Good Neighbors (Leagio-Elthize Summit)
I would like to," Grimwald stopped for a moment before continuing:
"But also it's worth mentioning that a lot of the natural gas reserves are owned and extracted by the private sector. Actually, the government and state owned companies directly own around... less than a quarter or so of the resources. Mrs. Mouri-Kudo, if it wasn't obvious enough in my election campaigns, let me reiterate I am a strong believer in the free market and few regulations. It is a major reason why I was elected by the people of Elthize, after all."
Grimwald then took a sip of his glass of water.
"But that doesn't mean it's not possible, you know. Additional tax cuts and subsidiaries to companies who sell more to Leagio, as well as public endorsements... Yes, that would suffice I think. Once I tell the fat cats about that they'll come running for you with affordable gas!"
Grimwald started chuckling at himself a little bit over what he said, before continuing in a more serious tone:
"However, we wouldn't like to give you guys this privilege for free. You see, a good chunk of Elthize's electricity comes from nuclear energy, Mrs. Mouri-Kudo. While I am well aware that we already take your uranium, we too would like to take more of it, at a better price. I think Leagio has more control than us over its companies and what not, so I'm sure it will be far easier for you guys... Feel free to correct me on that one."
Mouri-Kudo thought on it for a moment on what the President of Elthize said.
"I understand completely. My apologies for asking you to abandon your values, Mr. President. I think that the Tax Cuts and public endorsement will be acceptable. If these companies wish to, then when the revised constitution for Leagio is adopted and come for the new budget in 2023, we can implement tax cuts for them in case they decide to open an office in the Commonwealth with expanding business in a way that does not take away jobs from your country. In exchange, I will in turn push the National Congress for a resolution of approval for Elthize to have more Nuclear materials for the purpose of constructing nuclear-powered plants. That is correct that Leagio has some additional control with companies, but with certain limitations as I prefer businesses to run their own way that is ethical and not immoral." Mouri-Kudo explained.
"Yes, that would be greatly appreciated, Mrs. Mouri-Kudo. I am glad we are on the same page when it comes to free market," Grimwald replied.
"Now that that's settled, let's talk about currency. The EMU is something I admire- ever since I was a teenager, I had a dream about a worldwide currency, something that you can use to pay for anything with, anywhere in the world. So when the Treaty of Finisterre was signed between Leagio and six other nations, it was delightful, and I destined to join this union once Elthize joined the EU. Now that we're an EU member, I want to succeed. A common currency will help with the trade between our countries, and the ascension of Elthize to the EMUzone will legitimise its use even further, in my opinion. Elthize will appreciate your efforts and Elthics will appreciate the ease of transaction that will come with the EMU. Elthize would love to be a member of the Treaty of Finisterre, and it would appreciate Leagio's endorsement in this regard."
"I understand completely, Mr. President. I believe that Elthize will make an outstanding member of the Treaty with the EMU as a currency. Leagio would be happy to endorse your nation. However, the problem is getting you accepted as according to the current economic info that your government shares with the public, it is not at the required levels to qualify for membership in the Treaty. However, the Commonwealth is willing to provide aid to help if you wish. At the moment, Leagio will be announcing the construction of a new port city in Arlick just west of Port Hilson that will in dealing with the increasing overseas trade that it had. Project Wayside, as we have dubbed it, is a project that will have hundreds of workers from different trades work in building the new city. There will be some military construction, but nothing heavy if you are concerned. The location of the project will be a couple of miles on the coastline border of our two nations. If you want, when the project starts, Eltize can be able to work on the project and be paid in either Elthic or Sulia's. They will also qualify for benefits that workers will receive in the project like insurance. When they finish for the day, they can be able to use the money in your country's market and drive up the incomes of your country. I know that you are a free-market person, but I just wanted to be able to help provide ways and means to make it happen." Mouri-Kudo explained with a smile as she should a map of the proposed area of construction for Project Wayside that was not far from the East side of the Leagioan-Elthize border.
"Well, that is a very generous offer, but we will have to decline. I see no use for aid right now. I believe that Elthize is already on the right path to reach the standards put by the Treaty of Finisterre and beyond. As for your project, it looks great! Flawless, even, and we wouldn't mind being involved... Or it could be a building company of ours, not like it isn't a possibility! But first, could you explain the minor military construction in the port a little more, please?" Grimwald kept checking the map, wondering how the project would compare to the ports in St. Lucas or Forecoaster.
"Of course. The military construction is mainly for to serve as a dockyard for our submarine fleets as docking them in Port Hilson has started to become a headache with the high levels of overseas trade coming into Leagio. It will have some weapons but for mainly defense. The building of it is not made with the intention of being threatening at all. The project in terms of civics is that the idea is to construct a new city that can build a large number of a new Leagioan merchant marine fleet and handle additional shipping." Mouri-Kudo explained as she showed a picture of the planned naval base.
"Oh, no, I didn't want to be taken that way, Mrs. President. I don't think it would be threatening, either. Just wanted to know the details." Grimwald replied as he kept looking at the naval base for a while. "We can supply construction workers, yes. Any other project we need to talk about?"
"Of course, Mr. President. As I am sure that you know, Leagio is working out a railroad connection from Tullion to Tokyo, Yosai. Depending on the outcome of Project Wayside, we could consider a time to connect the line to also to Forecoaster?" Mouri-Kudo explained.
"Why yes, that would be great! In addition, we're considering renovating the rail line between Forecoaster and St. Lucas, which is our largest city, I'm sure you're aware. I reckon its location is great for another train line that'll pass through Montgomery, our second largest, Project Wayside, and ending at the city of Port Hilson. Let me draw you what I mean."
Grimwald then drew the map of southern Elthize, almost a bit too perfect, and after drawing some lines, he showed Mouri-Kudo the picture:
"Well, not my best drawing," Grimwald chuckled. "And some locations may be wrong, but this should get the gist. So there's the Tullion-Forecoaster line, which I'm assuming will pass through Geaqi as well. Then, there's the dark red line, which will connect this line to St. Lucas. I've already mentioned we do have a train line connecting these two, but it is a bit old and slow, and to outcompete the car you must make your trains significantly faster. And that's not an issue. Then, the bright red line will connect St. Lucas with Montgomery. This line already exists, and again, it'll need some renovation. Then, there'll be a border crossing from Montgomery to Project Wayside. That is the orange line. And lastly, a train line between that and Port Hilson is shown in the green line." Grimwald then took a sip of water before continuing.
"Elthize can also help with the last line I mentioned, by the way, though that'll probably be dealt with by private transportation companies. But anyway, what do you think of this plan, Mrs. Mouri-Kudo?"
Examing the map provided, Mouri-Kudo founded a lot of benefits to the idea.
"I think that these are very beneficial to our nations and am in agreement, Mr. President. You are correct on the Tullion-Forecoaster Line going through Geaqi and then around the Beaumont Mountain Range between Tullion and Forecoaster. However, at the moment studies are being done at the moment to determine a line can be made through the mountains with tunnels going through. However, the study will most likely not be complete until at least another month or two from now. " Mouri-Kudo explained as she took a sip of her fresh Leagioan Desert Lemon Tea.
"Now, I was wondering in terms of the issue dealing with the Meditrean Straights between Spain and Yosia, I was wondering on the position of your government on it? At the moment, Leagio has to stay neutral in order to avoid a distribution in overseas trade."
"I... Actually, not me. But the government holds similar beliefs, Mrs. Mouri-Kudo. We have talked about this issue, that is, me and the Elthic cabinet, and all of us agreed to not hold a definitive stance on the issue for now. Both Spain and Yosai are essential countries for both of us and personally, I would rather not fall off with either side. So we're mostly quiet about it." Grimwald went silent for a while, and then noticed his colleague's drink thanks to its distinct smell.
"Pardon me for asking this, but what is it that you're drinking?"
"Oh, this is Leagioan Lemon Desert Tea . The Tea leafs are grown in the deserts within the Commonwealth with it being blended with a mild form of lemon juice in. It's a Karptniz method of Tea that became popular for colonial Leagioans when trading with the Native Kaptniz residents." Mouri-Kudo explained.
"Ah, I see. That'd make a good gift for Imogen," Grimwald chuckled. "That's my wife if you didn't know. She doesn't like the spotlight much."
"I Understand, her wish to avoid the spotlight much. I use to be the same way before I went into the Progressive Alliance Party." Mouri-Kudo explained as she went to look in a draw within pulled out a large family-sized box of the Lemon Tea Packets that was unused and still wrapped.
"Here you go. A little personal gift from me to your wife."
"Oh, I could've bought it my- Alright, whatever. Thanks a lot for the gift." Grimwald was not expecting the gesture at all, though, by this point, he was too tired to counter. Still, he was pleased.
"Now, if you excuse me, I'll call Tobias. He's waiting outside." Grimwald then pulled out his old yet handy phone to call him.
"Yes, we're done here. I'll be outside in a moment... We can do that, yes. We'll talk about that in detail. Alright." Grimwald then hung up the phone and got up to shake his colleague's hand.
"Mrs. Mouri-Kudo, thank you for taking your time for this meeting. This will greatly improve the already impressive relations between Leagio and Elthize. In this new era of Elthize where we are a member of the European Union, we are glad to ensure that our relationship with our allies are strong as ever. Alas, thank you, once again."