Danish Foreign Ministry could lose a tenth of its staff

Government’s budget proposal would result in 200 job losses

Contrary to its pre-election vow to strengthen the Foreign Ministry, the Venstre government is planning to cut 200 jobs in its 2016 budget, Altinget.dk reports.

The government’s budget proposal would leave the Foreign Ministry facing a shortfall of 80 million kroner to pay its salaries over the next three years. Its adoption would therefore result in 35-40 immediate job losses at the ministry,  and 200 cuts over the long-term – 10 percent of the current total workforce.

Broken promise
Martin Lidegaard, the Radikale foreign affairs spokesperson, accused the government of breaking its election promises.

“It’s an absurd situation. Everyone except the government can see the challenges out in the wider world aren’t getting any smaller. On the contrary. To cut so deeply across those who are trying to secure Denmark’s place in the world is in no way what we need,” he said.

“The fat has already been cut away. Now it is cutting deep into the bone in the Danish foreign service. And that is one of the most unwise things I have experienced in Danish political history. We are weakening Danish influence and Danish trade interests.”

Need to prioritise
Sven Gad, the union representative spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry, said the cuts would necessitate prioritising the ministry’s work in the future.

“Lay-offs are sad for all organisations. Especially for those affected, but also for the organisation. It is another organisation we’ll need to make work afterwards,” he said.

“There will have to be a real prioritisation of our future work when 200 positions disappear. But we have confidence the management can manage this.”