Slovenia to close embassy in Dublin


THE GOVERNMENT of Slovenia has decided to close its embassy in Dublin and withdraw its ambassador to Ireland.

Slovenia is the second European Union country to close its embassy in Dublin, following the example of Sweden, which closed its embassy last year.

Both countries closed their embassies in Ireland due to financial pressures, and other EU countries are believed to be considering similar action.

However Ireland continues to have an embassy in Stockholm, and the Government intends to retain its embassy in Slovenia.

Last night a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs expressed regret at the Slovenian decision.

She added that the Government was aware the decision was taken in the light of the economic situation facing Slovenia.

The spokeswoman said the Irish Ambassador to Slovenia would remain, and she pointed out that he was also accredited to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The cost of the Irish Embassy in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, in 2011 was €438,000, excluding the salaries paid to the Ambassador and his small staff.

Last year the Government closed its embassy to the Vatican, Iran and East Timor, citing economic considerations for the decision.

In a statement, the Slovenian government said it was closing its embassies in Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Portugal as a result of the difficult financial and economic situation facing the country, which had required it to adopt austerity measures affecting all spheres of operation, including foreign affairs.

It has also closed it consulates in New York and Dusseldorf in Germany for the same reason.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia will continue to endeavour to strengthen and deepen, both bilaterally and multilaterally, relations with the countries where diplomatic missions and consular posts are to be closed,” the statement said.