Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: French diplomats on rare strike

Members of the French diplomatic corps are dropping their traditional reserve to go on a rare strike Thursday, angered by a planned reform they worry will hurt their careers and France’s standing in the world. Some ambassadors and numerous diplomats, in posts ranging from Tokyo to the Middle East and Washington, have said they would honor the day-long strike. They want President Emmanuel Macron to scrap a plan to merge career diplomats with a larger body of civil servants, starting in January. The action, announced by Macron in an April decree, will reportedly affect about 800 diplomats. Opponents claim that’s just the beginning. “We risk the disappearance of our professional diplomacy,” a group of 500 diplomats, wrote in a commentary published last week in Le Monde newspaper. “Today, (diplomatic) agents … are convinced it is the very existence of the ministry that is now being put into question.” (https://www.boston25news.com/news/world/frank-exchange-views/WWX4VW7A5SPU5ZHIQ5E66UIV44/) Union leaders said Thursday’s job action is only the second strike by French diplomats in 20 years. A protest is planned near the imposing French foreign ministry complex known as the Quai d’Orsay, on the River Seine.

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