Derecta-Montenbourg Summit - Dikaíoma
The Government of the Republic of Derecta extends its invitation to Dikaíoma to the Montenbourgian Prime Minister, Economy Minister and diplomatic delegation, in order to further discuss the terms of the future Derecta-Montenbourg Free Trade Agreement.
The Most Hon. Violet Leandros,
Prime Minister of the Republic of Derecta
Montague, Strasbourg.- 3 August, 2018.
His Majesty's Government of the Kingdom of Montenbourg accepts Derecta's invitation. The Prime Minister of Montenbourg, Xavier Bettel will be accompained by Finance Minister, Claire Ünderwood and our diplomatic delegation present in Derecta under His Majesty's Ambassador Lady Serena van der woodsen. The Prime Minister husband, Gauthier Destenay, First Gentleman of Montenbourg will also accompain the Prime Minister during the visit. We look forward to further discuss the terms of the future Derecta-Montenbourg Free Trade Agreement and open our doors to an everlasting coalition.
Hon. Elizabeth McCord
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Approaching to Dikaíoma.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, his husband Gauthier and Minister of Finance Claire Ünderwood, were at the Carrier One. Bettel was very eager to begin his Derectan outreach.
"Gauthier," Bettel said, looking out of his window.
"What a big city?"
The Prime Minister looked at the ground between the clouds. He was impressed.
"I do know that violet is a strong woman. Is in it, Claire?"
"Haha, let's see." said Claire.
All of them laughed.
The plane began its initial approach to the capital.
Eleutheria Palace, Dikaíoma, Evening of the 3rd of August...
Violet had been awaiting this moment for the past fortnight. Ever since the opening of the Montenbourgian embassy in Dikaíoma, the Derectan and Montenbourgian governments had been discussing the prospects of a Free Trade Agreement.
Just as she was arranging the state dinner's last minute details, Mario Andrade, her private secretary, briefed her on the northern European state:
"Montenbourg is a monarchy, so it won't be difficult to make them feel at home hosting them in our old royal palace. It is divided into provinces, and recently held provincial elections in Strasbourg, one of the country's most important regions. In terms of their economic flagships, we don't really have much intel on their activity, but we do think they'll be eager to import Derectan tech. They are trying to abandon oil as an energy source, and they will need a lot of innovative techniques and machinery to achieve zero gas emissions."
"Well, this is going to be some meeting... -said Violet- Has Alfredo confirmed his assistance? I know Friedrich is coming, I told him to, but I'm not so sure about Alfredo, he had this soirée planned over at the British embassy, some Commonwealth event, and he said he might not make it."
"Minister Tressler is on his way from the ministry, and Minister Valero has very politely excused himself from his obligations to the British. He has sent the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State for EU Collaboration to replace him"
"Great, send a helicopter to DIA. The plane should land any moment now and I don't want them to have to drive all the way to the palace. Oh! and tell Peter he should take Mr. Destenay on a tour around Dikaíoma while we discuss the treaty tomorrow."
Violet was happy to have Minister Valero attending the state dinner, it would have given a bad impression if he had missed it. She was, however, worried about the outcome of the negotiations. She didn't have enough intel on the Montenbourgian economy, and she feared Derecta might come out weakened of the agreements.
The Carrier One landed at Dikaíoma International Airport terminal 5. The Prime Minister, his husband and the Minister waved to the press, they greeted a brief welcome by the Delta Air Lines staff and some members of the welcoming delegation of Derecta.
"Thank you for meeting us at the airport," Bettel responded. "This is my husband, Mr. Gauthier Destenay and my Minister of Finance, Claire Ünderwood. I'd love to have a short tour of the sights on the way to our meeting, if you could lead us."
Gauthier looked at the Prime Minister, hold his hand, a gesture captured by the press, and followed as he was led to a helicopter.
At the helicopter.
"This is a nice city" said the Minister of Finance to the Prime Minister. "Very stable looks. It enouces some aura of stability. Is in it?." The Minister and looked at Bettel husband.
"Stable looks indeed" said Gauthier.
The Helicopter advanced slightly towards the skies of Dikaíoma.
Bettel hoped that everything that he was working towards in foreign policy would really begin to come to fruition as Montenbourg continued to grown economically and in prominence in the European Union. As an export-oriented economy aided by natural gas, manufacture, and the promotion of equity funds. He thinked how these constituted the resource base of an economy oriented toward foreign trade.
The helicopter landed in front of the palace's main doors.
Eleutheria Palace Dining Hall
Just before sunset, Violet had managed to get dressed for the occasion and reach the front doors of Eleutheria Palace.
Ministers Tressler and Valero were already inside, but she had arranged for a formal state welcome to be celebrated, even though the Montenbourgian king was not attending the summit. She was expecting the Prime Minister, his husband and the delegation would have been impressed by the display of grandiosity she had ordered, but the best was yet to come.
Minutes before the Montenbourgians arrived, Violet spoke with her assistant.
"We have the all-clear from the Montenbourgian embassy, don't we Mario?"
"Yes Ma'am, Ambassador van der Woodsen has already joined the Prime Minister and they're on their way. The estimated time of arrival is three minutes, and they shall be landing thirty meters from where we stand. I do hope their luggage does arrive on time, that was sent over in some government armored trucks. Not much space in those helicopters, to be honest. I think we should refurbish our fleet..."
"Oh, come on Mario! Stop the bickering already. I'll see what I can do about those helicopters, but don't expect magic to happen..."
Montenbourg last edited by Montenbourg
The Statsminister and the First Gentleman of Montenbourg recives flashes from the press.
Then the Minister of Finance disembark the helicopter behind the Prime Minister and the First Gentleman.
The delegation is greeted by Prime Minister of Derecta. Both Ministers reach hands.
"Thank you, for this warm welcome Violet." Said the Prime Minister."May I present you my husband, Gauthier."
"It's an honor your excellency." Gauthier reach hands and give a cheek kiss.
"And my Minister of Finance, Claire." The Prime Minister presents her.
"I must congratulate you. Truly a remarkable woman, a pleasure'' Said Claire shaking hands.
The Prime Minister advance cojointly with Derectan Prime Minister.
"What a beautiful city..." said the Prime Minister.
As Violet entered the palace followed by the Montenbourgians, she began explaining the history of Dikaíoma.
"Dikaíoma has been the capital of Derecta since our greek ancestors colonised the entirety of the current Derectan coastline back in 667 BC. Dikaíoma means authority, or power, in Ancient Greek. It has since, however, experienced many transformations."
"During our time as a Hispanic colony, the city became a vibrant mediterranean-like city, even though Derecta is washed by the waters of the Black Sea. Much of the old city boroughs' remnants originate from this period."
"Then came the British Protectorate, and the city had to become Derecta's true administrative hub. Feudalism had been the preferred governance system up until the British arrived back in 1735, and all of the power was concentrated in DIkaíoma. Georgian style was brought to Derecta, and its remains still embellish our city. Britain controlled Derecta for little over thirty years, but its influence over Derectan culture were massive. We even adopted Englsih as our official language, as we began abandoning the use of Spanish and Greek."
"Little was saved from the 19th century city though. Ever since the 20th, we have been tearing down those buildings to modernise our city. There wasn't much to maintain anyway."
Just as she finished explaining her city's history, they all arrived at the dining hall.
"Well, Prime Minister, tonight is about celebrating our countries' newfound harmony. We shall discuss the terms of the agreement tomorrow morning. I do hope you enjoy the soirée, I know you must be used to the magnificent balls and events your monarch organises, but we Derectans also know how to please our guests."
As they sat down, Ministers Valero and Tressler welcomed the Montenbourgians.
"Well, I bring warm greetings from His Majesty The King to you and to the Derectan people. Let me again thank you for the wonderfully warm welcome we have received. We have a splendid programme and tonight’s dinner will be especially memorable for us." Said the Prime Minister looking at Violet.
"It's very interesting how English has shapen our countries, and what a rich history has your country your excellency." Said Gauthier adding to the commentary of his husband, the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister hold his husband's hands, looked at him and kissed on the cheek, then he added. "Indeed, This visit is and will be a celebration of the values that we share. As Montenbourgians and as Derectians..." The Prime Minister rise up from his chair tooked a glass filled with champagne and said."And so I would like to propose a toast — to the great future between the Kingdom of Montenbourg and Derecta; to our friend, Violet and her administration; to the friendship between Montenbourgians and Derectans and the spirit that binds us together — a genuine and deep and abiding respect for each and every human being. Cheers."
The next day, whilst Violet's husband and Mr. Destenay toured Dikaíoma, the Prime Minister took the Montenbourgian delegation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the terms of a Free Trade Agreement.
"Prime Minister, may I call you Xävier?. You can call me Violet too if you want to. I'd rather ditch the formalities and the titles and so on for today. 'The Most Honourable' might sound fancy, but it sometimes just bothers me a bit when people exceed protocol and start acting all haughty."
"Anyway, lets just get right to it. To be honest, I cannot see how Derecta could benefit of a free trade agreement with Montenbourg. We don't rely on foreign powers for energy sources, and we have already largely transitioned towards a carbon-neutral model of energy production. Most households in Derecta now obtain their electricity thanks to solar, wind and tidal energy. We also have a large manufacturing sector in San Marcos, and most imported manufactured goods come from the United Kingdom or Australia, through already established trade agreements."
"But this doesn't mean we're not open to the signing of an agreement with you." said Minister Valero. He thought Violet had been a bit too sincere about her concerns. Both him and Minister Tressler were DPA ministers, and their party was expecting a treaty could be signed with Montenbourg. Violet, however was the leader of the DDC, and it was well-known that her party held Derecta's economic independence dearly.
"If you may tell us how else this agreement might benefit our countries' trade, we could be more eager to sign it." said Minister Tressler. "You must already know Derecta is one of the leading tech research and development hubs in Europe, so we could put that on the table.
"Well, Violet, I understand that you personally will become an Associate Member of the European Progressive Alliance as you know we endorse you as a go-for-it by His Majesty's Government because we found your initiative of the European Common Culture and Education Act especially needed with this wary of the rise of populism and xenophobia on some European countries that are transforming into an agressive nationalism with their policies. Because it is education that helps us develop a European identity and at the end fight this threat. However, to reach this we need the support of every actor committed on building a Europe that really held into account progressive policies, so It will be especially beneficial to work together as two nations who believe strongly in progressive values, with your ongoing support in the initiatives for progress and unity that we both present at the council." He looked at the Prime Minister of Derecta with eyes of hope.
"...Also" The Minister of Finance added."We know that Derecta is leading tech research and development hubs, and we are clear is not only on the energy and manufacturing sector that Montenbourg is good at. We also don't rely on foreign powers for energy sources but we believe that better access means better supplies for both of our citizens. Our industries also cover marine and industrial drive systems, mass media and of course private equity investments. I find that a trade agreement that elimantes 100% on tariffs will be for our industrial goods and consumer products will impact directly towards both of our economies in matters of growth for our local industries and more dynamic business climate between our countries. The majority of Derectan industrial goods imported to our country will be duty-free immediately upon entry into force, with most remaining tariffs on industrial goods to be eliminated within 2 years, also the same for ours."
" Yes, and Derectan investors would benefit from enhanced investment protection and access on par with the best treatment provided to any foreign company because of our agreement. Also you and I knows that our governments subsidize local industry segments because sometimes trade tariffs are a cost that our governments assume to pay for them. After our trade agreement removes those subsidies, those funds can be put to better use, because we are letting the market do their thing. Also our Local companies will receive access to the latest technologies from Derecta. And as local economies grow, so do job opportunities. Your companies and ours will provide job training to local employees, thing that I find very intersting." Added the Prime Minister.
"Continuing, investors will flock to your country. As financial groups will open markets in Derecta, of that I'm very sure." said the Minister of Finance.
"For us when all people, our citizens, at all times have access to an economy that brings them choice, we are responding to betterment for them."
"I'm glad to hear you appreciated the ECCE Act, but it wasn't me who drafted it. It was Councillor Maverick's sole initiative, and he is part of the DPA. I did sanction it, of course, but it is his achievement." said Violet. "But you're right. Now more than ever our Union needs a strong, progressive bloc to maintain our harmony."
Violet looked at the over-enthusiastic Montenbourgian Prime Minister and sensed his "passion" towards progress. A passion he was trying to wield so she accepted the agreement. She then glanced at Minister Tressler, expecting him to speak up.
"It is definetely a good agreement. I also think it would nourish both the Derectan and the Montenbourgian economies" he said, before smiling to the Montenbourgians. He percieved Violet's fake smile as he finished explaining why he thought the agreement would benefit Derecta.
"What do you think Alfredo?" asked Violet. The Foreign Affairs Minister, as usual when foreign economics were being discussed, was a bit absent-minded. He was more into pure political diplomacy, rather than economic diplomacy.
"Friedrich here says it's a good deal, and as long as our visa policy remains untouched, I think it's a go, Prime Minister." said Minister Valero.
Violet was still skeptical about the agreement. She didn't know how her traditional allies would react to her rapprochement to Montenbourg. Not that the country were a problem itself, but she was concerned about Derectan trade towards these allies. Would it be halted? Would they impose harder tariffs on Derecta? How could Tressler and Valero not assess this perspective?
Finally, after a long silence, Violet decided she would concede.
"My cabinet has advised me. I must listen to it. Let this be the beginning of fruitful exchanges between the Kingdom of Montenbourg and the Republic of Derecta." she said bitterly.
Already she was thinking about angry ambassadors knocking at her door. But then she remembered what was to come next. Very few times the opportunity of "holidays" crossed her path, and that afternoon was going to be the closest she would come to some in quite some time. She had planed on taking the Montenbourgians to her retreat in Poseidarnassus, so they could spend the rest of the day in one of the most beautiful beach villas in Derecta, owned by the Leandros family.
"Mario, call Peter's driver and tell him to take him and Mr. Destenay to Dikaíoma Central Station. We'll take a train to Poseidarnassus. Oh, they're just finished at the Derectan Museum of Modern Art? Splendid. Then let's get going." she said.
"Indeed is a beginning of a fruitful friendship." said the Prime Minister. Then they walked towards the Motorcade.
On their way to Poseidarnassus.
The Statsminister and Derectan Prime Minister were in their vehicle looking out at Dikaíoma. It was still a very mixed modern country, but there was an air of sleek progress flair to each of street they passed, much futuristic buildings.
"Violet, excuse my manners, but I was wondering does Derecta has a figure of head of state it wasn't very much clear to me? I understand you're republic but the figure which you represent is what in my country would be a head of government, or your system has invested in you the two figures. Also what is your position on LGBT rights?" he said softly. Continued to observe the city and glanced to Violet.
The press was flashing out with their cameras recording the visit and the people where waving at the motorcade.
"That is a very interesting question, Xävier" said Violet, who always liked to answer questions on her country's history. "Derecta had been a kingdom since 648 BC, and the office I hold was created under the monarchy. During the "Days of the Gathering" our own revolution against the king, we decided to maintain the title of 'Prime Minister' to address the Head of State and Government of Derecta. So, de facto, I am President of Derecta, although I am not chosen directly by the Derectan people. The Prime Minister is proclaimed by the Senate, Derecta's Parliament's lower house."
"Concerning LGBTQI+ rights, you will be happy to hear that marriage and adoption are universal in Derecta, basics on sexual orientation and gender identity are taught in Derectan schools and hate crimes are heavily punished. We are also assessing the possibility to establish a state-sponsored surrogate mother program, although it has caused some controversy."
Violet lowered the car window as they approched Oἶκος, her family's summer house.
"Here we are! I hope you have a lovely time. I spent every summer here when I was a child, and all the memories I have of this place are wonderful. I actually met Peter one summer I came up to Poseidarnassus, at a friend's party. Sadly, I shall have to leave tomorrow morning, but feel free to stay as long as you like. 'Mi casa es tu casa', as the Hispanics say." said Violet. "I'll have a second motorcade come tomorrow to pick me up and take me to the station. You can keep the one we came on to get back to Dikaíoma, or to go downtown."
"Interesting. Know that you will have our support in promoting human rights, and we are also working on a state-sponsored surrogate mother program advancing little by little to get good quality programs for all. Even though the private sector is doing an excellent job, is quite pricey if you ask me having a child with this process that's why we want it to keep it available to all." Said the Prime Minister.
"What a lovely place..."said the First Gentleman."Thank you, violet."
The Minister of Finance approach to the Derectan minister."Prime Minister it was an honor thank you, I know that leadership comes in small acts as well as bold strokes. I'm hoping to see this agreement in course and this would mark a new beginning in our relations."
The Minister of Finance said goodbye to the delegation and returned to the Airport on a motorcade.
" So, It appears that we are beginning to get moving in ways that we can cooperate. You know, Violet the truth is this: it is a our job to challenge the status quo, moving progressive policies forward either in our countries or in the Union. And when we do, we make enemies, so we need allies to come together to always stay high putting our policies in front and defending them. You'll have our aid in your continuing efforts at Dromund Kass, and in the policies you wish to pursue, I hope to have yours. So, is this the beginning of a formidable alliance?." The Prime Minister smiled.
"This sure is the beginning of a strong alliance, Xävier. And before I leave, let me give you this as a memento of your time here in Derecta." said Violet.
"What I have here is a 3rd century BC gold hair ornament and net, found by our wonderful archaeologists near Askaphos. Now we give it to the Montenbourgian people, so they can learn a bit more about our history."
"I must go now, the Minister of Defence and Internal Affairs, Mr. Trujillo, must debrief me on some confidential matters, but as I said, feel free to stay for as long as you like. It has been a pleasure meeting you."
Violet felt a bit more confident on the agreement now that she had noticed the Montenbourgians were much impressed by Derecta's technological advancement. She hoped their companies would begin importing more Derectan tech as soon as the treaty was signed and ratified. As she entered her car, she opened her briefcase, filled with files and secret documents attaining Derecta's national security.
"Peter, dear, can't I just stay here? It looks so lovely beside the pool..." she moaned.
"Come on, darling. Sebastián is waiting for you back in Dikaíoma." said Peter Leandros. "And you know you couldn't possibly stay away from Eleutheria more than a couple of days. You love being prime minister."
The Prime Minister jiggled, smiled and waved the Derectan Prime Minister. He was very happy of this new era for Montenbourg.
"Well..this is very cool gift haha."He holded Gauthier hands."We have this beautiful place just for us till tomorrow."
"Indeed, darling."He smiled and walked towards the pool.