3 embassies and 8 consulates will be abolished, according to the presidential announcement. At the moment there are 1,704 employees, of which 715 are abroad and 989 within the country.
Government entities begin to implement the measures announced by the President of the Republic, including the reduction in the size of the State. Aligned to that position, the Chancellery began the decline of officials. Internal sources of the entity confirmed that it is also about eliminating political posts. The adjustments mainly affect diplomats, administrative staff and contracted abroad, among which are secretaries and drivers.
Among the announcement made by the Head of State is the suppression of the embassies of Belarus, Angola and Algeria, as well as the disappearance of eight consulates. Although in this last case it is not known in detail what they will be. With the measures, the number of diplomatic delegations is reduced from 50 to 47; while in the consulates, from 77 will go to 69.
It should be noted that there are also 75 honorary consulates. The reduction is part of the restructuring carried out by Foreign Minister José Valencia Amores. The idea is to identify the actual number of officials needed for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to function. “The optimal template must be adjusted to the reality of the State,” he pointed out, noting that the foreign service – every day – lives new realities and priorities.
“Ten years ago, the Chancellery was made up of 750 people. There was a notable increase, but there is a significant reduction. There was a time that exceeded 2,000 people, “he said. There are currently 1,704 employees. Outside there are 715, while within the country they reach 989. Part of that payroll (contracts) will not be renewed. The reduction of officials in this portfolio is part of the process of merging and eliminating entities, which will mean the exit of 1,500 employees from the public sector.
At the moment, the cut is 8.4% of the total bureaucrats. José Augusto Briones, Secretary of Planning and Development, last week revealed that in one year and three months 42,000 workers left the State.
In contrast, Raúl Ledesma, Minister of Labor, updated the payroll of the public sector: in January of this year there were 495,705 workers. The Executive aims to reduce the fiscal deficit to 1% with respect to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) until 2021.
Suppression of consulates
The Foreign Ministry did not confirm the list of consulates that will be abolished, but the Chief Executive indicated that there will be eight. An internal source said that they are those of Alicante, in Spain; of Canton, in China; from Bombay, in India; from Hamburg, in Germany; from Queens and Phoenix, in the United States; of The Hague, in the Netherlands, and of Valencia, in Venezuela.
However, another source clarified that The Hague consulate could not be abolished because it was just opened. Also, Assemblywoman Ximena Peña consulted with the Foreign Ministry about the supposed closure of the dependency in Queens (USA). “We have made contact with the highest authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and have confirmed that the Consulate in Queens will not be closed,” but will be relocated to a site with cheaper leases.
Marcelo Fernández de Córdoba, former vice chancellor, indicated that the reduction is positive since during the last 10 years “the charges have multiplied”. He urged the elimination of dependencies in countries with which Ecuador has no commercial relationship or political necessity. (I)