Cyprus Mail

Foreign minister opposes cuts to diplomats’ pay

Foreign minister Ioannis Kassoulides

Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Thursday he is opposed to any cuts in the allowances paid to members of diplomatic missions.
He was responding to a special report by the audit office, released a day earlier, which called for a recalibration and reduction in the allowances, particularly the general overseas allowance paid to ambassadors or acting chiefs of mission.
In a written statement, Kasoulides said diplomatic staff’s salaries and allowances were slashed in 2013 in line with the cutbacks for all civil servants.
Moreover, he argued, since 2013 the foreign ministry has managed to rationalize expenses.
In particular, the ministry has made savings of 18 per cent on rents paid for the premises of diplomatic missions and for ambassadors’ residences.
And the operating costs of diplomatic missions around the world have been reduced by 11 per cent.
“Because the members of the diplomatic service serve abroad during two-thirds of their career, the incentives and remuneration should be commensurate with their responsibilities and social status, so that they may worthily represent the Republic of Cyprus,” Kasoulides stated.
“Foreign ministry employees faithfully execute their duties, frequently working beyond their working hours without receiving any overtime pay.
“As such, I disagree with any idea of reducing the allowances paid to employees of the diplomatic service.”

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