It was a cold yet sunny day in the Tresman Mountains. The air smelled of the pine tree forests blanketing the area, and there was not a cloud in the sky. As his car approached Tresman Castle his advisor told him that Mimi Kodheli, Fremet's Commerce Minister, had already arrived and escorted the guests via high speed train from Trondheim to the mountain provence of Palemu, and then taken by car to Tresman Castle. All dignitaries that were invited were in the main hall conversing. He entered and walked up to the podium:
"Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I welcome you to the Federation of Fremet, the Castle of Tresman, and to the first Winter summit. I thank you all for attending and we consider it an upmost honour to have you all here. I would ask that you cheque with your guide if you would like to leave the summit grounds and explore the nearby city of Tresman, so we can coordinate security for you. If you have any questions as to your stay here, just ask me or Minister Kodheli. Prime Minister Nikki Haley will be arriving from Trondheim tonight after she dismisses parliament to take its winter recess. After she arrives, the official business will start, but for now, enjoy your time here in the Federation and..... try not to drink all of the wine.
He went and stood with the rest of the Fremetian Delegation, and the room burst with conversation.
((OOC: My PM will arrive tonight EST so now you can RP conversations if you would like.))
'So I arrive, and then what? Do I just stand around awkwardly? I never liked this sort of thing anyway.' Sir Jonathan Barrington was heading to his first ever international summit, and he didn't know quite what to do. He had only been appointed to the Treasury Chancellory on a temporary basis, and didn't expect having to attend major conferences like this. The Chancellor position had never been a very international one, after all; it mainly covered domestic finances, and was mostly devolved to Inimician provinces and districts.
As he arrived, he was greeted by some attendants, but didn't quite know what to do. He straightened his tie and glasses, and entered the premises. Whatever he did, he would have to keep up the Barrington name, which had become famous - or rather, infamous - throughout Europe because of his brother's exploits in the European Council.
PM Nikki Haley just stepped out of her helicopter after a direct flight from Trondheim. She was greeted almost immediately by the Finance Minister, Mimi Kodheli.
MK: You got here just in time, your Foreign Affairs minister was about to be short out of jokes.
NH: Good, have they all arrived?
MK: Yes, I trust your flight went well?
NH: Yes, I had to make a detour to Rhodenheim to tie up some loose ends, but I made it.
MK: The main hall is this way, and we are ready for you to give the initiation speech.
NH: Good, let's do this.
Nikki Haley walked up to the podium, everyone in the main hall was ready to get this summit started.
"Hello, my name is Nikki Haley, Prime Minister of the Federation of Fremet. It is an honour to have all of you here, and I apologize for my absence.
So, to begin, the first topic up for discussion will be import/export tariffs, to begin at 12:00 EST 6.2.16, but other topic recommendations can be taken before the discussion begins.
Now, I know we are all ready to get started so I won't delay you any longer. Thank you, and I hope that you enjoy your time here in the Federation."
She stepped down and approached the Inimican Delegation.
NH: Hi, um ....... Mr. Barrington, correct? It is delightful to finally meet you. Have you settled in here okay?
Kirpal Singh Chanon arrived, leading an Angleteric delegation that also included his aide; Sir Dan Michaels, CEO of Michaels Defence Systems; and Perpetua Martin, Director-General of the Angleteric Guild of Industries. While the others each took a glass of wine, Chanon asked if any non-alcoholic alternative was available. He then headed towards Mr. Barrington.
"Alright?" he asked.
Mr. Javid made his way into the Summit, and grabbed a glass of wine. It was a long distance flight to Fremet from London (UK) and the Chancellory was preparing documents for the impending budget. He really ought to be in Whitehall, he thought to himself. He saw the many finance ministers gathering, and he had high hopes for what he could achieve, and thanked his stars that it was not the previous Labour Government that was sending someone to this summit. He would at least be able to bring credible economic reform to the conversation rather than some bizarre promises and awkward, clunky governance. He decided to bring his information on the British economy with him. He thought it'd come in handy.
The Chancellor had never seen his Angleteric counterpart and briefly made friendly eye contact with him before wandering around, waiting for the next stage of the summit to begin.
The Inquistan delegation was already inside the conference hall as the other delegates made their entrances. The Inquista delegation is being led by Minister Ron Hugh, the Inquistan Minister of Finance, who also happened to be one of Archbishop Craticus' closest confidants. Minister Hugh is accompanied by Minister Helen Strassen, the Inquistan Minister of the Environment, who was basically sent here as a token gesture by Craticus. The two ministers are also joined by two aides and a translator, although they were basically instructed to stay out of sight. Ministers Hugh and Strassen stood together and observed the other attendees as they walked in.
"Your third drink?", Minister Hugh asked inquisitively.
"Nope. Fourth", Minister Strassen said as she immediately began downing her fourth glass of bubbly. "This is going to be a long summit, so I better get ahead."
"Christ. You're usually ahead by three or four drinks. Sometimes seven", Minister Hugh replied. "Oh but look at that, it's the other Barrington. His outfit looks Medieval."
"He looks extremely confused. To be fair though, I don't think he was expecting to be here in the first place."
"That's probably true. I heard Inimicus is making some reform to their political structure though. They really ought to just get rid of it and have Artabanos reign as Supreme Emperor or something."
"I'm so glad they have nuclear weapons now. Don't you just feel safer already?"
"They're just nuclear weapons. Now, if it was soman gas..."
"Just nuclear weapons. Can you imagine?"
As the two Ministers continued to gossip about the other guests, a server walked by. He was holding a trey topped with more glasses of champagne. "Thank you, my hero", Minister Strasen said with a fake smile as she grabbed yet another drink.
"You're awful, I hope you know that", Minister Hugh said with a slight chuckle.
"Hey, we're not in Pax Aurea!", Minister Strassen hissed back. "Anyway, what's happening now?"
"No clue. Just smile and nod."
Nikki Haley was quite nervous but she knew she could not wait any longer.
"Okay everyone, let's get started. The issue that I must bring forth to you now is the Fremetian economy. The Fremetian economy is one of the fastest growing here in the EU. It has seen a steady 3% growth over the past year. We have seen immense growth since our time here in the European Union, but this growth has not reached its full potential due to extremely high tariffs on Fremetian services and goods. The average tariff on goods being exported to other European nations is upwards of 20%. This is truly outrageous, and with a service-production based economy like ours, we are struggling to maintain export growth. The current deficit is nearing 4 billion Francs, and we attribute this primarily tariffs on Fremetian goods. I saw a very disturbing report this morning, it referred to the current deficit in trade. It projected that, given no action upon tariffs, the trade deficit would double every year. I am not saying that the deficit is going to go away, as our economy's structure will not allow, but it is unacceptable that such a deficit would double every year. This is unacceptable given the current political and economic climate both here in Fremet and in the EU. I ask that, if anything comes out of this summit, that these tariffs are lowered. Thank You"
She sat down in her seat at the table, she hoped her point got across.
((OOC: I apologize for not getting this started earlier, I have been having some serious computer issues))
Sir Jonathan wasn't capable of many social skills, but the ability to detect when others were talking about someone or himself was something he could always rely on - maybe just because since the massive bullying in his chilhood, he had always been overly paranoid and afraid of anyone who wasn't in his direct family circle. He greeted his apparent Angleteric counterpart, whom he had never met or seen before, kindly but probably with visible nervousness. He regretted not brining anyone to the summit, someone he knew or trusted, because at the moment he was all alone - surrounded by people who probably had heard of him, but didn't know him. Therefore, he was much obliged when his host opened the summit formally, and he didn't hesitate speaking after she had finished, even though he found himself completely unprepared and without any Imperial directive as to what to get out of this meeting at all.
'First of all, let me applaud the Fremetian economy on its steady progress. Inimicus, too, has seen its fair share of economic growth under the current Imperial administration, largely if not entirely brought about by prudent economic policy under my Emperor's leadership, with the wise advise of my two brothers and others. Industry has boomed, our arms manufacturing sector has become among the strongest in the region, and our citizens are content. However, I won't just brag about my country's achievements; I see the problem our kind host has addressed - by the way, many thanks for having us here, Mrs Haley, it is truly an honour to be the first Inimician to officially visit your stunning country. Import and export tariffs have always been a pain, but they have also been in place for good reasons. As for the Inimician government, I cannot confirm anything as I am not His Imperial Majesty, but I think we are more than willing to work together to lower the tariffs you speak of.'
Sir Barrington sat down and contemplated the definite emptiness of what he'd said. Still, empty words are better than none at all, he thought as he started writing fake notes fiercely, his face red as a beetroot, just like always when he finished speaking in public.
"Prime Minister Haley, you have done a remarkable thing by growing your economy, as has Inimicus," said Mr. Javid, taking a sip of his wine, "and we applaud your countries efforts to continue to grow your economies and bring prosperity to your citizens. The official position of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is that we engage in mostly free trade. Of course, that means that while broadly speaking, we would love to do business with you on a free trade basis, there will be reservations about fully free trade. Fair trade is something that we are 100% committed to, however, so we will see what tariffs we can lower and what tariffs we can abolish. It is very important that we all consider that a completely free trade Europe might not ever happen, but getting a deal that is greatest for all parties is ideal."
Nalevor last edited by Nalevor
Evelyn Sage, the delegate of the young Federation of Googleon, had made sure to keep quiet and observe the other delegates. Given that Googleon was not anything close to a world power. The economy was weak, and they couldn't afford to change anything to do with tax rates and tariffs without damaging the economy. She wouldn't speak until more ideas were shared, but she knew her position.
Davishire last edited by
It was at this point that the Davishirian Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Julius Finnigan, rushed in.
"Oh am I sorry everyone, been way too busy in Davishire, anyway, what have I missed"
An aide bought Julius a copy of notes relating to what had already been discussed, he sat down and read what had been said.
"In response to the United Kingdom and Inimicus, I propose that tariffs be lowered to a flat level of 5% for all parties who wish to participate. This is a major step, but I feel the benefits outweigh the detriments. I also propose a sort of trade agreement that would apply unilaterally to all signing parties that would provide higher cooperation and higher levels of free trade."
She sensed the heaviness of what she had just said, and thought maybe it had been to abrupt and too soon into negotiations.
"I feel that we have a lot to think about..... How about a 3 hour recess to gather ourselves?"
As the attendees got up from the negotiation table, she made eye contact with Sajid Javid, and signaled him over to speak to her....
Mr. Javid walked over to Prime Minister Haley, clutching his own notes. He motioned for aides to leave the two alone.
"Yes ma'am, you wanted to speak for a moment?"
"Yes, I want to know your personal opinion upon something: Would you be in support of a sort of "trade-bloc" of multiple economies within the European Union?"
"...Well shit..." Sir Jonathan thought as the meeting was temporarily suspended. He was the kind of individual who preferred to sit through meeting and seminars in one go and finish early, rather than take break after break and roam around the building awkwardly. He slowly gathered up the meaningless papers he'd brought with him and made sure he was the last to leave the room. Because he had nothing better to do he phoned Artabanos and updated Him on the state of things. Not that there was much to say, really, but Barrington had to find a way to pass the time.
He enjoyed the food and drink, and stood around the main hall awkwardly, waiting for something to happen, some rumour to overhear, some conversation to eavesdrop on, or someone to talk to.
Two aids were standing next to Sir Johnathan, discussing events in Trondheim.....
"I seriously doubt the Aalenic ............would confirm.....of the existence of ..... sith."
"I know, but my brother in the MoD says that the........ real and ......major threat to the EU"
"What is the MoD doing about it?"
"My............ even know"
"The..........of Foreign Intelligence not knowing? That's big."
"It is.... Rumour has it that the..........of Defense is coming here to speak with.......... upon the matter"
The aids realized there may be some eavesdroppers about, and gave Sir Johnathan the evil eye before taking their conversation elsewhere.
"Yes, I want to know your personal opinion upon something: Would you be in support of a sort of "trade-bloc" of multiple economies within the European Union?"
The Chancellor took pause for a moment and thought about what was put up. He, then, formulated his response appropriately.
"I think the United Kingdom could, but it depends on the member states in that trading bloc and what the parameters of that bloc would contain. Britain already trades with Icholasen and Miraco in a trade bloc style agreement, and likewise with the Duxburian Union and Angleter. We currently would love to see other nations like Inimicus and Halsberg brought into a larger trade bloc, but I'm sure there will be some safe guards so that everyone can benefit from a relatively level playing field and true competition."
Fremet last edited by
"We currently would love to see other nations like Inimicus and Halsberg brought into a larger trade bloc, but I'm sure there will be some safe guards so that everyone can benefit from a relatively level playing field and true competition."
She took a deep breath.
"I am aware of the current agreement, and I, likewise to you, I join you in your aspirations to create a formal trade bloc [agreement] between the major economies of the European Union."