Chile to shut down its embassy in Athens

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The Chilean ambassadors of Greece, Denmark, Algeria, Syria and Romania were informed on Friday, that they will have to finish their affairs before the end of the year, 24 Horas reported.

The closure of the embassies are occurring in order to provide a greater national presence in Brussels, considered the unofficial capital of the European Union, as well as in Vienna (Austria).

The measure was taken by Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, after the Strategic Planning Directorate asked to evaluate the political, economic and development relevance of the different nations where Chile has embassies.

For this analysis, some indicators from the World Bank and UNESCO were used.

"We have to understand that we live in a much more changing, more dynamic world. Today, the new media and the new power structures make it necessary to analyse whether it is possible to maintain the level of relations," Ribera argued.

The fiscal coffers will save 3 to 4 billion pesos, which were destined for the operation of the embassies.

In Greece, the person in charge of closing the embassy in Athens is the Ambassador of Chile, Ximena Carolina Ares.

The main areas of cooperation between Chile and Greece are oriented towards the fields of education and culture, and in commercial terms, Greece is ranked as the number 19th trade partner between Chile and Europe.

Between 2013 and 2019 the commercial relations between the two deteriorated at an average rate of 21% annually. Chile exports mainly refined copper to Greece, representing more than 80% of national shipments to the European country.

For its part, Greece stands out for the cargo ships that imports into the country.

In 2019, the commercial exchange between the two recorded the figure of $70,815,977, and so far in 2020 the number is $23,984,221. The trade balance was positive for Chile last year, totalling $30,176,376.