Foreign Minister supports cuts, even if they affect his own
SANTO DOMINGO.- Foreign Minister Carlos Morales yesterday said he supports cuts in spending even if it jeopardizes diplomatic and consular posts, but noted that 92% of foreign service workers belong to the ruling PLD party and the rest are to the PRSC, which he presides.
"There are 350 vice consuls. I don’t think we (the PRSC) reach 24 vice-consuls. There are 45 Consuls and I don’t think we have four consuls."
He said he PRSC has been an ally of the PLD in recent elections for which it has had a strong representation in the Foreign Ministry, both during the government of ex President Leonel Fernandez and now with Danilo Medina.
"We have always believed and we have supported everything that has to do with the rationalization of spending and sometimes certain information has been manipulated suggesting that most of the Foreign Service positions are being filled by PRSC members."
He said as the result of the Economic Partnership Agreement around 50,000 jobs have been created since 2008. "So when there’s an Economic Partnership Agreement, which is related to trade negotiations, we obviously have to increase staff, but in a rational manner," Morales said, but didn’t specify how many posts would be eliminated.
According to press reports, the end of last year’s payroll totaled 1.163 foreign service officers, representing an expenditure of more than RD $ 4 billion a year.
According to diariolibre.com, the Foreign Ministry website’s "Foreign Service Personnel List," an Ambassador’s salary is US$3,000 per month and a chargee de affaire, US$ 2,000.