Cuts to the foreign ministry budget will be rolled out over the next three years, with €16 million being slashed this year, La Stampa reported on Thursday.
The move was described as a “reorganization of the diplomatic network” by Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, and “inspired by the models of other Western countries”.
Budget cuts would affect “property assets abroad and a revision of pay of personnel abroad,” Mogherini was quoted in La Stampa as saying. The minister did not give details about whether salary cuts would specifically hit the country’s ambassadors.
Despite the announcement, Mogherini described the foreign service as “an investment, not a luxury, for international stability and national interests.”
She said since the global financial crisis struck in 2008, the foreign ministry’s budget has been cut by 25 percent, with a 20 percent reduction in diplomatic staff and 10 percent fewer officials internationally.
Mogherini took over from Emma Bonino as foreign minister in February as part of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s new cabinet.
The new premier has been making rapid changes to the government budget, with a stimulus package including €10 billion worth of tax cuts for poor Italians. Renzi has also been trimming at the top, last week announcing salary caps for the highest earners at public companies.