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Ernst Krenz announces candidacy for Chancellor
by Lorenz Bachmeier
2017 May 20


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Ernst Krenz in his latest party photo.

Ernst Krenz, Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the Young Revolutionary Guard, has announced his candidacy for Chancellor of Volta. His announcement was quite unconventional, coming at a speech he gave to the Young Revolutionary Guard where he revealed that he had exceeded the 45 necessary endorsements from the People's Congress to qualify. As such, his name will be up for consideration both during the next Party Congress and the next meeting of the People's Council.

Ernst Krenz has a long history as Minister of the Interior, faithfully working to implement the policies of former Chancellor Franz Ulbricht. An entire generation of Young Revolutionaries have been inspired by his efforts. Previously he was the Mayor of Vien, and one of the most popular at that. Under his leadership the capital city was able to grow and provide more for the workers. His wise leadership in the city is admired by many in Vien.

Ernst Krenz spoke about his vision for the country in his speech to the Young Revolutionary Guard.

"Our country is great, the genius of socialism has allowed us to develop our working class into one of the greatest in the wurld." he said in his speech "However, we could be doing so much more to make our country greater."

He went on to promise that Volta could follow an even greater path, under the wise leadership of the Communist Party, and through the genius that is socialism.

"The road to pure communism is a long one," he said "but it is one that we must undertake, and it is one that I am capable of and more than willing to lead us down."

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Gunther Switzer announces candidacy for Chancellor
by Lorenz Bachmeier
2017 May 21


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Gunther Switzer as he appeared in his latest party photo.

Gunther Switzer, the Minister of Defense, has announced his candidacy for Chancellor of Volta. His announcement was much more traditional than that of Ernst Krenz, and came today at the meeting of the People's Council, where he gained more than endorsements to qualify. The announcement was made today at 13:00 Voltan Standard Time. This would be the first time in Voltan history since the death of Hans Krenz that more than one person was a candidate for Chancellor. It will be up to the People's Council to decide who will be the next Chancellor.

Gunther Switzer has long served our country, ensuring that our forces are always ready to defend the revolution from foreign aggressors. He has presided over the Voltan People's Armed Forces, defending our grand country from any threat it could face, as well as the Office of State Security, which has been working tirelessly to hunt down foreign spies who seek to undermine the revolution.

In his speech announcing his candidacy, Gunther promised to continue Franz Ulbricht's policies.

"Comrade Franz has led us down a prosperous path." he said "Our technology industry is the envy of the wurld! To stray from it would be madness."

Gunther also had some choice words for Ernst and his supporters.

"I know Comrade Ernst Krenz only means well, and I understand his desire to continue his grandfathers work." he said "However, now is not the time for division within the party! Our country has lasted this long because of the unity that we have had, united behind the Communist Party we are strong! If the Communist Party itself is divided, that will weaken us severely."

The Communist Party of Volta has yet to announce which candidate it is going to endorse, but is expected to do so during the next Party Congress that will take place later this week.

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Communist Party endorses Ernst Krenz for Chancellor
by Lorenz Bachmeier
2017 May 30


After the latest Party Congress, the Communist Party of Volta has endorsed Ernst Krenz to be the next Chancellor of Volta. This special session of the Party Congress was called after the death of former Chancellor Franz Ulbricht, and is the first Party Congress in which two competing candidates were vying for the endorsement. Ernst Krenz is now one step closer to becoming Chancellor.

However, Gunther Switzer has said that he will not withdraw his candidacy in spite of the fact that he failed to win the endorsement of his party. He stated that he wanted to ensure that Volta was not "turned astray" from the path of the socialist revolution.

"The revolution must not be undone, and we must resist reactionary forces at all times." he said in a statement to media. "I'm sure that Comrade Ernst means well, but we should not take any chances with the future of our nation."

It remains to be seen which one of the two will become Chancellor. The People's Congress is set to vote on the issue next week, and whoever the People's Congress chooses will become the next Chancellor.

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Ernst Krenz elected Chancellor of Volta!
by Lorenz Bachmeier
2017 June 6


In a surprisingly narrow vote, the People's Congress has elected Ernst Krenz to be the Chancellor of Volta. Ernst Krenz, having the endorsement of the Communist Party, won the joint session of the People's Congress by two votes. The vote was notable not only for the fact that it was the first time since Willi Erbert was elected that someone was challenging the candidate endorsed by the Communist Party, but it was also the first time in Voltan history that the vote for Chancellor was so narrow.

Ernst Krenz accepted the position in a speech to the People's Congress, in which he praised the revolution and promised to bring prosperity to Volta.

"Today is a day that Volta starts to walk a new path!" he said "A path of prosperity, a path of openness, a path that the revolution has been bringing us towards for decades! Our great country has grown under communism, and it will keep growing!"

In his speech, Ernst also offered reconciliation with Gunther Switzer.

"I understand that this whole race has been quite divisive for everyone involved." said Ernst "As a gesture of good will, I would like to offer Gunther my respect for running a valiant campaign and standing up for what he believed in. This race has divided us, but I hope that we can bring the party together once more and continue down the path of prosperity."

Gunther accepted his defeat in a separate speech to the People's Congress.

"It was a narrow vote, but in the end I have lost." said Gunther "I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed. However, now is not the time to dwell on what could have been. We must look to the future so that Volta's revolution can continue to prosper. To that end, I shall return to my duties in the Politburo and assist Comrade Ernst in any way that I can."

Ernst Krenz will be sworn in on July 4, after which he will formally assume the powers of Chancellor.

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Chancellor Ernst Krenz proposes reforms, calls it the "Noi Sistem"
by Kristel Schefer
2017 June 13


Chancellor Ernst Krenz has introduced the first in series of reform proposals to the People's Congress, which he said he hoped the People's Congress would implement as soon as possible. The reforms, he states, were intended to reinvigorate the economy, which he stated was falling behind figures. With these reforms, his stated goals were to establish a stronger presence of workers in the economy.

The reforms proposed specifically dealt with the structure of various businesses in the economy and what roll the government would play in it. Specific proposals include:

  • Allowing the establishment of worker-owned cooperatives to function alongside state-owned industry in some economic sectors.
    • Not all industries would be opened up to this, with worker-owned cooperatives not being allowed in economic sectors deemed "essential to national security". Chancellor Ernst Krenz specifically named the military, arms, aviation, and rail industries as examples of industries that fall into this category.
  • The gradual transition of state-owned companies into worker-owned cooperatives in some non-essential economic sectors. For example, the Shipe Bicycle Company, which produces all bicycles in Volta, is proposed to be turned into a worker-owned cooperative
  • Allowing workers to find work outside of the National Employment Program, which currently assigns every worker their job, should they choose to and if they can find suitable employment in a worker-owned cooperative.

It is important to note that enrollment in the National Employment Program will still be mandatory, and the crime of social parasitism will remain. However, the definition of social parasitism is proposed to be changed from leading an "anti-social and parasitic way of life" to "refusal to work in any and all manners, even after being offered employment by social programs." The proposed new definition also states that "creatives, including but not limited to authors, poets, playwrights, independent journalists" and other creative occupations are to be considered "suitable work" provided that they either able to survive off of their work or are have "suitable other arrangements so they are not a burden upon others, even if it is somethings such as part-time work".

In his speech introducing these reforms, Ernst Krenz also called upon the Communist Party to consider adopting a new constitution for Volta. He stated that there were "structural changes" necessary to the government of Volta in order to be able to better answer to the needs of the people.

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Noi Sistem partially adopted!
by Kristel Schefer
2017 June 30


The reform proposals from Chancellor Ernst Krenz have been partially adopted by the People's Congress. Unusually, the legislation only passed with 61% support in the People's Assembly and People's Council respectively. Most legislation passes the People's Congress unanimously, and this represented the first time in the history of the Socialist Federal Republic that the People's Congress was not unified in a legislative proposal. However, the legislation still passed the People's Congress, and is now law.

Chancellor Ernst Krenz praised the passage of the bill, claiming it would help move Volta forward as a country.

"This is the first step in the creation of a new Volta!" he said "I promise to implement the reforms passed by the People's Congress as soon as possible."

In an unusual move, Gunther Switzer criticized the bill, calling it a departure from the "communist orthodoxy" and warned that it threatened to "bring Volta closer to capitalism".

Ernst Krenz dismissed these claims, saying "So long as these co-operatives remain entirely worker-owned, there is no threat to the socialist system".


Chancellor Ernst Krenz proposes further reforms!
by Kristel Schefer
2017 June 30


Chancellor Ernst Krenz has proposed further reforms to Voltan laws, this time proposing a series of reforms to deal with the media. The new proposals would change the way media is licensed in Volta significantly, making it far easier for new networks to start operations.

The proposals include:

  • Greatly reducing the fees for applying for a license.
  • Allowing individuals to operate as independent reporters, should they choose to.
  • Allowing the formation of worker-owned media companies, provided they follow regulations passed by the People's Congress.
  • Allowing foreign media companies to operate within Volta, provided that they are able to get a license and comply with all applicable regulations to get that license.

These new regulations would apply to print, TV, radio, and digital media. It is a great departure from previous policy, which saw all official media be owned by the government. However, Ernst Krenz said these measures were necessary to make Volta a more open society.

"These revised regulations would allow Volta to operate far more openly than it has before." he said "These regulations will in no way threaten the socialist order, but will allow all Voltan comrades to explore what it means to be socialist."

Crucially, the regulations still leave in place bans on certain activity, including calling for secession, calling for the overthrow of the government, and calling for the end to the socialist system.

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Further Reforms Become Law!
by Kristel Schefer
2017 July 15


The further reforms proposed by Chancellor Ernst Krenz have been implemented by the People's Congress, by a margin even narrower than the previous reforms. The new reforms, which deal with the media and would make it easier for Voltans to start their own media operations, proved controversial among the Communist Party. The legislation passed with only 54% of support in the People's Council and People's Assembly respectively, the lowest margin in the history of the Socialist Federal Republic.

Chancellor Ernst Krenz welcomed the law, saying that while news stations such as Die Volta-Bericht and Voltisch Rundfunk provide important reporting on national events, it was essential to allow the people to express themselves and report on their own condition.

"Our government must truly and accurately know the goings on of our country." he said "These reforms will better allow our people to have their voice heard, not only by the government but by all within the nation."

However, Gunther Switzer, who opposed the bill in the People's Congress, claimed the measure weakened Volta.

"This measure opens the country up to reactionary elements." he said "However, I am certain that the Chancellor will see the flaws and correct them."

Chancellor Ernst Krenz rebutted these allegations, stating that there already were measures in place to prevent such exploitation.

"There are limits on foreign interference in our media, measures to ensure Voltan media are owned by Voltans, among others." he said "I am sure that further tweaks will need to be made as things are implemented, but this reform will overall be a net positive for the country."


Chancellor Ernst Krenz proposes transparency bill
by Kristel Schefer
2017 July 15


Chancellor Ernst Krenz has proposed a formal government transparency bill to the People's Congress, stating that it was necessary to fight against corruption. This measure, which the Chancellor says is part of a larger attempt to combat corruption within the government, is necessary to ensure that the government follows the rules it sets on itself.

This proposal comes after a period of unusual transparency from the government. This transparency so far includes allowing lawmakers to comment to the media on laws passed, an increasing openness to interactions with the press, among a few other measures. Much of these changes have been occurring from rule changes within the government, but the Chancellor says he wants to formalize these changes into law.

Whether the bill will pass the People's Congress remains unclear, with various Communist Party officials declining to comment. Gunther Switzer, when asked if he supported the measures, declined to comment.

However, Gunther did verbally attack our reporters, and in particular myself, stating that we are "risking the entire socialist system" with our "biased" reporting.

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Transparency Bill Fails to become Law!
by Kristel Schefer
2017 July 30


The transparency bill being pushed by Chancellor Ernst Krenz has failed to become law, with it being rejected by the People's Council by a single vote. This marks the first time in the history of the Socialist Federal Republic that a bill proposed by the Chancellor has failed to become law. This unprecedented move has shaken many political analysts, who have no idea how to interpret this.

The bill itself would have made many government records previously kept under seal public knowledge. This includes the debate records of the People's Congress, several low-level administrative decisions by the Chancellor, along with several other measures. None of the measures would have affected the military, whose entire operations would have remained classified for national security reasons. Chancellor Ernst Krenz said the law would increase government accountability to the people, and said it would help bring the government closer to the people.

The Chancellor said that while he was disappointed in the failure of the law, he would continue to make administrative changes from his authority as Chancellor. He pledged to implement regulations within his own administration that would make some of his own activities part of the public record, and called on other government organizations to do the same.

Gunther Switzer, who opposed the law, praised the failure of the bill, saying that it would save the socialist revolution.

"Today is the day we preserved the revolution!" he said "I'm very sorry to the Chancellor, but a bad law is a bad law. The people and workers have won a great victory on this day."

Chancellor Ernst Krenz said he disagreed, and would be proposing more laws to the People's Congress next month. He declined to specify what exactly would be in those laws.

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Chancellor Approved First Media Co-ops
by Kristel Schefer
2017 August 15


Chancellor Ernst Krenz' administration has approved the first media firms run by worker co-operatives, in a move that is in line with the previously passed reforms. The laws allow, for the first time, non-government affiliated media corporations to begin operations in Volta.

A total of 2 media co-operatives were approved to begin operations in Volta. The first among these to be approved was the Volta Daily, which is set to run a daily newspaper starting the end of this month. The Volta Daily was set up by a team of 7 former reporters at Die Volta-Bericht. The team behind The Volta Daily refused to comment about their recent regulatory approval.

The second to gain regulatory approval was the New Voltan Media Group (NVMG). They are a co-operative founded by a number of former workers in the television industry, and are set to rival the Volta Central Television (VZF) group. They gained regulatory approval to start airing four new television channels. These channels are Star TV (which will focus on regular programming and news), and Star Kids (which will focus on programming for children), both of which will have Tlaloc language equivalents. It is not known when these channels wil begin operating, but NVMG has stated that they want to begin broadcasting by the end of November.

VZF will continue broadcasting as normal, and we here at Die Volta-Bericht will continue to deliver news as usual. The Chancellor hailed the move, saying that it was "wonderful that the Voltan people will have more options in the media."

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Ministry of Education announced reforms
by Kristel Schefer
2017 August 30


Minister of Education Mitzli Tlatoa has announced a series of educational reforms got the approval of the Chancellor today, reforms that are intended to improve the education system of Volta. The stated objective of the reforms is to reduce the disparity in educational outcomes between urban densely-populated areas of the country and more rural areas, along with eliminating the disparity in educational outcomes for the Tlaloc people compared to the general population.

The reforms are broadly characterized by three "arrows of educational achievement" as proposed by the Ministry of Education. Each arrow is intended to deal with a specific set of problems in the educational system.

The first "arrow" is announced to be resources. The education department announced that it would be increasing the allocation of resources to rural schools, in an attempt to ensure that their facilities are equivalent in quality to schools in urban areas. This also includes increasing the quality of "human resources." Specific policies addressing this area includes the introduction of teacher training programs so that teachers can optionally complete in order to increase their qualifications and potentially their pay, and the introduction of a system of performance evaluation. The performance evaluation area includes reforms such as generalized performance evaluations to be carried out on teachers every 3 years, in addition to holding teachers accountable for the repeat rate of their students.

The second "arrow" announced is subjects. Under the system currently in place, all students are required to attend the same set of standardized classes. This is set to continue for those attending Primary School. Starting in Secondary School however, there is going to be an introduction of a series of elective courses that students can optionally take in addition to their standardized classes. In addition, the Tlaloc Autonomous Region is also set to be allowed to make Tlaloc Language classes mandatory for the first time in over 50 years. In the rest of Volta, Tlaloc language classes are to be introduced as an elective class.

The third and final "arrow" announced is "re-examination." This policy involves a specific re-examination of the current educational curriculum, in particular when it comes to subjects in secondary school. A board of independent educators and experts are set to be organized, who will examine the current national curriculum. These experts are then to propose changes and reforms based upon their examination of the curriculum, to be sent to the Ministry of Education for final approval. This is intended to update every curriculum with the newest and most modern information, and ensure our children are not falling behind other countries in terms of what they learn.

This marks the largest fundamental reforms to the educational system since Willi Ebert's educational reforms in the 1950's. Willi Ebert's reforms, among other things, removed Tlaloc language education from the curriculum, and re-examined the content of every subject taught to remove bourgeois influence from them.

Volta's educational system has long been the pride of many Voltans. Prior to Willi Ebert's reforms, the last major reforms occurred under Hans Krenz in the 1920's. During this time the amount of schools was massively increased and a formal writing system for the Voltan language was adopted as part of Hans Krenz' "War on Illiteracy." In addition to increasing opportunities for education for children, a large network of Adult Education Schools were created to combat illiteracy. Prior to this, the literacy rate stood at roughly 24.7% for men and a measly 12.9% for women, for a total literacy rate of 18.8%. By 1940 this had increased to 83% for men and 66% for women, for a total literacy rate of 74.5%.

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  • 1 month later...

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Certain foreign websites quietly unblocked
by Kristel Schefer
2017 September 15


Many Voltan internet users will have long been used to the many websites that are blocked within Voltan borders. From countless foreign websites are blocked by the Voltan internet firewall, from search engines to collaborative encyclopedias. So many foreign websites are blocked that some commentators within Volta have called the Voltan internet a de-facto intranet. However, the government appears to be quietly changing their policies regarding the internet.

Voltan internet users were surprised this morning to find the website for the Europan News Network unblocked, along with a small number of other websites. Much of the websites that were unblocked were foreign newspapers that do not publish their media in the Voltan language, or internet shopping websites.

The move came with no formal announcement, or any indication at all regarding the change from either the government or Volta Telekom, Volta's only broadband ISP. It was discovered by a foreign visitor to Volta, who reportedly attempted to access the Europan News Network after forgetting it was blocked, only to discover that it was unblocked.

Not all websites are unblocked. Notably, foreign social networks remain blocked, along with websites that host pornography. However, even a slight unblocking of website is a stark reversal from previous trends, as the government under the previous Chancellor Willi Ebert had blocked most foreign websites. Some Voltan users celebrated the move, though many experts don't expect this to change much due to the prevalence of local Voltan alternatives and the fact that many websites remain blocked.

When asked regarding the blocking of websites, the government declined to comment. However, there is speculation that this may be a quiet move by Chancellor Ernst Krenz to loosen restrictions on the lives of individual Voltans.

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Chancellor Ernst Krenz announces new financial programs
by Kristel Schefer
2017 October 29th


Chancellor Ernst Krenz has announced a new series of reforms, this time targeting the financial sector. For the first time since the revolution, the government is going to allow financial institutions outside of government control to appear for the first time since the Voltan Revolution. However, these reforms will not allow the formation of privately owned banks, and the Voltan government run Volksbank will remain the sole legal bank in Volta.

What they will allow is the creation of credit unions, financial institutions similar to banks but which are owned by those that have accounts with them. The Chancellor has stated that he hopes that these new entities, once created, will allow the Voltan people access to the necessary resources to establish their own worker-owned co-ops. The Chancellor also stated that the worker-owned nature of these institutions meant they did not go against socialist ideology.

However, these proposals have faced stiff opposition from some within the People's Congress, particularly from Gunther Switzer. Gunther called the proposals dangerously close to capitalism, and warned that they risked undoing the revolution.

The Chancellor also separately announced the creation of a Voltan People's Trust Fund, which would allow foreign investors to invest within Volta's newly established co-operative businesses should they wish. The government will manage the funds to ensure that they do not come from any countries which are openly hostile to Volta. They will also prevent foreign investments that could potentially compromise national security. The fund will be open to investment starting the 2018 February 1.

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