The country’s finance minister, Andrej Babiš, has suggested that the Foreign Ministry should review Czech embassies and diplomatic missions to see which are truly needed. Mr Babiš made the statement on Monday at an annual meeting of economic diplomats. He also expressed the opinion that the activities of representative bureaux like CzechInvest, Czech Centres or CzechTourism could be streamlined. It was reported at the weekend by Novinky.cz that the Czech Foreign Ministry is facing serious financing shortfall for this year which in the worst case scenario could result in the closure of 45 embassies or general consulates abroad and loss of 270 staff. The financial shortfall this year is expected to be around 400 million crowns and is set to rise to 900 million crowns next year. Causes are the weakness of the Czech crown and extra expenses from opening up representative offices in foreign countries in recent years.
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