An Arrival from New Birmingham: Angleteric-German Summit
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Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
The Kaiser and Gemahlinkaiserin were preparing on one part of the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin for the arrival of the Angleteric delegation. As one of the more important state visits after the opening up of Germany, it was a crucial visit. The Nicolezian summit went well, at least according to the Chancellor. She was on the other side of the palace getting ready before the Angleterics arrived.
"Is everything ready for the dinner later?" the Kaiser, Georg Friedrich I, said to the staff. They nodded. "Perfect. I know that the Chancellor and I will be handling the negotiations. It will probably come as a shock that in our constitutional monarchy I get to be a little more active."
"Darling, I think they know that," the Gemahlinkaiserin (Empress Consort) said to the Kaiser.
"Well, actually you never know. Angleter is such an interesting country; I don't think I know the former Marquess now King," the Kaiser said. The two continued to prepare.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor having received the news that her Foreign Secretary and two Greens leaders were threatening her with two months to right the ship felt threatened. She knew that this had to be a success at all costs. This was, unlike the meeting with Premier Whiteford, a meeting of complete opposites. Icholasen had history with the Deutsches Reich, but Angleter had a totally different political party ideology in charge.
She had watched Emryc Isla, the Prime Minister of Angleter and leader of the right-leaning populist party Citizen's Alliance, rise to power. She had hoped that Sam Courtenay would have been able to hold on, but Angleteric politics were notoriously ruthless. Unlike Germany, which despite having a Government and Opposition like Angleter or Icholasen still found ways to form coalitions and not totally burn bridges. It had come up between her and Karrenbauer of the CDU that should the AFD come third, they'd form a coalition to lock them out. Now the equivalent of the AFD was running Angleter.
She was scared. She simultaneously had to be courteous and treat the Prime Minister of such a large and powerful nation with the utmost respect, yet also remain true to her values. The values that saw her grow up in the union movement and become the leader of the Young Social Democrats.
"Reichskanzlerin, the Angleteric plane is approaching Berlin Brandenburg Airport," an aide said to the Chancellor.
Angleter last edited by
Emryc Isla's aides exchanged looks at each other. Finally one piped up.
"You were right the first time, Prime Minister."
"No, Carmel, I think it was a little off. I keep doing the 'kh' like in 'Khatkar', but it's different."
"It's fine. So long as you're in the right ballpark, they'll just appreciate you making the effort. Now, have you read through the rest of that brief?"
"The important bits, yes."
A brief silence. Another aide chimed in.
"Which bits did you decide aren't important?"
"It was a bit heavy on the biography, John. The rest was good, though, so thanks for that. Economy, political system, trade, diplomacy - I think we're up to speed."
The seatbelt sign lit up on the plane, signalling that it was about to land.
"Well, let's see what they're like," said Emryc as he put his seatbelt on.
This would be Emryc's first major bilateral summit. He'd attended multilateral events before and had built strong working relationships with some like-minded leaders, such as Archbishop Craticus in Inquista, but this was something new altogether. Diplomacy had taken a back seat for much of the last year as the Citizen Alliance sought to solidify its position in government. That and pouring cold water on the persistent tabloid rumours about his dating life. And, for that matter, his dating life.
At any rate, Germany would be a new challenge. A large country on the other side of Europe, with a centre-left government, in a bilateral meeting. But Emryc was used to new challenges. Two things had got him to the Prime Minister's Office - confidence and outspokenness. He just had to deploy one and suppress the other.
Emryc heard a rustling noise behind him and turned around in his seat to check on his Foreign Minister, Nigel Martin, who was accompanying him on the visit.
"You alright back there, Nigel?"
"Tip-top, Emryc," replied Martin in an unconvincing tone. "Just can't get my sea-- get th-- get in th-- oh God, oh God, come on-- AH, there we go. Get my seatbelt in the thing. Got there in the end."
"Good to hear it!"