THE British Consul, Paul Abrey, officially finishes work today at the Consulate in Palma ending seven years of dedicated service to the British community and visiting British tourists. It is a sad day, because Paul has been a very good Consul and he will be sadly missed. It is also sad that the Foreign Office has so far made no mention of the future of the British Consulate in Palma. As far as I know the Foreign Office has not launched a recruitment campaign to try and find a new Consul for the Balearics. It is a process which could take months. Paul was recruited directly from the private sector but it still took time. The Balearics needs a British Consul and I sincerely hope that there are no plans to downgrade our Consulate because it would be a major blow to Britain and a slap in the face for the Balearics and its people. Let us remember that the Balearics are Britain´s favourite holiday spot. During Paul´s seven year spell here more than 20 million British tourists came here on holiday, that is half the population of England. The Foreign Office needs to outline exactly what is going to happen at the Consulate sooner rather than later. Not only are we losing a very good Consul today we are also going to be left with a void which needs to be filled at once. On a final note I would just like to wish Paul Abrey and his wife Mar all the best for the future. I know that they will be returning to the island periodically but obviously it is not the same.
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