Brecon, Grand Duchy of

  • Brecon Statistics Bureau
    National Anthem
    Du gamla, Du fria

    Population: ~ 700 million

    Winter: 83% urban, 17% rural
    Summer: 72% urban, 28% rural
    The difference in summer and winter population distribution is a result of many people from the cities spending summer vacation time in the countryside on farms where family or friends live.

    Major Cities
    Amiens (capital): 9.2 million
    Compiegne: 7.4 million
    Perrone: 5.4 million
    Morgarten: 4.8 million
    Thiepval: 3.5 million

    Economy and Natural Resources

    GDP/Capita: ~$35000

    Economic History
    For much of its history Brecon remained isolated from the economic progress in surrounding regions of the EU. This was partially due to a commitment to environmental objectives, equality, and the nationalisation of all industry regarded as in the nations strategic interests. Past measures such as the banning of cars, guns, advertising, and the manufacture of weapons did not help to modernise the economy. Agriculture was the only major industry not within the government?s control. The population was mostly rural.

    Following the Baltan war, Brecon?s economy began to improve with the government?s policies of free education and post-secondary education, and investment in the countries' extensive rail infrastructure. For most of the post-Baltan war period the Socialist Party has for gained enough votes to from a government with support from the Brecon Farmers Party. The Green Pacifist Party, which formed some of the previous governments, is now in opposition with the Conservative and Liberal parties. The Socialist Party government succeeded in reducing unemployment by expanding the policies of free education, investment in public transport, and increasing investment in state-run heavy industry, as well as allowing cars, adopting a policy of full employment, and using tariffs to develop domestic manufacturing.

    Economic Policies
    Brecon's economic policies since the Baltan war have been largely socialist. Import tariffs are generally 25% on manufactured goods that may be produced within the country. There are no import tariffs on raw materials and agricultural products that will not readily grow within Brecon (examples: tropical crops, dates, bananas, etc.). Non-renewable raw materials are subject to a 25% export tariff, while manufactured goods have no export tariffs.

    Brecon maintains a high and progressive income tax; to further promote equality both minimum and maximum wages are legislated. In addition the state provides freely available education, healthcare, childcare, and public transportation, as well as highly subsidising staple foods, electricity, natural gas, water, communications, insurance, and housing.

    All land is publicly owned, but modestly sized plots of agricultural land may be leased on a long term basis, sometimes extending over several generations. Large industries and industries of strategic importance are state-owned, while smaller and medium sized industries may be either state-owned or run by cooperatives. Small farms, restaurants, and similar enterprises may be operated by individual workers. Brecon's unions are led by the General Confederation of Labour.

    Five year plans, drafted with consultation between the government and central bank, are used to identify short range priorities for funding. It is widely understood that indefinite economic growth is both impossible and undesirable and so long term policies directed toward developing a sustainable steady state economy and using available resources as efficiently as possible are encouraged.

    Sectors and Major Companies
    The Brecon Central Bank is divided into three departments. The first is responsible for the normal functions of a central bank. The remaining two departments are divided into financing state-owned industries or financing for cooperatives and individuals.

    BreconRail is responsible for all forms of land-based public transportation (rail, metro, and bus). The rail system is designed for both freight and passenger rail. High speed links existing between the largest cities,regular services, and low ticket prices make rail the most common means of intercity transport in the nation. Air Brecon is responsible for domestic and some international flights.

    Brecon Communications is responsible for public television, radio, and newspapers as well as the communications infrastructure. Regional cooperatively owned television, radio, and newspapers make up most of the remaining share of Brecon's media, although foreign media has some influence as well.

    Electrical generation in Brecon is now mainly from solar and wind energy with hydroelectric and biomass to meet demand if wind/solar generation temporarily falls. Brecon produces enough electricity for its own needs and a small surplus for export, although economic expansion has increased demand enough that nuclear power may be considered. The state-run power company is BreconHydro.

    Heavy Machinery and Arms
    BAAB manufactures all of the domestically produced weapons and some heavy machinery.

    Imports: Oil, natural gas, phosphates, agricultural products, military equipment.
    Exports: Machinery, telecommunications equipment, steel, temperate agricultural products.

    Natural Resources
    Natural resources in Brecon are good quality agricultural land, rivers and lakes, forests in the uplands, and iron deposits in the west. Small amounts of coal have been found but cannot be extracted economically. Brecon has essentially no oil or natural gas deposits. Brecon?s agricultural land can support a variety of temperate crops with growing conditions varying by altitude. In addition to temperate crops Brecon produces enough dairy products, wine, and beer to meet domestic demand and allow for limited agricultural exports.

    Brecon?s military at present consists of ~1650000 members. Defensive strategy would probably focus on resistance in forested uplands, holding river fronts, and damaging infrastructure to hinder enemy troop movements. The Green Pacifist Party is opposed to using violence and so the military had previously been very underfunded. The Socialist government has continually expanded the countries military forces, although it has continued to oppose the development of nuclear weapons. The military focuses on defence, disaster relief, labour for public projects, and may possibly become involved in international peacekeeping and humanitarian aid. Militia is maintained to assist border security in case of an international crisis or travel restrictions. Brecon's military equipment is mostly from BAAB, although some of the reserves use second hand Soviet equipment.

    Brecon is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral system (Commons and Senate). The Commons is elected by universal adult sufferage using a proportional representation system. The Senate is also elected but the Senators are elected to represent their regional interests. The Senate?s purpose is to review legislation and is unable to block legislation passed by the Commons. The monarch?s signature is required for legislation to become law, but the monarch exercises no real power and lives a quiet life on an estate in the east of Brecon. Government is entirely secular. After the most recent elections representation in the Commons (200 seats) was 38% Socialist, 19% Brecon Farmers, 17% Green Pacifist Party, 9% Liberal, 8% Conservative, and 9% Independent or regional parties. The governing party is the Socialist Party with support from the Brecon Farmers Party.

    Brecon's monarch is the Grand Duke, Enguerrand de Coucy VII (b. 1952), married to the Grand Duchess, Isabella (b. 1954). Their children, Margaret (b. 1976), and Gustav (b. 1979) would be next in line for the throne. They are employed by the Ministry of Culture and Education to continue traditional functions of the monarch such as greeting heads of state and representing the nation. While hereditary title has been followed in the selection it is no longer strictly necessary.

    Prime Minister: Maja Nordstrand
    Minister of Social Equality: Luisa de Toledo
    Minister of Health: Yvette Tremblay
    Minister of Culture and Education: Sharon den Adel
    Minister of Defence: Baron Manfred von Neuwalde
    Minister of Industry: Otto Brunfels
    Minister of Environment and Rural Affairs: Alexis Dubois
    Minister of Foreign Affairs: Annette de Candolle
    Minister of Science: Fabien Loiselle

    Foreign Relations
    Brecon is represented by Jules Borde in the European Council. The Socialist Party is represented by Ginette Parizeau in the Party of the European Left.

    Brecon remained neutral from the 18th century until the end of the Baltan war. During and after the Baltan war Brecon was accused of violations of its policy of neutrality; the violations were generally in favour of whichever side appeared to have the advantage in the conflict. Brecon's monarch was suspected of having pro-Baltan sympathies leading to public support for the stripping back of nearly all of the monarch's traditional powers after the war.

    In the post-war period Brecon has been tended to maintain a policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs European neighbours. With the countries' socialist reforms and economic rise tensions with capitalist nations increased. While continuing a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of its immediate neighbours Brecon has increasingly become critical of the actions of more distant capitalist nations.

    Guide to Brecon's relations with selected nations (unstated by the government):
    Soviet Union- Brecon tends to support the USSR on the international stage, the relationship is strengthened by past arms imports from the USSR, membership in
    Belarum- Treated cautiously given the long land border, Belarum's powerful military, and economic differences.
    Os Corelia- No significant tension other than economic differences, bilateral meeting with Viscount Xavier led to closer relations.
    Gro?deutsches Reich- Sympathy following Spanish attacks, economic differences.
    Inquisita- Concern over lack of secular government, economic differences.
    Angleter- A history of differences on economic issues and foreign interventions led to increased tension, but a recent trip by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess to Angleter might mark the beginning of a thaw in relations.
    Spain- Brecon's government is waiting to see if the communists will gain a firm grip on power before clearly stating government support.
    Duxburian Union - No significant tension other than economic differences.
    Rhine Ruhr - No significant tension other than economic differences.
    Occoron - No significant tension other than economic differences.
    Marrakechia - Economic differences, serious concern over Sahara conflict, ban on arms exports.
    Mongolia - Economic differences, slight concern over nuclear program but taking a wait and see attitude for now.
    Tamil - Common PEL membership, but serious concern over conflict with GDR. When the conflict ends Brecon will likely try to develop closer ties.
    United Kingdom - No significant tension other than economic differences, encouraged by UK opposition to Sahara war.
    Pax Aurea - Similar policies on many issues, excluding economics.

    Brecon has had a violent past from the time of tribes resisting Roman forces to European wars of the middle ages. After a defeat in the 14th century Brecon became more isolationist and tried to avoid becoming entangled in conflicts. From the 18th century the official policy has usually been neutrality. Brecon had remained largely agricultural and rural until recently and these traditions are reflected in the role of farmers, green, and peace parties in government.

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