THE Balearic Islands no longer has a British Consul whose sole responsibility are these islands. When Paul Abrey cleared his desk in Palma yesterday it was a double blow for the islands; not only is the Balearics losing an excellent Consul it is also losing the post as well. Many words come to mind but as we are dealing with the Foreign Office it is best to be diplomatic. Someone, somewhere decided that it would be a good idea to run the Balearics (Britain´s top holiday destination) from an office in Barcelona. The dedicated team at the Consulate will continue but there will be no Consul in Palma to directly oversee their work and motivate the team. Her Majesty´s Diplomatic Post in Palma will become a Vice Consulate. It is rather like deciding to merge the Paris and Berlin embassies and have a single ambassador. It just doesn´t make sense. I am told that it is not a money-saving move. If any place in the world needs a Consul, it is the Balearics. When you are on holiday or living in foreign lands it is nice to know that there is a British Consul looking after your wellbeing. I suspect that the Foreign Office is going to have a difficult task to try and explain their decision to the British tourist industry and the thousands of expatriates who live on the islands. I have read the official press release to try to find a reason for their decision, but to be honest I couldn´t find one. The Foreign Office has decided that we don´t need our own Consul. Well if that is the case then I don´t feel that we need a Foreign Office anymore.
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