Gotha date; RH

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Diplomatic Response
07-14-2015, 11:02 PM
Post: #1
Diplomatic Response
Most foreign embassies in Ålesund are located on the island of Stav in park like surroundings framed between the Gimlé and the central train station in a district that is also home to Aedeland's national museums. The Vittmarker diplomatic mission, being relative late comers, was one of the few embassies not located on Stav. Of course, its predecessor states were once represented on Stav but were all were repurposed during the decade of troubles that had plagued Aedeland's neighbors following the Pan-Anarian. Liden and Ådalen's former embassies were now well known museums. The others destroyed.

Soon after the Treaty of Nisipari created a unified Vittmark, a new embassy was created on nearby Jørta, a residential island not far from Stav. Reaching the mission from the Gimlé required a runabout or dinghy, though such a thing was common place in Ålesund and represented no great trouble.

A young runner, no more than fifteen, walked purposely from the Foreign Office through the gated entrance to the Gimlé and along the ancient wall that enclosed its private garden. Arriving at a small sailing dinghy the boy briskly raised the sail and expertly sailed off with a gracile efficiency that only a child of the sea could muster.

The sail from Stav to Jørta took fifteen minutes and would have been less if the winds were favorable. Today the winds were light and from the north west, necessitating several tacks. The runner approached the dock under sail, dowsed the canvas, and tied off in a spurt of action.

Finding the embassy took the runner a moment and he realized as he approached the building that he did not even know who the Vittmarker ambassador was. Entering the Vittmarker embassy, the young man greeted the reception desk. "Heil og sæl."

"I have an official message from the Gimlé for the Ambassador," announced the runner. He then presented a small white envelope with a simple red seal. After signing the receiving log, in triplicate, the young man waved his goodbyes and smiled, "far vel!", as he left.

07-14-2015, 11:42 PM (This post was last modified: 07-15-2015 02:30 AM by El Jeffe.)
Post: #2
RE: Diplomatic Response
The following was presented on a small 100 x 60 mm card of heavy stock enclosed within a white envelope bearing a small red wax seal with an impression of a stylized Æ. The reverse of the card bears the autograph of the Lord Secretary.

"At your earliest convenience"

is requested by

07-15-2015, 02:20 PM
Post: #3
RE: Diplomatic Response
"Note from the foreign office..."
"When did this arrive?"
"It came directly from the desk."
"And the runner?"
"Already left..."

Ambassador Av Åmynning let out a sigh. He then pointed towards the telephone on his desk.
"It's time those AEdelmen start living in the 7570's for real, and we have a telegraph as well. That runner easily could have taken back our answer. Why do they always make things complicated?"

He looked out of the window of his top floor quarters, where you could easily spot the bay. Ambassador Av Åmynning had been complaining about the needlessly ineffective lay-out of Ålesund, as if the AEdelish wanted to make their government's capital as complicated as possible.

"Prepare the steamer. 'At your earliest convenience' is never going to happen, since this place isn't convenient at all..."
He picked up the phone and asked the operator for a connection with the foreign office, announcing his immediate arrival.

The Vittmarker embassy had its own 24ft open steamer, which could accommodate 5 passengers. The embassy even had its own (imported) coal supply. The ambassador boarded the vessel 45 minutes later, together with 2 clerks and a runner. 10 minutes later they docked near the Gimlé. The runner was sent off to announce the arrival, the ambassador would wait in a nearby tavern until the exact meeting time would approach.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
07-15-2015, 11:46 PM (This post was last modified: 07-15-2015 11:52 PM by El Jeffe.)
Post: #4
RE: Diplomatic Response
Two uniformed members of the Lífvakter stood between the stone pedestals that supported the equestrian statues in front of the Gimlé. Behind them a heavy chain cordoned off the outer courtyard. The men stood about six feet closer than they had a few weeks ago. All of this represented high security after the assassination of Jakob av Varung.

The runner from Vittmark's embassy approached the two guards, who smiled and removed the chain allowing him to pass. The Foreign Office occupied the southern wing of the Gimlé, which was to the left as you passed the two guards at the gate. The arched entry way opened to a long austere hallway where a single uniformed soldier sat at a simple wooden desk reading a newspaper. Behind him was a door with block lettered "UTANLANDRAÐA" inscribed on its glazed window. Opposite him was a corridor leading into the interior of the Gimlé proper.

The runner approached the sitting soldier and informed him of the ambassador's arrival.

"Undrfull," answered the soldier cheerfully. "The Lord Secretary is meeting with the Fører. I will send someone to inform him of the ambassador's presence. Expect a runner momentarily."

As the Vittmarker runner returned to the tavern the same young boy who had delivered the summons followed him in the door and escorted the Vittmarker delegation to the Lord Secretary's office.

07-18-2015, 04:13 PM
Post: #5
RE: Diplomatic Response
"That was quick," the ambassador said aloud when he saw his runner return.
"They seem ready for your presence, emissary."

The group paid for the beverages and continued towards teh Gimli. After the usual administrative actions, the ambassador and his two clerks were led into the Lord Secretary's office.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
07-18-2015, 10:21 PM
Post: #6
RE: Diplomatic Response
They were met by the Foreign Secretary at the door.

"Góðan dag, gentlemen," greeted the Lord Secretary. He was a tall spry man of about sixty years of age with an unruly beard and weathered face. His voice was gentle and raspy.

Leading the ambassador and his staff into his private office, the Lord Secretary continued, "I understand that your government has requested to speak with the ambassadors from all of the Ærilar signatories. You must forgive our delayed response in light of the nasty business in Nordhavn. With all of the uncertainty, and a new government, our ambassador in Östvallen has deferred this matter to my office."

Approaching the Lord Secretary's desk, he motioned to two small settees, and offered for his guests to have a seat.

"I am told that your government has begun to squeeze the signatories' port concessions, withholding water and electricity," carried on the Lord Secretary as he slowly, almost shuffled, his old frame to a chair at one end of the settees.

Sitting down he looked directly at Ambassador Av Åmynning and with a confused expression asked, "why is that? "

Not waiting for a response he went on, "Perhaps I am mistaken as to the point of these concessions. Were they not created to help revitalize your economy? By doing this your nation is undermining the intent of the arrangement made at Nisipari. You are shutting off all foreign trade through these ports. Are you not?"

07-19-2015, 12:56 PM
Post: #7
RE: Diplomatic Response
Av Åmynning waited until the entire introduction had finished before he answered.

"It is unfortunate that you have been misinformed about supplying electricity, water and the likes to the concession areas. It is not the federal government who is actively shutting down these services. As you are fully aware, that is beyond the authority of the federal government, that's a matter for states and cities. Our cities are starting to grow again after a decade of repairs. Modernization of infrastructure comes with shutdowns, planned and unplanned."

That was of course only partially the truth, but what else could an ambassador do, admit it in plain sight of the AEdelish leadership? Of course not.

"The whole meaning with the concessions is at least twofold. Vittmark is as good as the only nation that is fully open to exporting Anarian nations. The Treaty of Nisipari requires that Vittmark is an open market for all the colonial empires. That's not primarily for the benefit of Vittmark, it is more beneficial for the exporting nations. Our evaluations show that these concessions are more profitable for the concession holders than for Vittmark. But... as long as Vittmark is benefitting from it as well, our government has been willing to continue the arrangements created in Nisipari."

"However, the Treaty of AErilar is changing the playing field. His lordship is aware that Vittmark is opposing the idea of a common tarrif for sea passage all together. That's a disagreement we can not and will not be able to settle shortly. Vittmark will have to adapt to a new reality, even if our government does not like that reality. I must remind his lordship about the very strong standpoint the federal parliament has taken on this matter. In our political landscape, the federal cabinet will have to act on that decision."

"The new reality is that 7 of the 8 signatory nations of AErilar have free access to our internal market, while Vittmark now has to pay the common tarriff for operating a merchant fleet, mostly trading with those same 7 nations. That is an unbalance that wasn't there before AErilar. We open up for you, you close us down. That is not according to the intent, nor the letter of the Treaty of Nisipari."

"The federal government has formulated an easy, a practical way to repair this newly created unbalance. The cost of Vittmarks presence at open sea can be balanced against the costs of the presence of the signatory nations of AErilar in the port concessions. This way the full intent of the Treaty of Nisipari can continue to live on. In return we're able to ignore the fundamental opposition against the Treaty of AErilar."

For an ambassador invited at the foreign office, Av Åmynning had made a quite long opening statement. But it was the same statement that had been issued to the other signatory nations, so there shouldn't be any large surprises in it.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
07-19-2015, 08:20 PM
Post: #8
RE: Diplomatic Response
The Foreign Secretary waited a moment in thought before replying that he was glad to hear that Vittmark's government had moved past its objections to the treaty. He then returned to the topic of the port concessions adding, "no doubt these disruptions will be sorted out before our friends to the south find new markets for their exports."

The Lord Secretary leaned forward in his chair and petted his beard from temple to chind with his palms as he continued, "I trust that your government will do all within its power to keep the Kötthagen ore shipments on schedule. Once it is bought and paid for, we can not tolerate unnecessary delays."

"Ultimately, I trust your government will do what is in its best interest, Ambassador," concluded the Lord Secretary. His smile, hidden under his unruly beard, was revealed in the wrinkles at the corners of his leathery face.

07-20-2015, 08:03 AM
Post: #9
RE: Diplomatic Response
Not only was Av Åmynning a skilled diplomat, he had a background as politician as well. So he theatrically leaned back in his chair, looked bewildered at his staff and came up with nothing more than half an answer, tops, and some more arguments he would be wanting to make anyway.

"The federal government anticipated that your government would be able to understand the position Vittmark is in since AErilar. What you are asking for is financial compensation by the federal government, a compensation that currently is being paid for directly by shipping companies and trading houses. Suppose the federal parliament would be willing to accommodate these changes, it would mean finding a way to divert funds from companies to the federal budget. The federal level isn't that extensive, it would mean a major restructuring of our taxation system. We are glad that we finally have a system in place where not every crown is being discussed by every MP...

"The budget for 7575 has already passed parliament. Meeting the requirements of AErilar would mean that the cabinet has to send back an adapted budget (if the senate would give that instruction), asking for cuts in domestic spending by tenths of percents. I don't have to explain that such a budget would never pass. The result is that Vittmark doesn't have a budget for 7575, including no funds for the requirements for AErilar. So, what the signatory nations of AErilar are asking for is not only immoral but also impossible.

"The federal government is willing to overlook the immoral part, but can't make the impossible disappear. I am so honest to say that it is doubtful that the required changes in the tax system could be effective before 77 or 78. Therefore the practical solution we propose...

"The shipments of ore from Kötthagen is an arrangement between companies, neither your government, nor ours is involved directly in that arrangement. The mandate for the federal government to enforce such a deal is around zero, which your government would easily understand. You are in a similar position. If the company in question is in breach of contract, there are proper channels and routines for dealing with such an event. The embassy and the federal government will be fully cooperating in case such an event might occurr."

An interesting detail is that the shipment of ore and coal to Helreich both are happening from federally owned facilities through federally owned infrastructure. That isn't the case in Kötthagen though.

VITTMARK:"This mess is a place." --- FISKS:"Fisk you!"
07-20-2015, 01:03 PM
Post: #10
RE: Diplomatic Response
"Where there is a will there is a way," chimed the Foreign Secretary. "Perhaps your shipping companies and trading houses will form a trade union to settle their obligation, my office can help them with that." Again his eyes revealed a large smile.

The Lord Secretary slowly got to his feet and making his way to the door he finished in a voice that could be heard by the guard in the hallway beyond, "We are done here. Corporal Þorviðing will show you out. Ūf viðrsjá." At that the doors to the room opened.


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