YESTERDAY I had the pleasure of meeting the new British Consul, Paul Abrey, who has left his job as a City High flyer with Barclays Bank to take-up his new post in Majorca. I have known at least five British Consuls over the years but Paul Abrey is certainly different; he is a lot younger than our previous Consuls, he comes from the private sector and he has arrived in the job with plenty of new ideas. Initially, I had my doubts when the Foreign Office announced that the post of British Consul would no longer be occupied by a career diplomat. I suspected that the new Consul would be a retired former Civil Servant who wanted to sit out in Majorca in the sun and occupy what was little more than a part-time position. Thankfully, I was wrong and Paul Abrey is the exact opposite of all the above and so is his job description. He is young, keen and has a CV which reads like an extract from the business pages of the Financial Times. And what is more he is ideally suited for the job; his wife is Majorcan and he has been coming on holiday here for many years. I am a proud Brit, and I wanted to put something back, he said, and this was one of the reasons he swapped Docklands for the Plaza Mayor in Palma. My door is always open, he said. While I was concerned that the British Consulate was being scaled down I think the reverse can be said. For once, the Foreign Office, has got it just right. Paul Abrey, appears to be the right man for the job and the posting, and he is far better than an experienced diplomat who may know the workings of Pakistan, India and Peru but has little insight into how Majorca functions.
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