Costa Rica Closes Pricey Embassies

February 20, 2009

As the global financial crisis squeezes state finances, President Oscar Arias’ administration has decided to close three foreign embassies and two consulates.

The Costa Rican embassies in Bolivia and Paraguay and the consulates in Puerto Rico and Chicago will close April 30, while the embassy in the CzechRepublic will close May 31.

“We are trying to shift some of our resources – human and financial – to Costa Rican soil,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The closure of these embassies and consulates does not change in any way Costa Rica’s interest in maintaining excellent bilateral relations with the Czech Republic, Bolivia and Paraguay.”

Costa Rica has 35 embassies abroad, 10 consulates, and five permanent missions that represent the country before international organizations. Some 74 percent of the Foreign Ministry’s budget is spent outside Costa Rica.

–Gillian Gillers

 

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