Four consulates saved; Osaka axed

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Four Dutch consulates will be saved, but one will be shuttered, in a new plan backed by MPs. During a debate in the Tweede Kamer with Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans on cost-cutting measures, MPs opted to spare the consulates in Antwerp, Chicago, Milan and Munich at the expense of the office in Osaka, according to newswire ANP.

The plan, floated by members of D66, won the backing of coalition partners VVD and PvdA, as well as ChristenUnie and SGP. Total spending cuts in the bill equal €40 million, half of the cuts Timmermans needs to make.

Frans_Timmermans (Habib M’henni, Wikimedia Commons)

The MPs of the Tweede Kamer and Timmermans agree that a modernization of the diplomatic mission system is necessary. Closer relationships with other countries, and broad reductions in spending at the missions can be expected, he said.

Business organizations hailed the decision for the prospect of improving commerce between the Netherlands and businesses based in the regions of the four consulates.