Foreign Secretary says battle over European secretary of state still open

16-01-2011

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Sunday that discussions about whether a Secretary of State for European Affairs would be based in the government office and outside the foreign ministry were still continuing. The thorny issue has opened a rift between the foreign minister and Prime Minister Petr Nečas for the past six months. The Foreign Ministry opposes what it sees as a rival centre for Czech foreign relations. The prime minister argues that government policy could be better coordinated there. Mr. Schwarzenberg added in an interview on Czech public television that some foreign embassies might be reopened if more cash were forthcoming. He pointed out that the real income of the Foreign Ministry had dropped by a third over the past decade.