Finance Minister Walters announces the abolition of VAT on basic necessities
by Frances Irving - September 24, 2022
This morning, Finance Minister Tobias Walters revealed a plan to eliminate value-added tax (VAT) on basic necessities, such as groceries, drinking water and hygiene products. The plan covers a wide range of products that are defined as "necessary to keep the physical well-being of a person". Some of the products included in the 500-item long list are fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meat, as well as sanitary products like pads, tampons, and toilet paper.
"With abolishing taxes on essential products, we plan to ease the weight of the cost of living for Elthics," Walters stated. "Poverty and income inequality remain a problem in many areas of Elthize. While this will not solve the problem completely, it will be valuable, especially for the lower middle class and the unfortunate."
Currently, there is a value-added tax of 7%, applied equally to all products. According to the plan published by Walters, from 2023 onwards, the VAT on basic necessities will drop to 3,5%, and in 2024, it will be gone completely. To counter this measure, the VAT on products and services that are not considered basic necessities will be raised to 12% in 2023. In addition, there will be a VAT rise on a set of luxury products, though details regarding that were not announced by Walters.
The plan was not a part of President Greenwich Grimwald's 2022 reelection agenda. However, it is believed that the plan was influenced by the popularity of the progressive tax, which is a tax system that involves higher taxes on higher income, during the 2022 elections. It is believed by political analysts that The Nationals' support of progressive tax was the reason why they won fourteen seats in the Elthic Parliament, more than anyone else. On the opposite side, New Democracy, which didn't support the plan, lost ten seats in the National Assembly.
The plan is expected to be sent to the Elthic Parliament for discussion in the coming weeks.
19th September 2022 As campaign begins PPDS in lead in legislature elections polls
As Svarnan National Assembly dissolved for before campaigning and the elections in November polls have shown the PPDS governing party are riding a wave of popularity around the country with Neha Bhatavadekars party getting 71% in public opinion polling. The government has been seen as good at handling the economy , foreign affairs as well as civil rights in the country with the nation being seen as a beacon of human rights around Europe. The current polling figures would net the party 312 seats out of the 440 seats elected by the general population before redistribution of seats of parties who fail to meet the 7% threshold for getting seats.
For the first time in this election there is a seperate second vote for soldiers who will elect an extre 180 of the seats in the parliament with the PPDS expected to get over 85% in that vote which would result in 153 seats. The result is expected to be the best yet for the president who is seen as the only effective leader in Svarna Surya and has been praised for her model that has brought stability ,democracy and economic growth for the country benefitting all people in Svarna Surya.
Merte Maksile, before the People's Committee of the German Self-Government
Merte Maksile, before the People's Committee of the German Self-Government
Merte Maksile, the acting head of the German Self-Government in the stead of Reszelport Jezebel-Swift, otherwise known as Pope Tabitha, has threatened the secession of the German Self-Administered Territory from the Republic of Istkalen. Historically and culturally distinct, the region has found itself in perpetual conflict with Kirelesile, long viewed as a colonial oppressor. While relations have improved significantly in recent years, particularly after the Reitzmic invasion which inadvertently permitted a fairly radical secularization of society in the region, the continued power of the ecclesiastical elite has continued to serve as a wedge. It now appears that things have at last come to a full boil.
According to Maksile's account of the events leading up to her threat, the central government, acting in violation of the Act for the Self-Government of Recognized National Minorities 2022, directly intervened in the German Self-Administered Territory in order to prevent the takeoff of several planes, fifty in all, belonging to the privately-owned "Angel Transportation Services." While the government itself cited national security concerns, as it did in February with a similar incident, Maksile claimed that these did not exist in this case; no threats had been made by any member of the German Self-Government, nor were there weapons being carried by any of the passengers of the fifty planes.
"It is unacceptable," Maksile concluded, "intolerable, and untenable that the Kirelesile oppressors continue their interference in our affairs. A pattern has clearly been established; if the central government refuses to make the necessary concessions, then secession will become an inevitability."
"This woman and her ilk are simply insane," said Interior Minister Liris Vesek (NRP) in response, whose ministry played a key role in obtaining the injunction against the takeoffs. "They did not obtain their positions through legal or democratic means, and continue their constant terror against the German minority as per the reports of the People's Committee for the region. These people have never acted with goodwill; everything they have done has been for the purpose of violence to force on as many people as possible their religious beliefs. This incident in particular was deeply suspicious. The takeoff of fifty planes, with over a thousand passengers, virtually all known to be religious extremists, in such quick succession implies an ulterior, malevolent motive. To protect the people of both Istkalen and of Europe as a whole, it was therefore necessary to prevent their departure, by any means available."
The People's Committee itself issued a harsh condemnation of Maksile's behavior, stating that her declaration was "without legal or material basis," characterizing it as a continuation of past oversteps on the part of church leadership, while at the same time reaffirming a committment to continued union with Istkalen.
Neither the Prime Minister nor either of the co-presidents have yet made a statement on the subject.
Education in Leagio has been constantly shifting as days went by through many administrations. The Lifejumper Administration instituted more forms of testing like LEYE (Leagioan End of Year Exam) on various subjects such as math, science, and Leagioan History. The Ariza Administration before hand instituted stronger requirements on certification on teachers like taking the National Teacher Ethics Test and Strategy Implementation Test. The Sardou Administration back in 2007 implemented the adoption of the Specialized Education Fairness Act in order to provide better resources to students with disabilities within the classroom. However, the one thing that all of these government administrations failed to focus on was the number of teachers that needed to be hired after each move that they made. Many of these measures required teachers to have more duties to their jobs but did not receive in their eyes good job compensation or pay. The average pay for teachers in Leagio is about 35,400 Sulias or around 54,000 Euros but many teachers have issued complaints that the pay is too low when considering that the school requires them to purchase materials for the students in order to continue employment.
In response to these complaints, the Lehaye Government submitted a bill to the House of Councilors called the Teacher Appreciation and Reform Act immediately into its intiation as a parliamentary government. The Act changed the following:
Required that Leagioan School Districts and Systems (both public as well as private that receive any Federal grants) to redistribute the workload on teachers among all staff equally or create new positions for a positive educational environment for all persons in the school system.
Creates a national pension system that shall be combined with any state or territorial pension system
Creates an Evaluation system for teachers that shall not focus on the LEYE standardized test scores that schools receive
Protects any Teacher unions that are formed within school districts and systems
Requires that states and territories raise the minimum salary wages of teachers that are new to be 40,000 Sulias, while current teachers receive 45,000 sulias. These new wages will start next school year to allow for districts and systems to begin budgeting.
If a teacher's students receive a high average on the LEYE on their tested subject, then they will receive a larger increase on their tax returns.
Provides districts and systems with grants for funding, if they are able to show high retention of teacher staff members.
The Act passed the National Congress with strong support with 338 Councilors of 541 in favor and 62 Senators supporting the motion, which was signed by President Mouri-Kudo recently into law. The Civil Populists were strongly divided on the issue as many are from states and constituencies that have high teacher shortages. Although the act does not fix the issue of teachers buying supplies, the act is expected to convince teachers to stay in the classroom and actually feel recognized by the government of the Commonwealth for all of the hard work that they have to do each school day in order to build-up a future for their students.
MINISTER TRUSS MEETS PICARDO TO DISCUSS GIBRALTAR APPROACH
Minister Liz Truss and President Fabián Picardo, before their meeting this morning
The Minister for the Spanish Commonwealth Affairs, Overseas Missions and Territorial Waters, Elizabeth (Liz) Truss, has met today with the President of the Autonomous City of Gibraltar, Fabián Picardo, in order to discuss the approach the Spanish Government is going to follow on the area and hear the thoughts of the Gibraltarean President on said strategy, which has been described as "game changing" by Truss.
Picardo has defined the meeting as "productive and useful for the Gibraltarean people", while affirming that the plans drawn by Liz Truss on the summit are "satisfactory for the Gibraltarean Government and for Spanish interests in the area". Truss, who is expected to harden the approach followed by former Minister Teodoro García Egea, has stated she will not allow "any humilliations when it comes to Gibraltar" and that if someone expected her to be a "cute, lovely cat, they will be proved wrong", because she will be "a lion that will not hesitate to bite her enemies" if necessary.
Truss, who represents the hardest line within the Partido Popular, was appointed by Aguilar to reinforce that hard speech on the issue. According to Presidential sources the former Minister, Teodoro García Egea, was "really soft" and he had "no credibility" after the Adventuranza Sea dispute got resolved. Truss is, according to the same sources, a "reliable bet" and that she will "accomplish all the objectives she is given on his job". To prove she will be a hard Minister, she has joined the Armada soldiers on a ship deployed in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The King visited the region in the company of his son, the Prince of Huriyah
The glorious King of our country, Mustafa I, has visited the region of Atiliatis in company of the Prince of Huriyah, Mulay Hassan Begum. Both have visited one of Huriyah's biggest projects, 'the Green Prophet'. The King has received a private tour in which he has been able to see the progress of the construction of such a magnificent infrastructure, that will become the capital of the region after completion in around 5 years.
The King has outlined that "the freedom of the Huriyians is making our glorious country grow in wealth and population", while blaming Spain for the heavy sanctions the Government of the imperialist and colonialist country that once held Huriyians against their will for the extreme poverty of many of our citizens: "Mr. Aguilar and King Felipe are not welcomed here, and if they ever dare to travel to our nation to sign a peace treaty with false and unsatisfactory proposals, they will face consequences that no one will ever hear of".
Arguably Brickston's closest ally, Czech Slavia, had a diplomatic meeting and summit from Wednesday to Friday. The two leaders of the nations - President Albína Reiserová from Czech Slavia and President Okonkwo Cyryl Lavoie - along with other dignitaries from the two countries met at Portovo, after which they visited several cities in Southern Brickston where Czebrik populace and presence was dominant. The summit finally ended in Portovo, with the agreement signed on Friday.
Czech Slavia is a crucial country for Brickston in the European Union for cultural, economic and political reasons. The agreement eased trade restrictions between the two countries, allowed Briekish investment into Czech Slavia and established mutual security. In addition, Czech Slavia is to invest in cultural projects in Southern Brickston.
We found in the audience both eminent and common people on both extremes of supporting or rejecting this diplomatic summit and agreement.
"Nice to see that a diverse society is being promoted [and] I hope that relations improve," said Reddich Green, a member of the audience.
"What benefit does Brickston get from all of this? More immigrants, that's all," said a proudly conservative individual in the audience who preferred to stay anonymous.
"Is Okonkwo [Cyryl Lavoie] pulling off some sorta [of] political stunt? I think so," said an anonymous viewer.
"I guess it's good. More cultures to explore and better trade."
Aetherian Civil war
After 5 years of war both sides were eyeing the capital Aetheria, the last remnants of the old government where there trying to still reunite the country.
Both radicalist sides of the war where preparing for a battle for the capital.
For over 2 months the city saw death, destruction and suffering but in 13/01/2006 the biggest catastrophe possible, happened.
The P.S.A. faction who fought against the remnants and the A.D.G managed to reactivate the old missile silos in the central regions and ordered a massive bombardment over the capital, 27 Cruise missiles hit the city, annihilating any resistance and destroying the city to a unimaginable point.
A city, home to over 1 million people destroyed… 100 thousand people died with the bombardment, the biggest ports in the city destroyed, building collapsed, airports totally lost, roads cracked.
After the destruction all became worst with the biggest ports and airports destroyed a great famine took over the country in the middle of the winter, Velkia although the second biggest city didn't have the capability to receive big amounts of humanitarian aid, while controlled by the A.D.G.
People suffered for more two years, battles over the farm fields happened, only to leave scorched land everywhere.
The Ex-capital to this day is abandoned, the last time of the civil war is remembered has the “O inferno na Terra" (Hell over Earth)
-Everything happened so fast... in a moment there were shots, explosions, screams... I was hiding in the basement of my house, when the first missile fell everything changed, the shots stopped, the screams stopped, the only thing that was possible heard was the deafening sound of explosions. I don't even know how long it lasted but it seemed like an eternity... after the bombing there was only silence, it felt like the world ended, after almost 3 hours I had the courage to leave the house and I felt that it was really the end of the world. A gray fog ravaged the city, everything around me was destroyed houses, buildings even the streets were destroyed. Looking for a way out of this hell I came across a square full of bodies, both civilians and soldiers, the soldiers who hadn't died couldn't stop screaming, begging to die... begging to get out of the hell they had just entered... at that moment I was sure that the p.s.a. I didn't believe in god but followed the devil... after leaving that mass grave I ran, I ran without stopping to my mother's house, looking for my daughters, but...
we can take a break if you want.(Interviewer)
No, let's continue the streets were deserted but I don't know why but I felt that something was wrong I felt the need to get to my mother's house as soon as possible, until I saw a column of smoke in the distance and I ran, I ran to my lungs started to burn, my legs weakened from so much fatigue but when I arrived.... my world was over, the house on fire with a single sign... "sinners deserve to burn" that day I lost two daughters and my mother. Today I have nothing.
-Testemony from José Carlos de Almeida 64 years old
Survivor of the tragedy of Aetheria
-Photo taken from pilots from the A.D.G during the bombardment. 13/01/2006
Public Document made by the Department of Aetherian history and culture.
Spanish Military Arrived at Sertian Bases, Experiencing Some Culture Shocks
The Spanish military arrived a few weeks ago to the newly prepared bases around Gadalland and Aspern, received by many volunteer hosts and friendly faces welcoming them at airports and into their homes.
Sertia has been strengthening its bond with Spain, with the Spanish and Sertian governments continuing to develop a very valuable alliance.
But however close these two nations are as allies, there will always be some differences. We've interviewed some Spanish soldiers and some Sertian locals and volunteers who have involved themselves in warmly receiving new guests to our shores.
We've spoken with Laran from Antem Combever, near Hemberdale, who was a volunteer escort for the soldiers to their new homes:
"I've been to Spain a few times in my life, and always was impressed by the lovely people there. Lots of public transport and not as much idiocy in their government. Always very kind, and it seems nothing has changed. They looked especially impressive in their uniforms. We don't often get to see that".
Kaantos, from Listerna in the West Olves, said:
"They were very imposing figures, very strong and they were dressed well-sharply. But they were gracious and very easy to talk to. One soldier asked me about the protesting law and how we were getting on. I just said we Sertians don't really protest anyway, it's not really a custom here like it is in some other parts of Europe. It was definitely a questionable decision but we're still here, aren't we?"
Children reported that the Spanish had brought along some sweets with them which they offered.
Kagamil, aged 7, said: "I want to go to Spain someday so I can eat all the sweets." The good news for her is she might only need to travel within this country to get those yummy things!
Others also said the uniforms were very foreign to them. Local Osperfey shopkeeper Pedro, originally from Spain, said even he was so shocked to see military uniforms after not seeing them for over 10 years, he had to remember his Spanish!
We then interviewed some Spanish military soldiers a few weeks later, once they'd had some time to adjust to their new life. It's safe to say had some very interesting observations about their new home away from home:
José, from outside Madrid, had trouble with navigating his daily life at first:
I wanted to go to the supermarket, but all of the signs are in Sertian. We are being tutored in Sertian but it is an impossible language. I saw a sign which said Íonas, which happened to be by this restaurant. The waitress ushered me to a backroom and said "Íonas". I eventually realised "Íanas" is a supermarket, and "Íonas" is the toilet. I needed vegetables, but not from Íonas".
We're glad there were no leeks in the toilet, José.
Another soldier, Alfonso, was startled when he heard the Clwysan, which is a traditional call to a meal:
"I heard this...sound, like screaming, and I thought I'd need to break up a fight or chase a thief. I must have looked very startled because the man screaming came over to me and said "Don't worry, it just means it's time to eat". He then invited me in to eat with his family, and I had some delicious oysters with edible flowers. So there ended up being no worry. Sertians like to shout and be merry, and I was very startled at first."
We do love our merriment, Alfonso. Suppose you still can't spell Clwysan. We don't blame you.
Some soldiers did share some very significant concerns with us, such as their dislike of the new anti-protesting bill.
I think it limits the fundamental rights of citizens, which is not good," one soldier said.
The current legal limit on protesting is 5,000 people, but festivals are exempt and the police will only be allowed to break up the protest rather than arrest or fine any participants. This comes as a compromise, with Wond's original plan far more limiting. However, the CLC threatened to vote him into removal if he signed it without the compromise.
The Spanish have set up makeshift Catholic churches on their bases, but locals in Osperfey and the West Olves have stated their interest in setting up permanent places of worship for our new guests. Conversely, the Spanish were very interested in Bothorism, a form of Christianity solely practised by Sertian cultures, including the Rondalies, the folk culture of Sertians descended from what is now Duchy folk.
There will definitely be more stories from the Spanish as they adjust to our strange little island. And we'll be the first to publish them.
Until then, we'd like to let our new friends know that there will be a Seeing Out the Masts festival on Saturdays and Sundays through the month of September. You are as usual welcome to join us, but make sure you grab a dance partner!
And to all Sertians! The government is offering financial support if you wish to host a Spanish soldier in your home. It can really help them adjust to daily life. And who knows? Maybe you'll get a best mate out of it, as well as an excuse to go to Spain!
The Government puts a halt of most construction projects until the end of the year
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Czech Slavia has announced a halt of most of public construction projects and that no new large public construction projects will be started until the end of the current year. The Government argued that such step is necessary in order to avoid accumulating a large deficit after the expensive development projects in Rudolfov and Prague.
To address the issue of budget balance, the Government has also decided to offer a large quantity of older manufacturing plants and of empty properties for sale to foreign companies specializing in manufacturing components for fishing ships. An offer to sell the properties was made to companies such as Spanish Astilleros Amado and Astilleros del Ulla or Duchian companies Duchy Marine Systems and Wolff Marine, all of which are already active in Czech Slavia. The properties were however also offered to companies from Reitzmag, which currently have the biggest share on the fishing ships manufacturing market out of all foreign companies, Elthize, Leagio, Inquista, Inimicus, Yosai, Fremet, Vayinaod, the Duxburian Union or the United Kingdom.
The Government has also asked associations of friends of Czech Slavia in foreign countries to launch public donations for Czech Slavia, to take part in further developing socialism in the country.
Czech archaeologists claim to find evidence that the island of Dována was inhabited by Slavic populace during the early medieval ages
Archaeologists in the Moravian-Silesian region have found ancient Slavic jewelry in the lake of Mostařanka, presumably from the island of Dována, which is located on the lake. According to the archaeologists, this proves the theory that the island was once inhabited by Slavic population and may have been an important site for the pagan religion of the old Slavs. As Dována is not controlled by the Democratic Republic of Czech Slavia further archaeological research directly on the island is currently impossible.
In light of the discovery, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared its intention to sponsor a pan-European Slavic Congress on how to properly address the issue of the "lost child of the Slavic family".
Na Caomhnóirí have unveiled their platform for the upcoming election in a platform that surpised few and stayed close to the Blairite ideals. The platform unveiled was described by other parties as "racist" and "christianophobic". The platform was unveiled under the slogan "Make Strathae Strathaen again" when translated to English. The slogan has been compared to platforms of other fascist parties in Europe.
The platform unveiled had the following key policies:
1: A ban on Catholics and people of any abrahaimic faiths immigrating to Strathae
2: Remove those who express "homophobic, transphobic ,sexist or misogynistic views " from the country
3:Ban meat consumption again to protect animal lives from "senseless slaughter for mere human consumption of their flesh."
4:Return Strathae to traditional values that have served us well for hundreds of years
5:Return to old system of fines and prison sentences for environmental crimes that punish "environmental terrorists who pollute our country" ]
6: Put additional aviation taxes in place
7:Make any "homophobic, transphobic ,sexist or misogynistic speech " a hate crime under law that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and make it so internet companies and media have responsibility for content hosted on their platforms and have to remove such content within 24 hours of it being reported or face fines of up to 3% of revenue in Strathae up to a total of 10% of revenue in Strathae per year.
The platform has been described by the PoT leader as a "platform of an enemy of the people full only of unstrathaen treasonous hatemongering". The Alternative and Clan Socialist parties also condemned the platform vowing not to work with the party if their alliance is elected in the upcoming elections with the most seats. The PoT and DRP have also vowed not to work with them while Ar Aghaidh Le Chéile, the Alternative and CSP alliance have also vowed not to form any coalition with any PoT government leaving the country with the potential for many elections if a party cannot get the majority required by law to form a government.
112 top 200 Duchies companies convert to Employee-Private Partnership Company status
Today the government hailed the success of their update policy on worker representation. The government changed law to encourage increasing worker control of boards on companies to 50% by reducing corporate taxes by 5% for the new category of Employee-Private Partnership Company to encourage companies to give more seats on their boards to workers. The move appears to have worked with 112 companies so far in the top 200 Duchies companies having announced they have switched to the Employee-Private Partnership Company model.
The government said of this result "We are proud to have given workers more say and control of their work places and thank all the companies who recognise their employees and hope they reap and see the benefits of such a decision. Our policies will mean more stability and dialogue for both workers and bosses of companies and indeed increased rewards from their labour. This policy will continue to benefit both companies and their workers and we will continue to back such a policy. "
The Union of Democrats the biggest critics of the policy have called for calming of the celebration cautioning that perhaps its is too soon to judge the success of the policy economically pointing out 30 companies are making moves to potentially move HQ's to other countries. The Union of Democrats said in a statement "We believe the full implications of the current policy have yet to come to bare. We believe the anti-company policies that have took the old model far too far in favour of workers at the expense of investors . We must restore the balance far more to the point where both workers and investors and entrepreneurs benefit from the hard work and risk involved in running companies." It is understood no other parties are seeking to reduce the role of workers decision making on boards.
Hugo METTERNICHT (Trondheim) | After what surely was a long yet exciting night for Clara Luciani, the Inelandic singer won EuroVoice 42 which took place tonight at the city of Trondheim in Fremet.
Ineland struggled to keep the 4th position in the initial result announcement, but soon went into a three-way competition with Nofoaga and Icholasen (the Free one) for first place. However, our entry slowly increased its lead while the next 5 entries started switching positions in the leaderboard until mathematical victory was achieved when the penultimate result came in. In the end, Ineland finished first with 96 points, followed by Istkalen as second with 82 points and Icholasen as third with 76. Host Fremet came in tenth with 54 points.
With tonights win, Ineland is expected to host the 43rd edition of the European Union's song contest and contacts between the EUBC and state broadcaster RTI-IRT are already underway in order to start planning. Sandrine Meckelmans, an RTI-IRT spokesperson, has already said that a bidding process will be taking place with a host city being announced later this month.
Imperial Council Passes Major Constitutional Amendments: A Full Overview
The National Imperial Council meeting room inside the Imperial Palace
Telum, 10th August 2022 -- With a near-unanimous majority, the National Imperial Council has passed a set of Constitutional Amendments proposed by Executive Representative Leader and Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde, in conjunction with His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos. As rumours suggested, the Council itself has lost the power to depose the Emperor by double supermajority, with Article XXIV (which set out these procedures) scrapped completely.
Another surprising and potentially inflammatory change was made to Article I (The Empire), which specifies the territories that constitute Inimicus. The phrase "The Empire of Inimicus is inextricably bound to the People and Government of the Confederacy of North Diessen" was added, reportedly to signify "the new and deep partnership" between the two nations.
Article XX (Marital Abdication) was also scrapped. This Article specified that the Emperor shall be deemed to have abdicated if He contracts a marriage without obtaining the consent of the Council. In the summer of 2015, this Article nearly led to a government crisis when Emperor Artabanos signalled His intention to marry despite opposition from the Council. Strathclyde repoted "no institution has the right to prescribe whom one should love, least of all whom the Emperor should love."
The Regency Question, which plagued government when Emperor Artabanos was incapacitated by the Needletail One crash in 2020, has also been resolved. Previously, the Council automatically became the regent, but retained the right to appoint a single person as regent if it so wished. With an amendment to Article XXVI (now XXIV; Regents) the office of Vicarius is officially designated as acting as regent. Since the Vicarius was not hitherto a constitutionally-recognised position, this office was also added to Article XXIX (now XVII; Duties and Members of the National Executive) as part of the National Executive, and to Article XXVI (now XVIII; Legislative Acts).
Given the unpopularity of the House of Commons, the already announced amendment to the regulations calling the Commons together was also followed through. While the lower house was originally mandated to meet "every year" by Article XXXIV (now XXXII; House Duration), this has now been changed to "when called by Imperial Decree", reflecting the regulations agreed upon in June this year.
The final major change is, as reported before, an amendment to the process of electing the National Imperial Council. Thus far, provincial delegates (two from each Terra) were mandated to be elected by popular vote (Article XLI, now XXXIX; The National Imperial Council). From now on, however, the text reads "Provincial delegates shall either be elected by popular vote or elected by the Provincial Assembly of the Province represented." This move is aimed to give Provincial Assemblies, who have complained about a lack of representation in the national government for years, a more direct voice in Telum.
Other minor changes include the scrapping of the phrase "telegraph" in Article X (Privacy of Communication), which Consul Strathclyde termed a "necessary modernisation" of the text. Previously, the article had specified that the privacy of the "telephone and telegraph" shall not be violated. Telegraph communications, which have not existed in Inimicus for several decades, are now no longer covered by this Article. Additionally, the controversial Article XVI (Education Regulations) now prohibits only the teaching of religious beliefs in private schools, rather than the teaching of religious and political beliefs together. Consul Strathclyde explained this change such: "With society becoming more and more connected every day, the prohibition to teach political theory while politics is all around our minors at any point in the day was archaic. We must educate our minors in the handling of political statements the verification of campaign claims."
Jeffrey Speller IC, would-be green soap assassin and the only Councillor to vote against the ratification of the Amendment package, called the proposals "yet another power grab" by the Emperor and His administration. Speller has been a vocal critic of the Emperor ever since His accession in 2014, which Speller has previously called "the greatest calamity in Inimician history".
Nevertheless, Councillors approved of the Amendment package by near-unanimous vote late last night. By Constitution, the Emperor has the right to Decree amendments which then merely need a simple NIC majority to pass. However, as a gesture of goodwill, the Emperor devolved the task of developing these Amendments to Christopher Strathclyde and the NIC itself, and Decreed the passed Amendment package into law this morning.
Public opinion, thus far, is shown to be widely in favour of the newly-enacted changes. The dismissal of the House of Commons as a permanent body was especially welcomed (79% approve, 11% disapprove, 10% don't know/don't care). The most controversial change appears to have been the amendment to elections for the NIC, with only 54% approving of giving Provincial Assemblies the power to elect NIC delegates, with 32% opposing and 16% don't know/don't care.
The newly amended Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus can be read here.
Hampton City, August 2 2022 | The House of Commons following a division vote has passed the Krexit Bill with 282 voting In Favour and 237 voting Against at today's sitting. Now, all eyes are in the House of Lords on how long they will hold the act within the chamber. Meanwhile, protests have now slowly dispersed with the news of the act's passing in the Commons. Some celebrations were seen among the protesters across the country, others even holding mini-music festivals. Back in Hampton City, a joint press conference was held by the three largest national parties on the country's fate within the EU. In the conference, leaders of the Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democratic Party announced that they will be holding talks on their voting policy for the upcoming referendum based on the possible turn of events. The parties also said that they agreed that the country demand the EU to return its contributions to the budget if the country does decide to leave in the referendum.
"We never benefited from the EU, and we so far see more disadvantages of staying in the EU with Mr. Juncker back in its administration."
Hope Mission Secondary School in Saint Dominico
The College of Bishops has passed very drastic educational reforms, which will alter primary and secondary school curriculums and scholastic approaches. The new education reforms, which are informed by "evidence-based educational outcomes", will notably streamline and expand mandatory subjects that all students will have to learn, thereby limiting their subject choices, but ultimately lead to what is being described as "comprehensive and well-rounded" educations.
Currently, the only mandatory classes in Inquistan secondary education (Grade 9 to 12) are English, Latin, and religion, which must be taken each year, with all other classes being subjects of choice made by individual students (with 8 subjects being taken each year, divided by 2 semesters). In Inquistan primary education (junior school from Grade 1 to 4, and middle school from Grade 5 to 8), mandatory classes include general science, maths, social studies (history and geography), English, Latin, religion, physical education, with only one additional subject chosen by personal choice (7 classes are taken year-round, with Latin and the option class alternating every other day).
Changes to secondary education will see maths, at least one science (of biology, chemistry, and physics), English, Latin or a modern foreign language, religion, and an art class (theatre, dance, choir, band, visual arts, graphic design, or fashion) becoming mandatory, with only two other subjects of personal choice being permitted per year. Primary education will become completely streamlined, following the same mandatory subjects as previous, but a choice of a modern foreign language will also become an alternative to Latin, and the one subject class will have to be an art class (primary art choices will only be limited to theatre, dance, choir, band, and visual arts).
Additionally, a 'homeroom' class will take place once a week before normal school time begins for the duration of primary and secondary school. In primary school, homeroom will primarily focus on free time for students to cultivate personal interests of their choice, build social relationships with other students, play games, and participate in activities that promote communal engagement and leadership. Starting in middle school (Grade 5), homeroom will also begin teaching sexual education (currently being taught in physical education class). In secondary education, homeroom will shift focus towards cultivating life skills and preparing students for life outside of the classroom, teaching students personal accounting and bookkeeping, home economics, career and further educational planning (for example, resume writing and interviewing workshops), advanced sexual education, and so on.
Furthermore, starting in middle school and continuous throughout secondary education, students will also be expected to enroll in at least one school-related extracurricular activity or club, such as a social or special interest club, a club relating to their art subject(s), or a competitive sport.
The reforms follow a 2-year long consultation and review process, which was launched shortly after Archbishop Kligenberg appointed her Church Secretariat. The Bishop Secretary of Education, Bishop Audrey Eaton, has spearheaded what she describes as "a thorough and extensive reworking of primary and secondary education, which was moulded by an exhaustive consultation of parents, educators, Inquistan education scholars and even leading international education experts from across Europe."
According to Bishop Secretary Eaton, the reforms are predominantly aimed at ensuring that Inquistan students develop "a wider and more comprehensive knowledge base and skillset, rather than a deeper and more specialist knowledge base and skillset. It's important that Inquistan graduates leave school with advanced Grade 12-level maths and numeracy skills, at least one science, and literacy and language skills, rather than allowing students to typically specialise and corner themselves in just mostly science, or humanities, or simply art-related classes."
The Bishop Secretary also emphasised the importance of the homeroom class, involving students in extracurricular activities, and in making at least one art class mandatory.
"Education isn't simply about informing and teaching students about their specific class subjects, but it's also about preparing students for life outside of the classroom. It's important that we set them up with skills that will prepare them for the 'real world', and it's important that they leave school feeling ready to tackle their adulthood. It's also important that they feel engaged as socially-involved members of their community, and that they also foster interests besides just school, with the chance to develop their creative talents. Creative talents are just as transferable as any other scholastic skill. Inquistan education isn't just seeking to develop scholars, it’s looking to help build fully-formed individuals, who also happen to be creatives and athletes."
More controversially, however, are reforms that will be softening Craticist-era educational policies, namely changes to the science curriculums, sexual education, and Latin classes.
Inquistan science curriculums have been lambasted by the Inquistan scientific community as only "roughly based on actual science", taking aim at Archbishop Craticus' implementation of a syncretic approach to science that prioritised traditional religious and moral teachings over the scientific consensus, namely including teaching theories of creationism in further depth than theories of evolution in science classes. The new science curriculums, however, scrap this syncretic approach, and only include evolution and "evidence-based and scientifically proven information" in courses, and explicitly omit the teaching of creationism within science classrooms. Creationism shall still be taught in religion classes, but "in a way that is congruent with evolution and in a way that is generally scientifically coherent."
Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg moved to have the Inquistan Orthodox Church both acknowledge and accept evolution as the leading theory behind human development, but acknowledged that "evolution is a process that is only possible and originated with God's creation". Similarly, theories surrounding man-made contributions to climate change, acknowledged as a 'climate crisis' by the Archbishop and her Secretariat, will be included in science classrooms. The Secretariat for Environment and Climate Change earlier acknowledged in 2020 that "while Earth's climate has had historic heating and cooling periods, the current climate emergency has most certainly been forcefully exacerbated and very powerfully impacted by human activities."
"Inquista's school curriculums will be completely evidence-based and will teach precisely what the current and leading scientific consensus says," Bishop Secretary Eaton emphasised, which will also include sexual education.
Sexual education will start being taught in Grade 5, rather than in Grade 7, and will be explored in much further depth. Crucially, these classes will also be informed by the current scientific consensus, particularly surrounding contemporary understandings of sexual and gender identity expressions. Bishop Secretary Eaton further added that the new sexual education classes will be "completely comprehensive, and will be both inclusive of and relevant to those of a minority sexual or gender expression, who are currently being failed by sexual education systems. The Inquistan Orthodox Church maintains committed to equality in all facets of life, which includes education and health. The Church also maintains that LGBTQ people are made in God's image, and are equally worthy of living healthy and prosperous lives as anyone else."
Latin, Inquista's second official language, was introduced as a mandatory subject which all students had to take throughout their primary and secondary school years by Archbishop Craticus. The educational reforms now allow students to take a modern foreign language instead as an alternative of Latin if they so wish. Current popular foreign languages taken by students primarily consist of Spanish, Czech and Nicoleizian, but with these reforms, the Education Secretariat is hoping to see Inquistan students also learn other relevant foreign languages, such as French, Hassaniya (Sahrawi) Arabic and Hellenic.
With the reforms now passing the College of Bishops, they will take effect in the upcoming school new year, which begins on September 5th.
Tusk, celebrating the results at the EPA headquarters in Europolis
"The European Progressive Alliance is back". That is the sentence that the EPA Chairman and Councillor for the Kingdom of Spain, Donald Tusk, has used to begin his press conference after the European Commission election results were proclaimed and that give the EPA their first full Commission since Merkel I, with Juncker (Premier Commissioner) and Reynels (Foreign Affairs) repeating from that Commission team. Alongside them, the Leagioan Kevin Cotilla will debut as Internal Affairs Commissioner.
Tusk has also reviewed the path towards this massive victory: "we have found difficulties throughout the way to this massive victory, and I am glad to have colleagues like Jean-Claude, Antoni and Kevin that have brought thrill, hope and excitement back to this HQ. But we could not have done this with the Europeans vote, and I want to thank them for all their support, to those that voted for us for the first time in a while and the ones that have always trustsed us and our candidates in every Commission election so far". As a matter of fact, it is also the first Commission since Carmona-Santos' that is fully composed of men.
Asked if the few changes he introduced on the party made them win this election, Tusk has denied this: "absolutely not", he said, before adding: "I am just a chairman, I was not running to become a Commissioner, so the introduced changes are no changing factor, our candidates are, and I am honoured to see that the proposals and changes they have made have worked and given us such a wonderful result. The Europeans will surely feel relieved now that they see we have a full EPA Commissionship, for sure", he concluded with.
Yesterday afternoon the count went late into the night due to the very high voter turnout in the Constitutional Referendum. The Yes has swept the whole country, with special emphasis on Vettonia, always more disposed to decentralisations. These are the results of the Constitutional Referendum
After the referendum, the headquarters of the Liberal Party, the main driving force behind the referendum, was transformed into a party for the greatest, and only, achievement of the coalition government that has been in place since June. The victory was a resounding one for Orato Gonzo's executive on the only measure they have agreed to approve.
The Neathian tribes, too, have celebrated in their villages the decision that gives them a high degree of self-government. They have responded by announcing that they will present their party "Victoria Neatia" (Victoria Neatia in Spanish, Vitoria Neatia in Portuguese, and Trîlkba Nathtia in Neatio) in the next Federal elections.
The royalists have also responded to the referendum by announcing that Prince Sergius, eldest son of the Pretender to the Throne of Lusitania, will lead a party that they will register today, details of which will be announced soon. The chessboard is beginning to move.
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