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Germany

Budget Cuts Threaten Cultural Institutions Abroad

Long established German cultural and educational institutions operating abroad, such as the Goethe Institute, could see their future jeopardized if budget cuts go through unchanged. Currently, the foreign ministry is facing a 38 percent reduction in its budget by 2007 and hardest hit of its various segments will be the foreign culture and educational institutions. Secretary General for the Goethe Institute Andreas Schlüter told Berlin's Tagesspiegel that such cuts could seriously endanger the organization's work abroad. Even politically important projects would have to be scratched, he told the newspaper. "The work in crisis regions is one of our focus areas," he said and listed the recent opening of a Goethe Institute in Kabul and a planned reading room in Pyongyang as well as future projects in Iraq. All of these are now at risk Schlüter stressed.