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  • Jose Serra, when he was a senator, during a voting session on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia

    Jose Serra, when he was a senator, during a voting session on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia | Photo: Reuters

The Foreign Ministry, under coup leader Michel Temer, said it wants to reduce government expenses.

Jose Serra, the new foreign minister under the interim president in Brazil, has requested a cost analysis of 17 embassies and diplomatic delegations opened since 2003 in the Caribbean and Africa, according to local newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, with an eye toward closing them to save money.

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According to the Foreign Ministry, the average cost of running an embassy in an African country ranges from US$200,000 to US$250,000 a year, or 4 to 8 times less than it costs to run an embassy in a European country.

The Brazilian embassy in Portugal, for example, costs around US$4 million each year.

Diplomats have said that closing smaller offices would not help with the ministry’s budget problem.

The offices were opened under the presidencies of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the recently removed Dilma Rousseff. Serra was a presidential candidate in 2002 and 2010, losing to bot Lula and Dilma.  

Serra has strongly criticized Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua for denouncing the expulsion of Brazil's elected president. These countries have said they are against what they see as coup and continue to support Rousseff, who they see as the legitimate head of state..

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