May 17 - What You Can and Can't Ask the British Consulate

foreign officeIn a rather amusing press statement released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today, a number of particularly bizarre requests made by British holiday makers have been outlined in a bid to educate the public on what they can and cannot ask the British Consulate when holidaying abroad. Some of the more comical requests include on Brit asking the FCO staff in Rome, whether they could translate a phrase for a tattoo that he wanted. A tourist in Tel Aviv questioned whether consular staff could order her husband to get fit and eat healthily so that they could have children, another man in Stockholm asked consular staff to check the credentials of a woman whom he had met online.

Minister for Overseas Territories and Consular Affairs, Mark Simmonds insists that they are not in a position to help people make travel arrangements or social plans, but they do help those who face real problems abroad, including victims of crime, bereaved families who have lost a loved one abroad or Britons who have been arrested or detained.

A contact centre was set up in Malaga two years ago to handle the volume of non-consular enquiries received by British Embassies and Consulates in Southern Europe. Since its launch staff have handled 131,211 calls, 39% of which have been lifestyle enquiries.

The Consulate in Malaga also handles work for expats living in the South Spain. It can be found at Calle Mauricio Moro Pareto, 2 Edificio Eurocom 29006 Malaga. The consulate is open to visitors Monday to Friday from 9am – 1pm, excluding public holidays.