Montenbourg Social Media and Press

  • Montenbourg signs landmark Free Trade Agreement with Luz de Libertados

    April 5st, 2018 8:50 pm| by Sarah Nickelby||MBC News

    HM Foreign Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord with Luz de Libertados Foreign Minister Alexander Mackleford

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    The Government of Montenbourg remains committed to working with Luz de Libertados government and business leaders to deepen the commercial ties between our countries and create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow our economies.

    Today, HM Foreign Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, Libertado's Foreign Minister Alexander Mackleford witnessed the signing of the milestone Montenbourg-Luz de Libertados Free Trade Agreement (MLFTA), which will open our markets to products, grow our communities, and give our citizens a higher standard of living.

    The Agreement is part of Montenbourg's continued commitment to supporting Libertado's efforts to build a stable, democratic, and prosperous country.

    Both Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados are committed to the timely ratification and implementation of MLFTA – so that Montenbourgians and Libertados alike can take advantage of its benefits as soon as possible. 

    "The Montenbourg-Luz de Libertados Free Trade Agreement represents a significant milestone in the relationship between Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados. It will bolster our economies, spur innovation, and lead to long term benefits for the middle class and those working hard to join it.-.
    Rt. Hon. Elizabeth McCord, HM Foreign Secretary of State

    “Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados know that trade is essential to jobs and growth. By improving market access and creating more predictable conditions for trade, the Montenbourg-Luz de Libertados Free Trade Agreement will generate new opportunities for Montenbourgians and Libertados alike.”  Alexander Mackleford, Foreign Minister of Luz de Libertados


    • In 2018, Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados announced the snao conclusion of the Montenbourg-Luz de Libertados Free Trade Agreement (MLFTA) negotiations.
    • Montenbourg’s Trade and Buisness Minister, Cara Carleton-Fiorina, and Libertado's First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade signed the Agreement in Luz de Libertado's capital during a private visit.
    • Luz de Libertados offers numerous opportunities for Montenbourgian businesses and investors, in areas such as information and communication technologies, agriculture, infrastructure and logistics, aerospace, defence and security, and energy.
    • In 2018, bilateral trade between Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados increased by 13.9 per cent, totalling almost $278 million. Montenbourg's exports to Luz de Libertados totalled over $210 million in 2017. Examples of products imported by Libertados include pharmaceuticals, fish and seafood, and coking coal.
    • Montenbourg’s merchandise imports from Libertados totalled more than $67 million in 2018. Major imports included fertilizers, iron and steel, and anthracite coal.
    • Now that the Agreement has been signed, Montenbourg and Luz de Libertados will go through their respective domestic legislative processes to ratify and implement the Agreement.

  • The King and PM to Permit Young Migrants and Minorities to Remain in Montenbourg

    April 5st, 2018 8:50 pm| by Sarah Nickelby||MBC News

    Activists supporting the Kings Order at Lexington Street

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the Kingdom of Montenbourg as children will be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation and able to work, under an King's Order in Council action, HM Government announced today.

    Officials said the King used existing legal authority to make the broad policy change, which could temporarily benefit more than 800,000 young people. He did not consult with Parliment, where Nationalitz and some CMP's have generally opposed measures to benefit illegal immigrants.

    The policy, while not granting any permanent legal status, clears the way for young illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows, work legally and obtain driver’s licenses and many other documents they have lacked.

    “They are Montenbourgians in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” The King said in announcing the new policy in the Bourgeon Palace today. The Prime Minister said he was taking “a temporary stopgap measure” that would “lift the shadow of deportation from these young people” and make immigration policy “more fair, more efficient and more just.”

    Under the change, the Home Secretary will no longer initiate the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the Kingdom before age 16, have lived here for at least five years, and are in school, are high school graduates or are military veterans in good standing. The immigrants must also be not more than 30 and have clean criminal records.

    Young people, who have been highly visible and vocal activists despite their undocumented status, have been calling on His Majesty for more than a year to stop deporting them and allow them to work. Many of them were elated and relieved today.

    “People are just breaking down and crying for joy when they find out what the president did,” said Lorella Praeli, a leader of the United We Dream Network, the largest coalition of illegal immigrant students.

    Nationalitz reacted angrily, saying the King had overstepped his legal bounds to do an end run around Parliment. Some Nationalitz accused the King of violating the law. “The King's action is an affront to the process of representative government by circumventing Parliment and with a directive he may not have the authority to execute,” said Representative Charles E. Grassley of Bordeaux, the senior Nationalitz on the Council of State Judiciary Committee. “It seems the King has put monarchy politics above responsible policies.”

    The Order was the first historic measure by the King that offers immediate relief to large numbers of illegal immigrants, in contrast to smaller steps HM Government had taken that were intended to ease the impact of deportations but in practice had little effect. During the first year of his term, the actual Prime Minister has deported more than 1.1 million immigrants, the most by any PM since the 1950s.

    “Now let’s be clear: this is not an amnesty,” Bettel said in the Lexignton Street, anticipating the Nationalitz and CMP's response. “This is not a path to citizenship. It is not a permanent fix.”

    The group of illegal immigrants that will benefit from the policy is similar to those who would have been eligible to become legal permanent residents under the Immigration Reform Act, legislation that Prime Minister Bettel has long supported. An effort by the Prime Minister to pass the bill in late 2010 was blocked by Nationalitz in the Council of State. The Prime Minister called on Parliment again today to pass that legislation.

    Immigrant student leaders praised The King, saying his action should convince other students that advocacy could be effective, even for immigrants without legal status. Although the reprieve is temporary, the leaders said they expected that the majority of students would seize the opportunity to work and come out into the open.

    “We’ve done away with the fear,” said Gaby Pacheco, 27, an Libertados-born immigrant who was among the first in a wave of students in recent years who “came out” to declare publicly that they were in this country illegally.

    The King also received praise from Liberal lawmakers, including the Black Caucus in the Council of State and  Richard J. Durbin of Strasbourg, the second-highest Liberal in the House of Lords who is the leading author of the Immigration Reform Act. Mr. Durbin first proposed in April 2010 that the King should grant deferred action to young students.

    Over the past two months Mr. Durbin and other top Liberals, including Representatives Harry Reid of Apulia, have quietly urged the Prime Minister to do something significant to help immigrant students.

    Marodette Aguishcot, 21, who was born in Austrur and lives in New Monten, said she was in Monterini with a group of students when the news came of the new policy.

    “We were all watching and listening and screaming out in joy,” she said. Ms. Aguishcot graduated last month from Bosco University, but feared she would never find work professionally.

    Some students were cautious, recalling that the King had promised them help before. “We don’t want to get too excited,” said Daniela Alulema, 25, an illegal immigrant from Dromund Kass who is a leader of the Bordeaux Youth Immigrant Leadership Council. “We hope that what was announced will be implemented and will actually help our community.”


    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    April 5st, 2018  by Dominic Ortega

                          The Queen of Montenbourg Exclusive Interview


    Dominic: Well Good evening Your Majesty. Its been a huge day for the King. But today is about you and our special VOGUE Montenbourg Royal Edition, and people are wanting to know this busy life, all the lights all the glamour. Would you tell me how prepared were you for the pressures that came with marrying into the Royal Family?

    Grace:  It is a day! haha.... Its an honor, well where do I begin...ok..At the age of 19, you always think you're prepared for everything, and you think you have the knowledge of what's coming ahead. But although I was daunted at the prospect at the time, I felt I had the support of my husband-to-be.

    D:  What were the expectations that you had for married life?

    G:  I think like any marriage, specially when you've had divorced parents like myself, you'd want to try even harder to make it work and you don't want to fall back into a pattern that you've seen happen in your own family. I desperately wanted it to work, I desperately love my husband and I want to share everything together, and we really are a very good team. Haha.

    D:  How aware were you of the significance of what had happened to you? After all, you'd become Queen.

    G:  I wasn't daunted, and am not daunted by the responsibilities that that role creates. It was a challenge, and it is a challenge. As for becoming Queen, it's, it was never at the forefront of my mind when I married my husband: it was a long way off that thought. 

    The most daunting aspect was the media attention, because my husband and I, we were told when we got engaged that the media would go quietly, and it didn't; and then when we were married they said it would go quietly and it didn't; and then it started to focus very much on me, and I seemed to be on the front of a newspaper every single day, which is an isolating experience, and the higher the media put you, place you, is the bigger the drop. 

    And I was very aware of that.

    D:  How did you handle the transition from being Grace McCorquodale-Kidman Toscana to the most photographed, the most talked-about, woman in the world?

    G:  Well, it took a long time to understand why people were so interested in me, but I assumed it was because my husband had done a lot of wonderful work leading up to our marriage and our relationship. But then I, during the years you see yourself as a good product that sits on a shelf and sells well, and people make a lot of money out of you.

    D:  It's been suggested in some newspapers that you were left largely to cope with your new status on your own. Do you feel that was your experience?

    G:  Yes I do, on reflection. But then here was a situation which hadn't ever happened before in history, in the sense that the media were everywhere, and here was a fairy story that everybody wanted to work. And so it was, it was isolating, but it was also a situation where you couldn't indulge in feeling sorry for yourself: you had to either sink or swim. And you had to learn that very fast.

    D:  And what did you do?

    G: I swam. Hahahaha. We went to Air Springs, to Apulia, and we went and did a walkabout, and I said to my husband: ´What do I do now?' And he said, ´Go over to the other side and speak to them.' I said, ´I can't, I just can't.' He said, ´Well, you've got to do it.' And he went off and did his bit, and I went off and did my bit. It practically finished me off there and then, and I suddenly realised - I went back to our hotel room and realised the impact that, you know, I had to sort myself out.

    We had a six-week tour - four weeks in Apulia and two weeks in New Monten - and by the end, when we flew back from Naples, I was a different person. I realised the sense of duty, the level of intensity of interest, and the demanding role I now found myself in.

    D:  Were you overwhelmed by the pressure from people initially?

    G:  Yes, I was very daunted because as far as I was concerned I was a fat, chubby, 20-year-old, 21-year-old, and I couldn't understand the level of interest.

    D: What do you think about the Monarchy?

    G: For me is the oldest and highest form of government because it focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.

    D: But what is the role of a monarchy in the 21st Century?

    G: Haha, love that question. Today, It's time to show to Europe and the world that we still have monarchies safe, responsible, and above all in favor of the people something that it stills important in 21st Century politics.


    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    April 5st, 2018  by Alevandro Jochea

    The extent to which refugee children have been conditioned by their environment is heartbreaking. We wanted permission to take this young girl’s photograph, so we asked if her mother was nearby. Her eyes filled with the most uncontrollable fear that I’ve ever seen in a child. ‘Why do you want my mother?’ she asked. Later, her parents told us how the family had crouched in the woods while soldiers ransacked their house in Dromund Kass. More recently they’d been chased through the woods by Kassian police. After we’d spent a few minutes talking with her parents, she returned to being a child and could not stop hugging us, and laughing, and saying ‘I love you so much.’ But I went to sleep that night remembering the terror on her face when we first asked to speak to her mother.


    “There is no security in Dromund Kass. We lived in constant fear. We started receiving text messages one day. They said: ‘Give us money, or we will burn down your house. If you tell the police, we will kill you.’ We had nobody to turn to. We are poor people. We have no powerful friends. We don’t know anyone in the government. The text messages continued every day. We were so afraid that we could not sleep. We had no money to give them. We could barely afford to feed ourselves. So we said to ourselves: ‘Maybe they are lying. Maybe they will do nothing.’ Then one night we woke up and our house was on fire. We barely escaped with the children. The next day we received a text message. It said: ‘Give us money, or this time you will die.’ I replied that we’d pay them soon. We sold everything we owned, and we left. We thought we’d rather die in a plastic boat than die there.”


    “My husband and I sold everything we had to afford the journey. We worked 30 hours a day in a liberated area of Dromund Kass until we had enough money to leave. The smuggler put 152 of us on a boat. Once we saw the boat, many of us wanted to go back, but he told us that anyone who turned back would not get a refund. We had no choice. Both the lower compartment and the deck were filled with people. Waves began to come into the boat so the captain told everyone to throw their baggage into the sea. In the ocean we hit a rock, but the captain told us not to worry. Water began to come into the boat, but again he told us not to worry. We were in the lower compartment and it began to fill with water. It was too tight to move. Everyone began to scream. We were the last ones to get out alive. My husband pulled me out of the window. In the ocean, he took off his life jacket and gave it to a woman. We swam for as long as possible. After several hours he told me he that he was too tired to swim and that he was going to float on his back and rest. It was so dark we could not see. The waves were high. I could hear him calling me but he got further and further away. Eventually a boat found me. They never found my husband.”


    Unlike other refugees, LGBTI individuals, who have fled their home countries due to persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, often arrive in the Montenbourg alone; many have been victims of violence, torture, and rape.

    Nearly a year after his arrival in the Kingdom of Montenbourg, Malik, a 28-year-old gay Kassian, shudders to think what would have happened to him if he hadn’t fled his country. “In Dromund, people don’t like gay people. They are not accepted; they are oppressed, even in the liberated zones. Most gay men live a double life,” he explains. He is adapting quickly to the new culture — a haven after living in fear for his life in Dromund Kass.

    Malik is a beneficiary of DACAM, which also provides intensive case management and specialized services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders in order to help them acclimate to and integrate into Montenbourg society.

    Services are provided immediately upon arrival and continue as refugees learn to live in Montenbourg Therapists, case managers, and volunteers provide an invaluable support system, helping refugees like Malik navigate social services, the healthcare system, and educational and vocational resources.

    Because Malik has no family in the Kingdom and survives on little more than 500M£ a month, he relies on the support of a group of volunteers for everything from rides to the doctor to practicing English. He is working hard to learn the language quickly because he knows it is imperative to finding a job and becoming self-sufficient, enrolling in school, and finding a stable relationship.

    But Malik no longer thinks of himself as a refugee. “Now I am a resident!” he says proudly. “I am so happy, I love the monarchs this soil, I came to the Kingdom, I came to Europe, It is a dream!”


    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    April 7st, 2018  by Dianat Sawyer

    What is the Monarchy? The Queen Mother of Montenbourg Exclusive Answer

    Here we are with the One and only, Margarita III, our Queen Mother. Queen Margarita was the Queen consort of King Ralph II until his divorced and abdication in 2007. She is best known for her moral support to the Montenbourg people during the economic crisis and her longevity. Despite the divorce with the former King Ralph II, now living abroad at the United Kingdom, she remain the title of queen, under montenbourg laws, and assumed a position as family matriarch Regent Queen. She helped to stabilize the popularity of the monarchy as a whole during the familiar crisis but she was subject to various degrees of criticism during her life, for getting the role of queen not being under the line of succesion until 2013 when the Regent became Queen Mother with no powers only title and respect.

    Queen Margarita was the Queen consort of King Ralph II until his divorce and abdication in 2007, after which she was known as Queen Margarita the Queen Mother to avoid confusion with his son, King Lawrence I. She is popular with the public, earning the nickname "Grandma' of Montenbourg" because of her consistent motherly spirit. She was of great moral support to Montenbourg public during 2007 economic crisis.

    The Queen Mother Margarita was born Margareta Angeline Cobourg-Bourgeon on August 4, 1930. She was the ninth child and fourth daughter of Claude Cobourg-Bourgeon, Lord Strasbourg, and his wife, Cecilia Garcia-Bentinck. Margareta was schooled at home by governesses until the age of 8, when she began attending private schools in Montague. She passed the Boco Local Examination with merit at age 13. 

    World War II started on Elizabeth’s 14th birthday and her family home, Stras Castle, became a hospital. Though she was too young to serve as a nurse, she did assist her parents in their efforts to support the war. Four of her brothers served in the army and the oldest, Ferguson, was killed in action at the Battle of Nums, in 1943.

    From early childhood, Margareta and her siblings had been friends with the children of King Augustus. At 18, Lady Margareta was a strikingly attractive woman and many young men were drawn to her, including Ralph, Augustus second son (who would later become King Ralph II). Ralph suffered from a relentless stammer, which added to his nervousness and insecurity. However, his unwavering adoration for Margareta won her over, and the two were married on April 26, 1950. They had three children, Lawrence, born in 1980, Jonathan, born in 1981, and Caroline, born in 1990. During the first decade of their marriage, Prince Ralph and Princess Margarita had the chance to establish an intimate and happy married life. 

    In January 1960, King Augustus died, and Prince Edmonton (Duke of Strasbourg) ascended the throne as King Edmonton. Edmonton was in love with America Jones, a british socialite and divorcee. Advised that the Parliament would not approve of him marrying a divorced woman, Edmonton abdicated the throne that same year. Subsequently, Ralph became king—a position that he was reluctant to accept. He and Margarita were crowned on May 12, 1960, he as King Ralph II, and she as Queen Margarita, Queen consort.

    Queen Margarita never expected to be queen, but once it happened, she dedicated her life and that of her family to serving the nation and supporting her husband in his arduous duties as sovereign. The queen was immensely popular with Montenbourgians for her appearances on public television.

    In 1978, the royal couple celebrated their wedding anniversary. In a moving speech, King Ralph II spoke passionately of his marriage to Margarita, expressing how much she inspired him, as much as he said that she was more suitable than him of becoming Head of a nation. Their strong bond would be needed as the post-war years brought on dramatic changes for both Montenbourg and the royal couple. After the war, Montenbourg economy was all but bankrupt. Many of its former colonies were striking out for independence. Montenbourg went through several years of harsh austerity, rebuilding its economy and shedding is colonies.

    The royal couple also faced personal challenges: In 1989, a blood clot was removed from the king's right leg. From then on, Queen Margarita and his sons and daughters fulfilled many of the king's public engagements.

    In September 1991, Ralph II was diagnosed with lung cancer. He and the queen were scheduled for a trip to Austrur and New Zealand in January 1991, but , Margarita chose to stay home with her husband instead; Prince Lawrence and Princess Caroline went in their place. 

    The relationship between Ralph and Margarita was very tumultuous to say the least; they met after Ralph first dated Margarita older sister, Lady Sarah Monique. By late 2000 (after collective affairs and embarrassing leaked audio conversations), Ralph and Margarita's marriage was a well-known public disaster — and the royal family couldn't hide it anymore. 

    That Summer the brother of the Queen, the Duke of Bordeaux, expressed his disappointment at both her and Ralph's extramarital affairs and asked her to see both of their slip-ups from the other's point of view; at one point he seemed ready to give up, writing, "I will always do my utmost to help you and Ralph to the best of my ability. . . but I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counselor." Their attempts at reconciliation were unsuccessful. And the marriage standed united but divided as the press would say, and that December, Prime Minister Foster Hojson publicly announced the pair's "amicable separation," reading an official statement from the royal family saying that they will mantain married but divided, a noticed that shocked the kingdom.

    After this informal separation, more rumors of cheating emerged, and in an exclusive interview the Queen disclosed details about her own infidelity and struggle with bulimia as well as Ralph's affair with Harrison Jonkston, making the famous quote, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." 

    Ultimately, the then Mary, the Queen Mother gave up too — likely fed up with doing damage control for Ralph's Scandals and the blowback from Margarita broadcasting their business, she sprung into action. On Dec. 20, 2006, Bourgeon Palace announced that the Queen Mother had written two letters, previous her dead, suggesting them to divorce.

    Their divorce was finalized in August 2007, but some drama surrounding her title ensued. King Ralph II reportedly to give up her right to be Queen of Montenbourg and to be called "Her Royal Highness." This removal of the "Royal Highness" title, which separates the royal family from the rest of Montenbourg nobility, officially obliged Margarita to curtsey to others who have it -- her ex-husband, for instance, and even her own children. 

    But then a coalition of royals said, rather cryptically, that Queen Margarita will continue to be "regarded as a member of the royal family" and "will from time to time receive invitations to state and national public occasions" at the invitation "of the sovereign or the Government." The agreement gave Margarita and Ralph equal access to their children. The children spend most of the year at boarding school, and have been alternating holidays with each parent, so there seems little likelihood that the children's lives will be greatly altered. Margarita was also allowed to keep her apartment at Bourgeon Palace "with the King's agreement," will be given access to the jets used by the royal family, and will, Bourgeon Palace said, be able "to use the state apartments at Montague Palace for entertaining," as long as she asks permission first. Margarita was forced to vacate her offices next to her ex-husband's for new offices. And although she gets to keep all the jewelry she has amassed during her marriage, she will relinquish -- at her own request, Bourgeon Palace said -- a host of honorary military titles.

    It was not clear what would happen if Margarita were to remarry, but experts on the royal family believed that she would probably have to relinquish many benefits of the divorce agreement, like her home, the financing of her office and possibly the title "Queen of Montenbourg."

    But it happened that in October of 2007, King Ralph II abdicated the throne and divorced officially from the Queen signing that "Under special circumstances she will pass the line of succession first through her as Regent." A step that was very twisted even today for the press.

    Queen Margarita deeply loved her late husband, and for a time after his divorced and abdication, it looked as though she would become a recluse. But remembering her duty, she accepted thia crisis loss with stoic courage and soon resumed her public duties. She would go on to become a wise and respected leader. After his son coronation as King Lawrence I, she took on the name "Queen Mother" so as not to be confused with the new King. Following his service as kimg, the Queen Mother said, "My only wish is that I may be allowed to continue the work that we, mother and son, sought to do together."

    Over the next decades, the Queen Mother became the royal family’s matriarch, but was always careful not to overshadow his son's reign as King. She continued to travel and make public appearances in the Kingdom of Montenbourg and throughout Europe, and she don't allow her age to slow her down. In addition to her public duties, she enjoys growing camellias in her gardens, socialite event, fishing and horseracing, owning several prize-winning steeplechase horses.

    Margarita: Yes Indeed... Dianat. Hahaha.

    Dianat: It's coming a documentary about you, your Highness what you expect?

    M:I expect nothing more than the love for life, and the special connection that Montenbourgians will feel with my story as Princess, Queen and now Queen Mother of all Montenbourgians.

    D: Indeed, your highness tell us why after all this situations and problems that face europe today and also the family scandals do you consider if it s good to have a monarch?

    M: Dianat, what a question. Haha.. Well for me the King and the Queen represents continuity and history. Through peace and war, stable transition and unstable regime change (we’ve had all in this country), one person is a link, for better or worse, to over a thousand years of this nation. One lady, one man carries in her veins a millennium of all our histories.

    D: So you're saying that monarchies are way better than republics?

    M:  Well Dianat, Monarchies are more democratically legitimate.

    D: Oh, tell me about it you Highness.

    M: This is my personal opinion but generally speaking, in a parliamentary system, you need a head of state who is not the prime minister to serve as a disinterested arbiter when there are disputes about how to form a government — say, if the largest party should be allowed to form a minority government or if smaller parties should be allowed to form a coalition. Monarchs are more effective than presidents precisely because they lack any semblance of legitimacy. It would be offensive for King Lawrence or his representatives in Apulia to meddle in domestic politics.

    D: Well, but what about the DACAM.

    M: As I said, this is my personal opinion I'm in favor of the King's Order because parliment needed to act on this grave humanitarian situation and the mechanisms that the our monarch has permitted him to act in this grave situation that needed intimidate response, just as health and others. Because Monarchs can truly be above politics. They usually have no party connections and have not been involved in daily politics before assuming the post of the head of state.

    D: But what about the costs of mantaining royals.

    M: Well, opponents of the Montenbourgian royal family often point to its expense as a reason to abolish it. The anti-monarchy group Republic, lead by Nationalitz says that our royal family costs M£299.4 million ($460 million) a year. But Montenbourg monarchy has an exceptionally powerful, and profitable, brand with a annual value of the royal "brand" at about M£1.9 billion ($2.9 billion). That easily outweighs the costs. 

    D: Wow, that's a quite small economic boost, to be sure. But it puts a lie to price-based criticisms of the monarchy.

    M: Yes, indeed.

    D: Republics and other systems have an unfortunate tendency to get huffy about Montenbourg's superior political system. Isn't you HIghness?

    M: Haha, well every system is important to the society, but  yes. Our monarchy is not an anachronism. It is not a waste of money. It is a vital part of the Kingdom of Montenbourg that makes Montenbourgian democracy more responsive to the concerns of citizens at little or negative cost to Montenbourgian taxpayers.

    D: Oh really?

    M: Yes, think about it Dianat. The King, as the nominal highest authority, is above party politics. Our hereditary monarch removes from the role of Head of State factionalism and political celebrity. Presidents and Prime Ministers come and go and swing from left to right, but the symbol of our nation walks a third path that unites rather than divides. The King, as supreme Governor, represents a something mightier. Monarchs live to point to the one who never dies. The sovereign is anointed as monarch, but crowned in the stead of one far greater and acts and serves both as His servant and as a type of Him.

    D: Indeed your highness, indeed. Let's put our grievances aside and celebrate Margarita III, our Queen Mother for sustaining one of the world's more important democratic institutions for more than 63 remarkable years. Thank you your Highness.

    M: Thank you Dianat. May God Save Our King!

    D: Long may he reign! Thank you.

  • Strasbourg voters reject anti-transgender bathroom bill

    April 7st, 2018 8:50 pm| by Sarah Nickelby||MBC News

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    Voters in Montague, Strasbourg, have defeated an anti-transgender bathroom measure.

    Proposition 1 would have required everyone in Strasbourg public spaces to use the locker room and bathroom that aligns with the gender they were assigned at birth — effectively barring trans people from using the facility that matches their gender identity.

    Strasbourg voted 53-47 against Proposition 1 with nearly all ballots counted, with the measure’s defeat, existing nondiscrimination protections for trans people that were Approved by Strasbourg Assembly in 2015 will remain in place. These types of measures entered the national spotlight in 2016, when Newcastle passed an Anti-LGBT law that included an anti-trans bathroom measure. The state’s law led to a huge nationwide backlash from both the general public and business community, defeating of then First Minister Pat McCrory (Nationalitz) in his reelection bid against now-First Minister. Roy Cooper (Liberal). With Cooper in office, the anti-LGBTQ law was partially repealed. The national backlash led to huge resistance against measures similar to Newcastle's across the country, including in New Monten, which failed to pass a similar bill last year. And now Strasbourg voters have rejected a bathroom measure.

    A lot of things happen in public bathrooms that people aren’t comfortable with — and people have managed to deal with it to accommodate others’ rights and needs.

    So if it’s not harming anyone, perhaps it’s best, LGBTQ advocates argue, to let trans people use the facility for their gender identity without making them feel ostracized and discriminated against. 

    But conservative lawmakers have latched on to the insecurity over bathrooms to propagate myths about the power of discriminatory laws to stop horrible attacks in bathrooms and protect people’s privacy. And although these are plainly myths with no evidence behind them, they’ve been used in attempts to perpetuate discrimination since the Jim Crow era.

  • Montenbourg's economic growth predicted to exceed expectations in 2018

    April 10, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    Forecasters now think Montenbourg's GDP will grow by more than previously predicted this year. Photo: Anders Wiklund

    A surprisingly strong performance from the Montenbourg economy so far this year has led forecasters to update their prediction for GDP growth in 2018, which is now expected to be better than previously estimated.

    Montenbourg National Institute of Economic Research (MIER) has revised its prediction for GDP growth in 2018 to a more optimistic one of three percent, up from the previous forecast of 2.5 percent.

    As growth was surprisingly strong in the second quarter it is thought that the upswing will be greater this year than initially expected, the MIER explained. Stronger than expected investment in businesses and housing is a driving factor

    "Domestic demand is driving it and robust growth in the rest of the world is providing support. In addition the upswing is reflected in strong public finances," the MIER said in a statement.

    "The upturn is reflected in the labour market and employment continued to grow quickly in the second quarter. But a significant lack of labour with the demanded competencies will hamper economic development going forward," it warned.

    That skills shortage does not mean that wages will increase significantly however according to the MIER, with average wage increases predicted to be below three percent next year. Analysts at Nortlink called it "crazy strong" growth that was "far above its potential and mainly driven by domestic sectors".

  • The Government enhances support to smaller cinemas throughout the country

    April 15, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/TT

    In the spring amending budget for 2018, the Government is investing an additional M£ 15 million in 2018 to provide temporary enhanced support to smaller cinemas and film festivals. This is a boost in addition to the investment of M£ 25 million being made annually in 2016–2019. The investment is based on an agreement between the Government and the Liberal Party.

    “Culture throughout the country is a priority issue for me. There has been great demand for the funds we have already earmarked for cinemas in smaller towns and to film festivals. We will therefore provide an additional M£ 15 million to this initiative this year,” says Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke.

    The Montenbourg Film Institute will be tasked with deciding on the details of how the support will be used, based on the needs of the target group. This could entail an increase in the amount of support provided per application, or of making support available to broader target groups. It could also entail enhanced support to other actors that contribute to a dynamic film culture throughout the country, such as film festivals. This is one of several investments in Montenbourg film and film production the Government has made during this electoral period.

    Montenbourg has had a new film policy since 1 January 2017. The new film policy aims to strengthen the conditions to allow more unique film stories to be developed and reach an audience. The previous film agreement no longer fulfilled its function, and the Government terminated the agreement to improve the possibilities of developing a national film policy that strengthens development and access to Montenbourg film. 

    Film policy support is of central importance to implementation of the film policy. All support provided must aim to help achieve the film policy goals and be characterised by transparency, predictability and a long-term approach. Bearing in mind the principle of keeping an arm’s length between politics and artistic decisions, the Government’s management of national film support should be limited.

    When the film agreement was terminated, VAT for access to cinema screenings was increased from 6 per cent to 25 per cent. At the same time the VAT was increased, the Government raised the allocation to film by M£  235 million to replace the funds contributed by the industry to the film agreement. In addition, MVT (Montenbourg Television) continued to invest funds corresponding to a similar level as previously, so that in all, more money goes to Montenbourg film than before.

  • Strengthen the right of LGBTQ people to be themselves

    April 15, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen| Opinion Article|Skåne News

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    Strasbourg LGBTQ Pride Day

    People have the right to be themselves in all areas of life. This includes the right to live with the person you love and to have your family formation treated with respect. Efforts to break old norms that limit people from fully living their lives must continue. This applies particularly to policies for the rights of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ people).

    Proactive organisations in civil society and courageous politicians before us have helped to move the situation of LGBTQ issues in the right direction. Society is constantly evolving, and perceptions of parenthood, family, gender and the rights of the child in the family evolve with it. Today, there are numerous family constellations other than the traditional nuclear families: single, friends with children, step-families or families with several mothers or fathers. Our social systems must also meet the needs of these families.

    Legislation and its application must keep pace with developments in society. It must accommodate various ways of forming a family and ensure the right of all people to good health. The Government is therefore planning to implement changes that aim to offer the same conditions for everyone, regardless of the choice of partner and type of family that each of us chooses to live with:

    • Parental support and family law issues in social services need to be more modern, equitable and gender equal. Family constellations vary and have different needs. In light of this, the Government has concentrated responsibility for these issues at the Family Law and Parental Support Authority. An important task for the Authority is producing knowledge support for relevant actors so that these, in turn, can provide better support and guidance to parents and children.
    • Families can take many different forms, but when the parental insurance system was designed, it was still based on the idea of a nuclear family with two co-habiting parents. The living conditions of families with children have changed over time.

    More than one in five children grows up in a family constellation other than one including both their biological parents. The inquiry on parental insurance that is now to be conducted has therefore been tasked with identifying problems and investigating possibilities for facilitating the use of parental insurance by different family constellations.

    • There are currently large health disparities between different groups in society. To close the avoidable health gaps within a generation, the Government has appointed a commission for equitable health. We know that LGBTQ people in general have poorer health and young LGBTQ people are particularly vulnerable with regard to mental health. In its work, the commission will therefore take into account health disparities between LGBTQ people and the rest of the population.
    • The treatment of LGBTQ people in health and medical care is unequal across the country. Unfortunately, in their contacts with different authorities, individuals are sometimes doubted and treated ignorantly. This leads to LGBTQ people in some cases refraining from seeking care.

    The National Board of Health and Welfare has been tasked with analysing care and treatment of intersex people (persons whose gender cannot be determined due to biological reasons) and implementing measures in the various areas of activity of social services. The objective is to raise awareness of LGBTQ people's living conditions and the various forms discrimination can take. The National Board of Health and Welfare and the Public Health Agency of Montenbourg will also review how issues concerning the health of young transgender people could be highlighted within the framework of other mental health initiatives.

    • There have been several high-profile cases where information was registered in the population registration regarding a person who had changed gender in such a way that the link between individuals, such as a child and a parent, was lost. The Montenbourg Tax Agency has now been tasked with describing what has been done or will be done to prevent problems that may arise.
    • Current regulations regarding paternity and parenthood are based on heterosexual marriage. There is reason to review whether the regulations should be updated and for this reason, the Government intends to appoint an inquiry in the spring to conduct a review of the legislation.

    These are some of the initiatives the Government is now implementing. We know there is a lot left to do. Discrimination, inequitable treatment and violence are still part of daily life for many LGBTQ people all around the country. This is never acceptable. The Government will continue its efforts to strengthen the possibility for LGBTQ people to fully be themselves in all areas of life.

  • Elizabeth McCörd: Exclusive interview. 

    April 16, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen| Interview Article|Skåne News

    Montague, Strasbourg-.

    ARAH: Ministe McCörd, good to have you with us. Thanks for joining us.

    McCörd: Thank you, nice to be with you, Arah.

    ARAH: Let me ask you about the idea of keeping Montenbourg great and competitive around Europe. Montenbourg power, its status, has been seriously weakened in this weeks. Even though of the great free trade deals with other nations; the projection of our nation in the European Union by powers such as UK and Angleter still see Montenbourg a a rising power nation in the region, which reacts and talks, but still they see us as very minimal. Your reaction.

    McCörd: Well Arah, I disagree. Right now Montenbourg has one of the fastest GDP growth in the region, and its possible that in the next ECB report Montenbourg will enter on the 10 largest economies of Europe, and why is that? because of our compromise with the region and the promotion of free-trade zones in the area. So, is not weakened it has made Montenbourg stronger. We stand by the position that our Prime Minister has stated regarding the UK Free-Trade-agreement we do not agree, but we understand. And look arah, now everywhere that I go in Europe, people desperately look to Montenbourg rising leadership in all of the most difficult problems as our Refugee Protection Act. Whether in human rights, efforts at poverty alleviation, efforts at leading the fight against mental health and humanitarian aid as our Prime Minister has been doing, leading the effort for democracy for those who've been denied it, helping to support those who are seeking democracy. You can look at any region of Europe and the Kingdom of Montenbourg is still the country to which many countries look for leadership.

    ARAH: And why is that?

    McCörd: I think there's a reason for that, Arah, and of course, it has to do with the great economic power of the Kingdom. But it also has to do with what I would call the Montenbourg example. People look to Montenbourg and they see a place that is multiethnic in character, where you can be a Montenbourgian-Briton from a couple of--a century ago, or you can be Kassian-Montenbourgian, you can be Angleterian-Montenbourgian and you're still Montenbourgian. And that multiethnic character of Montenbourg is very attractive to people. They also see a place where you get ahead, not because of where you came from, because--but because of where you want to go. And an educational system that is open, diverse and where people are respected from who they are. There is much that attracts Europe to Montenbourg. Even if they don't like Montenbourgian progressive policies, this is the place that people want to send their kids to school, this is the place that people still want to come and find their futures. Montenbourg is and will be a very powerful symbol and a very important place of leadership for Europe.

    ARAH: Europe is becoming more formidable. You've got Luz da Libertados and Turkmeibajan strengthening, we've got new leadership throughout Europe. Tell me how the new political face of Europe will impact Montenbourg business.

    McCörd: Well, the political face of Europe is one that has said very clearly that it wants cooperation and friendship with the Kingdom. I was just in Luz de Libertados and met with President. He made very clear that he believes in Libertados-Montenbourgian cooperation. We have excellent relations with President Liddy Hopper in Omnibus, and of course even though of their statement respecting our FTA, we have great relations with Great Britain. Those countries that are the strongest countries in Europe, together with our friends in--that have just come to Europe, I think, make for a very favorable environment politically for the Kingdom of Montenbourg, because there we have very good partners who share our values, who are helping us to carry some of the burdens of international concerns, international problems. And I feel very good about our future in and with Europe.

    ARAH: Let me ask you a question on immigration. Lawyers are planning a class action suit right now over the Home Ministry offer of visas to highly skilled immigrants last month, we have inside that even though the Department of Citizenship said there were no more visas available. What happened?

    McCörd: Well, this was a case in which for--at a certain point in time, we'd not filled the entire quota for these special immigrant visas. And made an announcement of that. But when they were filled, we had to cut it off at that point. There's a ceiling that's set every year and when that ceiling was reached, then we couldn't issue the visas any longer. But we're prepared to talk to people about what happened here. If there were problems in communication then those should be looked at. But it's pretty simple. We operate under a particular ceiling, and when that ceiling is filled, then we have to--we have to live within it.

    ARAH: You've risen as a woman to the highest Cabinet post there is. Do you think Montenbourg is ready to vote for a woman to be our Prime Minister?

    McCörd: I do. I think Montenbourg's ready. I do believe that Montenbourgian now want to know from a woman: Does that share my values? Not necessarily even my views, my values, my principles. Can I trust that person to make difficult decisions about keeping me safe? Can I trust that people to have a vision for the future of Montenbourg that solidifies and recognizes our strengths as an open society that has been open to people from all over the world throughout our history, that distends the proposition that if you're a Montenbourgian, it really doesn't matter where you came from, it matters where you're going. But right now our Prime Minister is doing a tremendous job, with a cabinet full of women. So that will come but not for now, cuz we are all very busy. Haha.

    ARAH: Are free election always the way to go in Dromund Kass. I mean, if we were to see free elections in these liberated areas, which I think is one priority of our Ministry you know to promote democratic institutions, we know who would win?. If we were to see free elections do we really want to be going down this path, free elections everywhere, when fundamentalists and extremists could be leading?

    McCörd: Even though we havent stated our official position on this issue. Sure, free elections are the only way that people can express themselves, and it can't be the policy of Montenbourg government that we don't want free elections in places that we might not like the outcome. I understand that there are places where fundamentalism seem to be stronger, but the reason that that is the case, is that politics has been going on in all of these countries. It's just that the space for healthy politics, the space for moderate forces to grow has not been there. The only way that you're going to do that is to open up the political system, allow people to express themselves, have freer press. Sometimes you're going to get outcomes that you're not very fond of, but the ac--in the absence of free elections are you just going to continue to stifle and smother healthy forces and you're continue to have a freedom deficit which is going to fuel extremism.

  • Bettel backs Clinton in last-minute intervention in Australia Federal election

    April 24, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    On a non-official statement the PM of Montenbourg says Clinton, who faces right Christian Porter, appeals to hopes not fears

    Xävier Bettel has made a last-minute intervention in the Australian Federal election in support of Hillary Clinton saying “the success of Australia matters to Europe”.

    Clinton, a centrist-left, faces Christian Porter of the right National Party on the 5th of May. Polls put Clinton several points ahead but tension is on the air. Leaving the Prime Minister residence reporters approach to Bettel who where asking an opinion on the upcoming elections. 

    "I’m not who to get involved in any elections,  we will approach any whom wins these upcoming Australian elections, but for me these elections are important to the future of Australia and the values that we care so much about." 

    A reporter of Conservex, an alt-right newsroom, insisted on his position on inmigration and nationalistic stances of some people at his party and similarities with Australian political leaders stances as they think that Montenbourg needs to stop the rhetoric in favor of refugees."Look anyone who wins these elections will be welcomed and supported.... Now you and I know that refugees are a reality that we all together must face with open arms and support, they are humans just like you and me.” he said.

    Bettel said he and his spouse supported Clinton because she appealed to “people’s hopes and not their fears” and ended his message with the words “Advance Australia.”

    Charles Kupchan, a special assistant on Europe in the Bettel Cabinet, said he thought Europe’s fate involved those core values. “Prime Minister Bettel was very concerned about the political trajectory of the European Union, particularly after the situation of the refugees before the Refugee Protection Act very much insisted in the European Council. He became quite seized with helping to rebuild self-confidence in liberal values and practices,” said Kupchan, and professor of international affairs at Bosco University.

    Philip Gordon, who was secretary for Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Anderson administration, said: “It’s not surprising [Bettel] has done this. Clinton represents everything he is for and Porter everything he is against.” However, Gordon, now a senior fellow at the Montenbourg Council on Foreign Relations, raised the possibility the intervention could backfire. “Clinton will obviously thinks this will help. Even though he hasn't been in Australia, Bettel will be a very popular in Australia,” he said. “But I do worry it could motivate Porter voters and others who are anti-elite, anti-refugee or even anti-Montenbourgian or even racist, so that it hurts Clinton more than it helps. But at the end Clinton and Bettel are two key progressive figures that will do some good for Europe."

    Also the PM was asked about the non-official position taken by the President of Luz de Libertados and St Esther's on Minister McCord interview and how the president says that she stepped too far in that she believes 'people look up to Montenbourg for leadership throughout Europe'. "Look, our country alone is non-better than any in Europe, only together we as a whole are stronger. Suhanna and I knows that emotions gets its way, and we are leading change just as Luz de Libertados and St Esther did with there vote on the Refugee Protection Act, because our nations understands that we must become protagonists of change and take the lead on matters that are a reality for our Europe... And look the strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation of "hey, we are all good, all perfect." sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't, they are in there right. We together will be the scriptwriters of our destiny and will feature our countries as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future for Europe and the World. Our role is to listen to them, include them as well as to support and enable them in any way we can, because we are all building a better Europe."

  • Riksdag of Montenbourg: Law Proposed to Accommodate a Gay King or Queen

    May 16, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    If King Lawrence and Queen Grace son, Crown Prince James turns out to be gay, he or she might be able to honor the family lineage.

    The Riksdag is working on legislation to ensure that their firstborn child will be able to rule, no matter their sexual orientation.

    Riksdag will soon pass legislation to allow the royal couple's child to rule the Kingdom of Montenbourg whether the child is male or female. Liberal MP Paul Flynn has an amendment to support an openly gay king or queen.

    If accepted, the change to the law could lea to the reign of an openly gay or lesbian king or queen and for their same-sex partner to be recognised as consort. Any children born to the couple through artificial insemination or surrogacy would succeed to the throne so long as the couple are in a same-sex marriage. Current inheritance laws mean that if the couple had a child through adoption, they would not join the line of succession for the throne and it is not clear MPs would seek to change this. 

    In order to secure a full debate, this is an amendment to the Royal Marriages Act of 1965 that needs to be accepted by Dame Anna Granger, the president of the Privy Council of the Kingdom of Montenbourg, almost certain as she is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. It is expected to have the support of many Greens, Liberals and most Classical Monarchists that back Xavier Bettel's plans on the equality of same-sex marriage, even though is legal in all Montenbourg it excludes the monarchy.

  • HM Government applauds actions of UK on Dromund Kaas; MTB Offers support

    May 24, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    His Majesty's Ambassador to the United Kingdom Princess Caroline and his husband

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM.-On a press conference dictated at the future Embassy Residence of Montenbourg at the United Kingdom, His Majesty's Ambassador to the United Kingdom Her Royal Highness Caroline Bourgeon, Princess Royal of Montenbourg and Duchess of Sträbourg, said on the efforts of UK for action against Dromund Kass:

    "It's an honor to represent my country in these beautiful home, that is the United Kingdom. Under his majesty and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Montenbourg supports the lead taken by the United Kingdom to bring a conclusion the war with Dromund Kass. Its time. His Majesty Government and I supports this aspirations and remember to fellow nations that civilians have been killed, injured and terrorized by this terrible regime. 

    Montenbourg is committed to working closely with other countries, international organizations and civil society to establish lasting peace and reconciliation, and a clear pathway towards accountability for the atrocities committed in Kassian State by Kassian authorities. We offer 2,000 peacekeeping troops of the Royal Army of Montenbourg to help Briton, Angleteric and Duxburian troops in the help of kassian civilians. We remain persistent in our condemnation of attacks targeting civilians, medical personnel and healthcare facilities, and thats a key reason of the deployment of our peacekeeping troops. 

    We hope to be part of this effort and thats why we are moved to do this declaration, here on soil of our brother kingdom. Montenbourg will continue to lead efforts to enhance the protection of civilians facing the horrendous acts of war, but necessary to destroy the Kassian Regime.

    Thank you! And may God Save Our King!"

  • Interinstitutional conference in Strasbourg on men and gender equality

    May 30, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    Helle Thorning-Schmidt Minister for Children and Family Development with Ariandna Soros specialist on gender

    On 29–30 May, Montenbourg and the Minister for Children and Family Development Helle Thorning-Schmidt hosted the 4th Interinsitutional Privee Conference on Men and Equal Opportunities (ICMEO) in Montague, Strasbourg. Among the 300 participants were several European gender equality researchers and representatives of government agencies and civil society. The role and responsibility of men and boys in gender equality efforts was in focus, as well as how we change social norms that have negative effects.

    The conference in Strasbourg was arranged in cooperation with the Montenbourg Gender Equality Agency.

    "In light of the 'Me Too' movement, it is important to continue discussing and raising examples of how boys and men can be active in changing attitudes and fighting sexism. To achieve real change and a gender-equal society, men need to participate, be engaged and show solidarity," said Minister Thorning-Schmidt, who opened the conference at Norra Latin in Strasbourg.

    Ariandna Soros, founder of Soros for Gender Equality was one of the opening speakers and spoke about the work to fight sexism and macho culture in the changing room.

    "It is about starting conversations with more men on these topics. We men must reflect on our own behaviour, ask questions, but also confront others. If your friends are talking about women in a degrading way, you have to question this behaviour in order to make a change," said Ms Soros.

    Lady Emma Granger, Montenbourg Councillor to the European Council, participated in a panel on norm criticism and how boys and young men can be active in the process of change.

    "We have to establish gender equality standards for the European Union in order to be better able to compare the Member States. Now things are going backwards in relation to unpaid work. Two out of three men in the EU do not even devote one hour to the children or housework, which means the whole job is done by women," said Ms Granger.

  • Government proposes new financing for public service broadcasting

    June 1st, 2018 8:50 pm| by Arah Kitnesen||Skåne News

    The Government proposes that the radio and television licence fee that is paid by all households that have a television be replaced by an individual public service fee. The fee will be collected via the tax system. The money will be administered in a closed system separate from the rest of the central government budget. The Government is also presenting several proposals aimed at strengthening the independence of public service broadcasting. The Riksdag will vote on these proposals in autumn 2018.

    Public service broadcasting in Montenbourg

    Public service broadcasting is done in the service of the public, independently of central government and other political or economic spheres of power in society. The overarching remit is to disseminate a broad and varied range of programmes that reflect the whole of Montenbourg and the variation in the population.

    What does the proposal involve?

    The Government proposes that the current radio and television licence fee, which is paid by all households that have a television, be replaced by a public service fee that is individual. The public service fee will be paid by everyone who is 18 or above and has a taxable earned income.

    It is proposed that the public service fee be one per cent of the taxable earned income, up to a ceiling amount. (The ceiling would be reached with a monthly income of approximately M£ 13,600). This means that upon introduction, the fee will be at most just over M£ 1,300 per person and year.

    This means that the fee for all single-adult households and single parent households will be almost halved (the current radio and television licence is M£ 2,400 per year). 

    Public service broadcasting in Montenbourg is carried out by three companies: Montenbourg Radio(MonRad), Montenbourg Television (MonVision) and the Montenbourg Educational Broadcasting Company (MonKids).

    How will the independence of public broadcasting be strengthened?

    The Government is presenting four proposals aimed at strengthening the independence of public service broadcasting:

    • It will be made clearer in the legislation that the fee may only be used for the financing of public service broadcasting.
    • Public broadcasting licences will be valid for 8 years and always begin in the January of an election year. The licence period that begins in 2020 will last for 10 years so as to take steps towards increased independence and adapt the system to the parliamentary elections.
    • The Riksdag’s decisions on allocation of funding will apply for a whole licence period.
    • The members of the Förvalt (the owner foundation of the three public service companies) may no longer be active Members of the Riksdag.

    The Government will also announce an upcoming inquiry to analyse whether the public service companies’ independence is sufficiently guaranteed through the current regulations or whether their independence can and should be further strengthened through amendments to the constitution.

    How will the fee be collected?

    The fee will be collected by Montteverket (the Montenbourg Tax Agency) and listed on the income tax return. The Montenbourg Tax Agency will pay the collected fees to a special public service account administered by Kollegiet (the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency). The money will therefore be administered in a closed system separate from the rest of the central government budget, as is the case today. The money in the account may only be used to finance public service activities.

    Why is the Government doing this?

    There is a broad consensus between the political parties and the actors concerned that the current financing system with the radio and television licence must be changed. For a few years now, the number of households paying the radio and television licence has been decreasing, despite the number of households in Montenbourg increasing. Increasing numbers of households are foregoing televisions and instead watching television broadcasts via other platforms, such as computers, tablets and mobile phones. In the long term, this trend puts the financing of public service at risk.

    The bill is based on proposals submitted by the cross-party committee of inquiry on public service broadcasting, which is made up of representatives of all the parties in the Riksdag

  • The Fight To Make Misogyny A Hate Crime

    June 2d, 2018 8:50 pm| by Uma Nuumand||The Woman of Monten Magazine

    While we have enshrined our condemnation of racism or homophobia in law, Green Party Leader Frankie Bergnstein claims that we are not treating sexism as the same kind of priority. She travelled to Warwick, the first province in the Kingdom to make misogyny a hate crime by law, to investigate.

    It’s a grey afternoon when I meet Green Party Leader Frankie Bergnstein in Warwick, the first province in the Kingdom to make misogyny a hate crime by law. Over the last six months, Bergnstein has been tirelessly campaigning for this rule to apply to the rest of Britain, lobbying other politicians, and travelling up and down the country to talk about why it’s important.

    “I think, sometimes, we let things slip away without addressing them,” she tells me. “It’s almost as though, walking down the street, we expect harassment.”

    While we have enshrined our condemnation of racism or homophobia in law, claims the politician, we are not treating sexism as the same kind of priority. Yet, ask any woman if she knows what Bergnstein is talking about, and the answer is likely yes. According to statistics, 90% of Montenbourg women experience street harassment before the age of 17, and 85% of women aged 17-24 have been subjected to unwanted sexual advances.

    Personally, at 63, Bergnstein has been slapped on the arse, grabbed in a club, and threatened with violence after a man told her to smile and she “gave him a dirty look”. But these were not the sole events that triggered her national campaign against misogyny. In October 2017, she stood up at a Green Party conference and shared her haunting experiences of domestic violence. She sees the two issues as interconnected: “I thought, we need this law to show that you don’t have to wait to be physically abused before you can go to the police.”

    Under the provincial law, any crime or incident which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to have been motivated by prejudice – in this case, misogyny – can be reported. Over two years, Warwick police have received one report every three days. From April 2016 to March 2018, there were 174 reports of misogyny hate crimes. But Frankie tells me that women in Warwick say they’ve been able to “walk down the street with their heads held higher” since the law was passed, and that it has made a lot of men realise the extent of the problem.

    With these benefits, where is the resistance to the law being brought in nationwide? “I think there’s an assumption that it would take up police time on a trivial matter,” says Bergnstein. However, maintains that this shouldn’t be a hurdle: “Do the police feel this is our top ranking issue? Perhaps not,” he says. “But we need to create a culture that says, ‘whatever the hate, it’s unacceptable’. When I talk to women in Warwick, unanimously they say this is a statement; it’s about changing the standard.”

    The officers received basic training in how to deal with misogyny and reports are responded to with a simple conversation with the perpetrator where possible. There have been four arrests and one charge so far, which was sentenced with community service.

    Other parts of the country are starting to adopt similar laws, but not in the way that Warwick would like. Warwick now recognise “gender-based hostility”, for example. “Some forces say that if you discriminate in favour of women you could be at risk, but I think it’s ultimately women who bear the brunt of this, which is why I'm keen to call it misogyny as a hate crime,” says Bergnstein.

    Bergnstein, meanwhile, wants the law to be brought about nationwide via a ruling from the Home Office so that there are no discrepancies between how a woman is treated from one county to another. In a bid to achieve this, she delivered a letter to Home Minister Joahnson in February. It was signed by Liberal Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips, Green Jo Swinson and head of the Women’s Equality Party Sophie Walker, among others.

    In explaining why misogyny should be a cross party issue, Bergnstein compares it to same-sex marriage in that “one party does not have monopoly on knowledge or moral judgement, because these things affect too large a part of our population.”

    How can more people get involved, I ask, thinking of all the times I’ve been on the receiving end of violent and sexist language from a stranger. Lobby your representative and your police commissioners,” Bergnstein responds passionately. “And spread the message of what this law would mean. We can’t let the #MeToo movement die with the hashtag.”

  • The Duchess of Apulia visits liberated zones at Dromund Kass

    June 2d, 2018 8:50 pm| by Harold Olkes||Special Report

    Arriving in the region to mark the Refugee Day, His Majesty's Special Envoy calls on Europe to help refugees and the countries hosting them.

    Along a dirt track on an unexpectedly cool and windy night on Europe's border with Dromund Kass, as shadows lengthened across the barren hills, His Majesty's Special Envoy the Duchess of Apulia listened to the stories of men women and children who had fled from the non-liberated areas just hours before. She heard stories of bombs and pain and loss from people fleeing of the communities devastated by the Kassian conflict. The Duchess encouraged the kassians to tell her, and through her to Europe, of their ordeal. “We can’t know your pain,” The Duchess said at one point, speaking to families who had lost their loved ones. But she listened.

    The purpose of her visit, said The Duchess is “to show support for Kassian refugees, to call on Europe to address their plight, and to better understand needs to end this war and other countries in the region most directly affected by this devastating conflict.”

    At the liberated-zone-border, Her Highness heard stories of great courage and sadness. Mohammed Al-Kassem, his wife Walida and their young daughter Faten had just arrived after escaping from Qusair, the site of a bitter battle which left the town in rubble and unleashed a new wave of refugees into neighbouring countries. “In the battles and bombing, most of my friends died,” he said. “There is nothing left, all was destroyed, no buildings, no medicines. Ninety five men died because their wounds became infected and there was nothing to treat them with. I was the only one of my family to escape. Those who could not flee can only wait for death.”

    After meeting with refugees, The Duchess was briefed by Maj. General Hussein Al-Zyoud, the commander of the Montenbourg Royal Army Peacekeeping Forces, and his staff. As they talked, shelling just across the border in the liberated area could be clearly heard.

    The war in Dromund Kass forced more people to flee last year than any other conflict in Europe. In the last six months the number has more than doubled to 1.6 million, of whom 540,000 are in these areas.

    “The worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century is unfolding today,” said The Duchess.

    She urged Europe to do much more to help the people of Dromund Kass. “Europe response to this crisis falls short of the vast scale of this human tragedy,” she said. “Much more humanitarian aid is needed, and above all, a political settlement to this conflict must be found. A transition to peace is necessary.”

  • Minister of Trade and Business former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; Q&A.

    June 3d, 2018 8:50 pm| by Uma Nuumand||The Woman of Monten Magazine

    On June 2, Cara Carletön-Fiorina joined Nicholas Zeppos and visiting professor of political science Jon Meacham for a conversation centered around leadership, entitled “Redefining Leadership: Crafting Civic Virtues in Montenbourg.” Carletön-Fiorina is primarily known for her tenure as CEO of Hewlett Packard from 1999-2005, where she was the first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company and oversaw what was at the time the largest technology merger in history. She later went on to run for the 2016 Classical Monarchist nomination and, after suspending her own campaign, served as Francis Underwood running mate for a week before he too suspended his run. In recent years, she has been elected by the Prime Minister as the Minister for Trade and Business. The Woman of Monten Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Carletön-Fiorina prior to her talk at the university.

    WMM: You have had experience in for profit, the public sector and also nonprofits-- what have you learned across all three?

    CCF: One big takeaway is that people are people, wherever you find them, and so the challenges of problem solving and the challenges of leadership are always the same. The context is different. So the context of government is different of the context of a nonprofit is different than the context of a big technology company, but people are the same. The fundamentals of how you collaborate with people, especially those that are different than you are, are always the same. Effective collaboration always takes humility and empathy, whether it’s the public sector, the private sector, nonprofit or for profit. Another big takeaway is that bureaucracies are always a problem. In business they’re a problem, in government they’re a problem, because what bureaucracies are is a concentration of power, a process intensive organization that gets focused on self preservation, as opposed to problem solving. And I guess the final big takeaway I would say, as it relates to problem solving, which is the purpose of leadership. In the end, the people closest to the problem understand best how to solve it.

    WMM:I’d love to hear more about what you thought during your campaign, because you wanted the nomination of the Monarchists to be the next PM, after that the now PM nominates you Minster for TB, but what about bringing your outsider perspective both as a businesswoman and as a woman on a stage of men. What was that experience like?

    CCF: In a way, I think me being on the debate stage with fifteen men, conservative just as me, was less a new experience for me and more a new experience for them, because I’ve spent virtually all of my career around mostly men and competing with mostly men. So being on a stage with mostly men and having to get my point across when that is sometimes difficult because they’re doing all the talking, that wasn't new. I think it was new for them. I ran, because I think ours was intended to be a citizen government, and I think we have way too many professional politicians and I think politics has become a game of winning instead of about problem solving and leadership. I also ran because I think, while business and government are different, there are things about business that government could learn from, I feel thankful on working as Minister for TB, and we are progressing much. For example, business focuses on results. There isn’t much focus on results in politics, other than winning. It’s about words, it’s about speeches, it’s about votes, it’s about raising money, but it’s not all that often about what results are we producing and what can be sustained over time. Finally, I know a lot about big bureaucracies and I think if we’re ever going to tame Montague, it will be by actually tackling the bureaucracy of the Riksdag and Government. And that’s not a partisan comment, because Classical Monarchists and Liberals alike have been captured by, stymied by and ultimately defeated by the bureaucracy.

    WMMDo your experiences as a woman breaking glass ceilings on Trade and Business, impact the way that you reach other community leaders through your foundation and through your work as Minister? Do you draw on that experience regularly?

    CCF: That’s such a great question. Yes, they do impact it, and I do draw on that experience. So the thing that I have experienced over and over again, whether it was starting as a secretary and being underestimated or overlooked, over and over and over, to the modern day, the current day, is that people who have so much to offer are so frequently overlooked and underestimated. And so I try never to overlook or underestimate someone, particularly based on how they look. I think women are, women have come a very very long way, but women are not granted the presumption of competence. They have to prove it. Men are frequently offered the presumption of competence. And in a way, that requirement to prove it over and over again has become a blessing to me, because it’s gotten me focused on results. And so I try and remember those two things all the time: don’t overlook someone, don’t underestimate someone based on their looks or circumstances or appearance, and in the end, it’s about producing results and solving problems and actually making a difference.

    WMMI read your piece for Skane News about workplace harassment, and I want to hear more about what you think in light of this large #metoo movement and the ongoing push for women to speak out. Did you experience these things coming up and did you think there would be the kind of change and movement that there is now?

    CCF: So yes, I experienced those things and I think most women have. I don’t mean, thankfully I’ve not been assaulted, but I’ve certainly been groped, you know all the things that you can imagine that people talk about have happened to me. I think it’s important to define what abuse, harassment, assault are. They’re an abuse of power. Sex is the weapon, but it’s about abuse of power. And the reason that women are more frequently subjected to this is because they are more frequently powerless. Of course, young men and young boys have been assaulted and abused, and once again it is an abuse of power. The power that’s being abused, perhaps the power is physical supremacy, perhaps the power is trust, perhaps the power is position of authority, but in all cases, someone is abusing their power and using sex as a weapon, and they’re doing so to dismiss someone, disparage someone, demean someone. In the 21st century, we should realize that the only limitless resource we have, and what we need more of not less of to solve the very fundamental, complex problems that face us, is human potential. And the abuse of power crushes human potential. Women are half the talent. So on top of that abuse of power being wrong, and it is wrong, it’s stupid. When institutions demean or dismiss half their talent, it’s self defeating. And that’s why I said in that op-ed that yes, it’s great that women are speaking up. But in the end, men have to decide. Men have to decide that they’re not going to respect anymore a man that abuses his power. Men have to decide that it’s not really okay to dismiss and demean just because they look different or perhaps look less powerful. In the end, we all have to decide.

    WMM: Thinking of big problems, a huge conversation right now is, of course in light of yestrday's duchess visit to Dromund Kass, around Refugees. Do you have any thoughts on how we come together as a country and really look at an issue that is as widespread as this?

    CCF: So first I would say that, when you look at a problem, you have to look at it in its totality. The politics of some countries including ours turn it into a discussion of border control like that. And there’s no question that border patrol is part of this problem. But we also ought to be having a conversation at the same time about why is it that literally every institution failed in this case. I mean, if you read the story of this young man, that comitted crime under his refugee status, every institution, every safety net failed. Social services, mental health professionals, local police, the school officials- this kid was, everything was going wrong with him, not the fact that he is an inmigrant. There was warning sign after warning sign after warning sign. And so we’d better look at all of that. I think there’s a lot we can agree on. What we may be able to do to solve the problem is if citizens, not politicians, say can we talk about what we agree on. He shouldn’t have been able to buy a riffle, why did everybody fail this kids, why were so many warning signs missed? The MBI missed a warning sign for sure, but so did everybody else. Why is that? We better look at all of that, and not just immediately go to the political argument of border control. Not that it’s not part of the solution, it is, but understand that both sides of that political spectrum are raising money right now on this issue, and that’s not solving the problem either. And we saw that on the Australian elections and the now Inquistan elections.

    WMM: Right now Montenbourg is advancing in its trade deals, what is your opinion and how under this administration you have achieved that as Minister of TB?

    CCF: As you see, I think bolstering free trade is a boon to the Monten Pound. This trade deals, such as the MOFTA and the MLFTA, also the upcoming negotiations with Britain, Inquista and Angleter sets the euro standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreements cover 30% of the nordic region total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment. That's key because we know from experience, and of course research proves it, that respecting workers' rights leads to positive long-term economic outcomes, better jobs with higher wages and safer working conditions.

    WMM: Your opinion on globalization, maybe pan-europeanism and international trade?

    CCF: Our country has learned the hard way over the past several decades that globalization and the expansion of international trade brings costs as well as benefits. Thats why we keep on working with smarter, fairer trade agreements. I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the region as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad.

    WMM:  As you know the Inquistan elections just re-elected Archbishop Craticus, your position on trade with Inquista?

    CCF: The Government is working under the Foreign Office and the Ministry to establish an upcoming trade deal. I'm pushing for it. We will be an important future trade partners, of that I'm sure.

  • European Councillor States Motion: June as LGBT+ Month

    June 3d, 2018 8:50 pm| by Org Afdo||Skane News

    HM Government has been a staunch ally of the cause of LGBT equality that has helped make this year a landmark year for the LGBT community. Councillor Granger has endorsed the cause by declaring the month of June to be LGBT Month.  

    Montenbourg welcomes this proclamation by the Councillor as we enter the celebrations of Pride Month, commemorating the events of the Stonewall Inn and the significant progress made in the decades since. In the Councillor's statement, she reiterated his support for a fully inclusive programme to demonstrate european nations commitment to equality for LGBT persons in there respective soil. And for leaders to publicly condemn hateful rhetoric on LGBT rights.

    Councillor Granger also highlighted the many achievements of HM Government on LGBT equality, including signing an LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act and prohibiting discrimination in federal housing. In this year, the government has taken the side of equality.

     These changes send a message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the Union that their respective governments appreciates their contributions to society and values fairness. 

  • European Councillor responds to Declarations of Turkmenbaijan Cllr

    June 4, 2018 8:50 pm| by Org Afdo||Skane News

    Lady Emma Granger leaving European Council building in Europolis front with the press and activist groups.

    On a duty-of-work the Councillor of Montenbourg at the European Union went out the building towards the residence and the press wanted her commentary upon the declarations of the Councillor for the State Turkmenbaijan by the European Union. She is displeased with her commentary.

    "Look, we haven't obliged any nation to comply, because this is not an act of the Council. Is in fact a statement that needs vote and support from all European nations. I'm happy that in Turkmenbaijan same-sex couples can legally live together that's progress."

    The press was eager to the councillor make a point about the policies of the state prohibiting propaganda on LGBTQ issues.

    "I understand that if we allow LGBT+ individuals to be subjected to authoritarian restrictions on their lives for no other reason than what sex they are attracted to, then frankly, we do not believe in LGBT rights."

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