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When life gives you lemons, make GIN and tonic


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Sunset City, 1974

Times were a-changin’ in the Sunset Sea Islands. Even though it had only been a few decades since the end of the Thalassan War, for most inhabitants of the equatorial archipelago, it felt like they were living in a different world. Twenty years had passed since the occupation ended and the last foreign soldier left the nation. However, there was a specific group of people who didn't leave: businessmen. The strategically valuable geographic position of the islands made it an important commercial centre and transfer site. Native companies processing raw materials from overseas into, for example, textiles, prospered alongside joint ventures initiated by foreigners who scented favourable conditions for business. The manufacturing industry was picking up the pace and its quality was increasing by the day with corporations reverse-engineering and improving foreign products and machines or finding solutions for problems people overseas didn't even knew they had.

However, the geographical position that gave the nation the potential to turn into an economic powerhouse in the future, also made it dependent on certain goods, for example, crude oil. Although the national electric grid was well-maintained and expanding rapidly, not everything could be powered using energy from the few nuclear power plants constructed in the previous decade. One such thing were intercontinental freighters.

Naturally, the government had heard from similar problems from overseas. The tremendous efforts to modernise the nation which had begun almost directly after the end of the war had somewhat safeguarded the nation against economic crises, however, if ships from overseas couldn't come because of the lack of fuel, the economy was bound to suffer.

Therefore, King Tomasso, whose reign was now in its third decade, was pleasantly surprised when he received a communique from the Beautiful Empire of @Orioni.

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Ministry of Trade
Bromwich
1974

"Minister, a telex from @Orioni."

"Thank you, William," the Minister said warmly to his Private Ministerial Secretary. "Well this looks interesting," he mumbled under his breath. Reading through the telex, he sat back in his chair and contemplated what had happened to Gallambria over the last eight years.

With a war that steered the Argic region into a path of unclear certainty, coming to end, Gallambria was still coming to grips with the economic effects of the war. With issues from rising fuel prices, to a refugee crisis, to illegal fishing, the polls were showing that the people were displeased with how the government had been handling the economic impacts of the War.

Prime Minister Peter Walker had been working in a concerted effort with the opposition to develop a strong economic recovery plan. This, however, had some economists trying to tell the government that, because our nation relied heavily on international trade, not only with nations on the continents, but island nations as well, there needed to be a joint effort by all island nations to develop a feasible working plan to ensure our economic survival.

Having a group of island nations working together to ensure economic stability and security, will surely ensure that our nation will develop into an economic powerhouse, that only other nations would dream of.

The Minister buzzes his PMS, "William, send a telex to the Orionii, please. Chairlady Talagi, we are more than happy to meet with our island nation friends. Regards, Peter Walker."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Khenkhourt, 1974

The Second Argic War was a trial for the many countries of Eurth, this much had been known from the beginning of the conflict. What little trade Bulgenstaz had begun before the war had been all but crippled, and the fledgeling nation had found itself somehow even more removed from the world than ever before. Or at least it was, until 1973. Former Prime Minister Jan Lim entered Bulgenstaz into the global scene; thrust the developing nation into global politics with the beginnings of the ICEB. It had been a time of turmoil for the nation, to be sure, but it seemed Bulgenstaz was taking a great stride forward in the realm of global diplomacy.

Prime Minister Kacper Nhek Lviv had only just been elected when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had received a telex, an invitation of sorts. Taking his new position into full stride, Nhek Lviv had quickly requested a copy sent to his office, where he had been waiting for it. It was as he began to pace around his new office in Zalensk when the runner arrived:

"Prime Minister, sir, the letter has arrived. I believe it is an invitation of sorts, and it has nothing to do with the Fulgistani, Dniesterian, or any of the ICEB, for that matter."

"Curious, allow me to see it, if you will."

The runner handed the copy to Kacper, bowed ceremoniously, and promptly evacuated the office.

The new Prime Minister surveyed the letter, a seal of the Beautiful Empire of @Orioni gave away the invitee. At this, Kacper's heart skipped a beat: Orioni? What would the historic monarchy want with the small island state? It was halfway across the world from Bulgenstaz, and it seemed unusual for a Europan nation to take an interest in Bulgenstaz. Then again, perhaps this is more common for the Prime Minister than Kacper had thought. Rather than sit and continue to mull over the possibilities, the Prime Minister began reading.

A "Group of Island Nations"? GIN? This proposal was curious, to be sure. Once Kacper had read the entirety of the letter, he rushed out to the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; this group of island nations seemed almost too good to be true.

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  • 1 month later...

Deopolis, 1974 
Alexis Hall 
Executive Wing 

Vice President Leo Cancio walked towards his office from the building cafeteria, where he had just finished a simple yet delicious dish of shrimp and grilled vegetables.  The spices still lingered in his mouth as he left, the meal sitting in his stomach pleasantly.  He went through a courtyard in the middle of the building, cutting across the rectangular building through the center. The carefully tended garden had a large fountain spewing water in the center, with brick paths circling around the expansive courtyard.   

The man suddenly became troubled as he walked through the garden.  He reflected on the previous few years in office.  The economic boom he had inherited was wiped with the faraway Argic War.  While the homeland was untouched by the war, its effects had strong impacts.  The economy took a turn for the worst as fuel prices rose.  Tourism dropped sharply as overseas countries faced war.  Trade was disrupted, and the three nations of Marenesia Major- Salvia, @Gallambria, and @Bulgenstaz- all faced economic troubles.  Once popular, the Vice President was becoming increasingly unpopular as he sat idly and did nothing about the crisis. 

His thoughts were interrupted when an assistant approached him, a letter in hand.  The assistant bowed and spoke, “Excuse me, sir, I am very sorry to interrupt, but the Foreign Minister has asked you to look at this.” 

Cancio nodded, opened the letter, and read it.  It was an invitation from the nation of @Kipan to several island nations to discuss economic options for the struggling countries.  He exhaled sharply at the convenient timing.   

“Send this back to the Foreign Minister.  Tell him that he has my permission to send an ambassador to this meeting and a telegram back to His Highness.” 

Edited by Sancti Imperii Catholico
Changed recipient from "Pope" to "Vice President" to better reflect who would actually be in charge of this matter (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

O'polis, 16 March 1974

Nearly a week had gone by since Chairlady Berhanu Talagi extended her informal invitation to the other island nations. Global communication in these exciting 1970s was improving at a rapid pace. Sure, telephones had been around for what seemed like ages. But affairs of state were somewhat lagging behind. It was only a decade ago that the telefax or fax-via-telephone transmission gave a boost to the exchange of documents. Nowadays, you could send out a document and receive the confirmation only 2 days later. Such progress!

Slowly but surely the responses trickled in. It wasn't just the Orinese who encountered practical problems as a consequence of the Argic War. The challenges faced by islands nations were quite unique, yet also strikingly similar when compared to others.

To the east, in the Oriental Ocean, the rapidly growing economy of the Sunset Sea Islands experienced growing pains. Meanwhile, Kipan emerged from reconstruction after the Thalassan War and looked to expand into emerging markets.

At the same time, over to the west in Marenesia, His Holiness Pope Leo XXIV of Salvia experienced at first-hand the unpleasant consequences of the Argic Conflict. To solve similar issues, PM Walker of Gallambria was creating an economic recovery plan. And PM Lviv of nearby Bulgenstaz showed equal interest in an international get together.

 

Chapter 1: the Nakazima Declaration

Kipan, 19 May 1974

It was the Wise and Honorable Emperor of Kipan, Toba, who went one step further. His Highness invited everyone to meet in the southern coastal city of Nakazami, on the Kipanese island of Matigu. Chairlady Talagi was happy to report this to her Empress Owa. With so much positive cooperation, the different agendas were put together, and a date was picked. Late May 1974 was chosen as the best time. The weather was not yet too warm. And monsoon season would only start in mid-June.

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Evidently, her Highness the Empress was in no state to make the journey travel to Kipan herself. At 66, Empress Owa only attended domestic and ceremonial events. This undertaking concerning island nations was more a matter for ambitious and aspiring politicians. And so the arduous and adventurous task of travelling halfway across the Eurth fell to the 46-year-old Councillor of Trade & Transportation, Mr Zakaria Canmore (1928-2000). Zakaria is a kind senior politician. He grew up in an upper-class neighbourhood of Zuidhaven and has a post-graduate degree from Sirius Business School in politics and economics.

The aviation network of Oriental Airlines had developed reliable connections with mainland Europa. But crossing the entire ocean in one go was still something above the capabilities of the Oriental Airlines' fleet. Passenger travel across the eastern ocean was very expensive, something only high-paying business people could afford. Some elite aviation companies were investigating the economics of more long-haul aeroplanes. But the high fuel prices prevented the masses from enjoying the luxury of air travel. After departing from O’polis International Airport, the government plane made two stops: first on Burkini island, and a second time in Sunset City.

When Canmore stepped off the aeroplane onto the tarmac of Nakazami Uemon International Airport, she was greeted by Economics Minister Taro Nakada and Foreign Minister Matsu Takashima. The Kipanese extended the warmest welcome from Emperor Toba; Mr Canmore shared the same blessings: "Her Majesty the Empress Owa would like to express her sincere gratitude for the Kipanese attention to the relations of island nations, which have gained significant momentum during His Majesty Emperor Toba's years on the imperial throne. I hope that mutually beneficial ties between our countries will continue to strengthen in all areas." Besides extending pleasantries, Mr Canmore was also charged with solving two important questions for Orioni: expensive imports and fishing rights.

All those formal pleasantries took about 10 minutes, give or take. Mr Nakada gestured to one of the vehicles. A sleek black town car with little flags on the hood. Mr Canmore was impressed by the apparent quality and style of this pinnacle of Kipanese motor engineering. In the polished black door, he could see the reflection of his own face. "Oh my, I do look tired", Canmore thought to himself, before taking a seat inside. The interior was even more opulent. Soft leather interior with comfortable seating. With a low hum, the convoy departed the airport and drove the delegation to its destination.

 

(OOC @Kipan: I'm slightly improvising here. I presume only ministers are present to receive other ministers. I also presume the talks will be held either (1) downtown at some fancy club which doubles as a hotel, or (2) a secluded, greener park setting in the style of a country club. I leave this up to you as host. More OOC discussion here.)

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  • 1 month later...

Michael Cancio peered out the window of his airplane as it quickly descended towards the runway.  The brother of the Vice President, Leo, he had been appointed as Minister of Finances and Trade due to his intelligence surrounding the matter, but now, like his brother, he was becoming increasingly unpopular with the worsening economic situation.  He had wholeheartedly agreed to coming to @Kipan upon hearing the offer from his brother, anxious to do something- anything- to get the public to shut up.

As the craft landed and began to brake, Michael could see the delegation from @Orioni greet the Kipanese welcome party.  It seemed he was one of the first people here, interesting considering the fact Salvia was probably the farthest nation away from Kipan.  The plane trip had taken many pit stops going across the Atlantic, first stopping in the overseas @Gallambrian territories, then @Oyus, and making a final pit stop in @Asgeirria before reaching Kipan.  Michael was reminded further of the fuel crisis at each stop, with him overhearing the grumbling of maintenance workers about the oil prices whenever he walked by.

Michael snapped out of his daydreaming and exited the craft, waving to the welcoming crowd while he descended the stairs towards the Kipanese Economics and Foreign Minister.  He smiled upon reaching them and extended his hand out to shake theirs.  The Kipanese exchanged a warm welcome, and Michael returned the greeting, "His Holiness Vincent II extends his warmest greetings and gratitude for your invitation.  We hope these talks bear much fruit."  Michael hoped the last part would come true.  High oil prices and rising prices on foreign goods and commodities was beginning to bite into the average middle class Salvian, and the government was feeling the pressure.  

The proceedings were pretty brief- around 10 minutes- before one of the ministers gestured towards a limo with a small Kipanese flag accompanied with a small Salvian flag on the hood.  He saw the limo carrying the Orionese delegation depart from the tarmac, and figured his would follow suit.  He walked over to the limo, where a chauffeur opened the door for him.  Michael climbed into the comfortable and impressive limo and they departed from the airport.

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