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The Great Social Revolution

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[b]***Parliament: Sygh-Varthys*** [/b]

With the new coalition government approved by the Parliament, newly elected Prime Minister Svatek announces his first televised speech to the Parliament. While most political analysts expect the Prime Minister to make a conciliatory speech calling for unity ahead of the vital budget vote, he instead makes a combative speech targeting the opposition.

-Prime Minister Svatek

“Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your time and I will try to be brief. I know that it is the custom that the incumbent Prime Minister’s inaugural speech should be a call for cooperation and unity in Parliament, however these are no ordinary times. I could stand here and say that there are areas where we may find unity with the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but that would be a lie.

Mr. Speaker, the tenure of the Liberal Democratic Party, headed by Ms Potusek who now sits opposite has been nothing short of an absolute, national disaster. It will take us years to undo the damage that her government has wreaked across this country. Mr. Speaker, if she had any honor whatsoever, she would not set foot in this chamber again.

Mr. Speaker, our nation faces its greatest peril. Unless we are able to reverse the current economic recession, and the high rates of unemployment which now plague our nation, then we will be doomed to failure. We must strengthen the economic and political institutions of our nation in order to strengthen our economy. We must abandon the reckless idea that the sale of state assets to the highest private bidder is the solution to all of our problems. We must also abandon the belief that total state control of the economy can be a solution. The solution, Mr. Speaker, is a system of controlled privatizations of certain areas where there are state control, and the strengthening of the social safety net.

It is now our time to address these issues Mr. Speaker. A radical disaster requires a radical and innovative solution. To that effect, it is the intention of my government to spearhead a Great Social Revolution. This revolution shall have six fundamental pillars.

[b]1.Healthcare- [/b]
Under the privatization campaign of the former administration, large portions of the national healthcare system have been handed over to private interests to run as they see fit. This was a mistake. It is our intention to strengthen the state-owned healthcare system and the benefits given to our citizens. Now this does not mean an abolition of private hospitals, far from it. Instead state run hospitals shall be better managed, better staffed and better equipped for their duties.
It is our intention to nationalize the education system in this country and to bring it under the direct and absolute control of a single central authority. The concept of exclusive private schools shall become a thing of the past. We shall better train and equip our teachers, and standardize the national curriculum. No longer shall a student be turned away from a school due to their inability, or the inability of their parents to finance their education.

[b]3.Regional Government- [/b]
It is our intention to strengthen the governing institutions in the Autonomous Regions across this nation and to increase their accountability and efficiency. We shall finalize and approve the ‘Autonomous Community Act’ in order to strengthen the powers allocated to the Yuktobania, Novaya Zemlya, Baikal and East Ingushetia Autonomous Regions. We shall examine areas in which cost and inefficiency may be reduced by handing more authority to the regional government institutions.

[b]4.Spending- [/b]
We must tackle the current budget deficit before it becomes so large that it cripples us. We must eliminate corruption and increase efficient spending. We will reallocate budgetary expenditures in order to reduce the overall expenditure of the government by at least B$120 billion. Unlike those who feel that reducing corporate taxes is the way to go, we will tax the profits of these corporations and lessen the phenomenal tax burden which has been cast onto the backs of the working class. As a symbolic gesture, we shall approve a 65% cut in salaries for all Members of Parliament and Members of Government.

[b]5.Job Creation-[/b] It is our objective to create at least 70,000 viable private and public sector jobs by the second quarter of the next fiscal year. We shall aim to reduce the national unemployment level to at least 6.7% by the end of next year.

[b]6.Public Sector reform-[/b]
The public sector is one of the most bloated and inefficient bodies I have ever encountered. This must change. There must be accountability and oversight of the public sector. The public sector must become more efficient. We must get value for our taxpayer dollar.

Mr. Speaker, these are the goals of our government for the next 3 years. Now, I am certain that there are those in this Parliament who will do everything in their power to undermine our efforts. To them I simply say the following: ‘Bring it on!’.”-PM Svatek

The Prime Minister takes his seat as Coalition MPs chant: [i]“Svatek! Svatek! Svatek!”[/i]

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[b][u]BCNA News: Social Revolution begins[/b][/u]

[i]“The government’s controversial Social Revolution has begun. In an early session this morning the Parliament narrowly approved a government measure to transfer control of all private schools to the state. The bill designated the Education Reform Act (ERA) also contained provisions to overhaul the administration of the public school system, the payment and promotion of teachers as well as student proficiency standards.

Under the new law, all public education matters will be handled by the new National Education Agency (NEA), an arm of the Ministry of Education. The NEA will begin the reform process by conducting a rigorous examination and evaluation of all teachers in the Serene Republic. The board will certify teachers who meet or exceed the new standards, or will terminate those who fail to meet the standards. Teachers who, in the opinion of the NEA are near to reaching the minimum standards may be permitted a three month period to meet the standards.

The NEA will also be given the responsibility to draft a new standard contract for public school teachers which will include a revised rank and payment system. Under the new reforms, teachers can expect a pay benefit cut of approximately 4.3% of their current pay. This cut, according to a government spokesman, is non-negotiable and will not be up for discussion with the National Teacher’s Union (NTU). Under the new reforms the government expects to create at least 3,200 new teaching positions for qualified applicants. The new legislation has also created the National Transformation Task Force (NTT) to oversee the process of school privatizations. The NTT will be a temporary organization with the mandate to analyze all schools both academically and administratively, and facilitate the nationalization of private schools and the administrative reform of existing public schools.

The new reforms have been met with a mixed reaction from the public. In a poll conducted by BCNA News, 38% approve of the direction of the government’s new policy, 42% disapprove and 20% are unsure. Some parents whose children attend private schools have expressed shock at the decision by the government to nationalize the schools. They expressed the concern that the quality of the education available to their children would suffer as a result of the new laws.

In the East Ingushetia Autonomous Region, where 23% of schools were privately owned, thousands of parents have registered their outrage in petitions sent to the Regional Government. The Muslim community is particularly against the policy as several schools in Muslim majority areas made provisions to allow students to wear the hijab while at school. Although the laws in East Ingushetia prohibit the wearing of any head covering in public, the schools were considered private property and were thus immune from the law. A group of 8 parents, who were surveyed by our news team reported that they were seriously concerned that their children might be ‘shut out’ of the education system if they did not ‘surrender their rights to express themselves and their faith’.

As the discussion heats up about the new reforms, the Prime Minister is expected to address the nation shortly to unveil the progress of the reforms thus far.”[/i]-Reporter

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