French diplomats are to strike next month for only the second time in their history, protesting an “avalanche” of reforms that unions say are undermining the foreign service at a time of global tensions. “The Quai d’Orsay is disappearing little by little,” read a statement from six staff unions, using a familiar name for the French foreign ministry’s headquarters on the south bank of the Seine in central Paris. The main complaint is a reform to career structures which will see the special status accorded to the most senior diplomats scrapped from next year, unions say. “These measures dismantling our diplomatic service make no sense at a time when war has returned in Europe,” their joint statement said. Under changes championed by President Emmanuel Macron, and rushed through by decree in April, top foreign service officials would lose their special protected status and be absorbed in a larger pool of elite public sector workers.