplomatic ones, 17 are technical and administrative and three local ones,” Cristian Diaconescu said.

He added that MAE would continue this effort. „We shall continue this effort. It is not an extremely simple effort, I also hope that the MAE staff will make an effort to understand this process and we hope that the Government will evidently make a reasonable and diligent evaluation of the essential features of diplomacy, which cannot and must not be amputated,” said Cristian Diaconescu.

The Foreign Minister did not say how mush percent these reductions were and said that he made „a strictly qualitative, not quantitative evaluation as regards reductions” and that he wanted to go on ensuring the efficiency of the MAE activity.

„We must remember that, in point of budget allocation, MAE in Romania is one of the last in Europe. I am not saying it is good, I am not saying it is bad, I am saying that when we compete with partners we must have the necessary capacity to ensure Romania’s representation as all the citizens of Romania want it to be.

I can give you an example: our having diplomatic offices all over Central Asia was a very important argument when we had to substantiate our measure for concluding the agreement on Nabucco and when one mentions the role Romania has in the Black Sea dialogue. These diplomatic offices have done their duty and it is absolutely normal to strengthen them,” said the Minister.

President Traian Basescu told the public radio station on Thursday, July 30, that it was necessary to make a massive reduction of the state apparatus and that he would go on supporting the current coalition although he did not like its delay.

Basescu said that he appreciated Premier Emil Boc very much for his trying to solve this problem by negotiations within the coalition but that there was a limit as regards the negotiating process.

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