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Nordic Council


Kaiser Martens
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An invitation to come to Copenhagen was forwarded to the following countries' governments:
[i]Kurland
Danzig
Sweden
Norway
Greenland[/i]

They would meet at the building which was once a facility related to Danish government and had since the land's liberation fallen into disuse. In front, was a monument, a piece of wall onto which the old Danish-Lübeck Government had been shot by their own people, still showing bulletholes, after being charged of treason due to their crimes against their very own nation. Once a year, on the anniversary of the liberation, meat made to roughly resemble a human being is left there, and it is said that if Ravens come and consume the "corpses", the next year will be a good one for Germania.

Right now, the Ravens were eating well.

The Danish Insignias had been replaced for Nordic Council Shields. Nothing special, but distinguishable and to the point.

[img]http://www.mapsofworld.com/images/world-countries-flags/nordic-council-flag.gif[/img]

Several countries had privately expressed their need for closer defense agreements and communication, and it was decided to help formalize the bonds. It was not Germania's Initiative, but they were very much in favor of this.

Lord von Falkenhausen was already there, while the man chosen to be the Representative to the Permanent General Nordic Council Assembly, Lothar Idunnson Heutling, arrived minutes later escorted by a group of Fallschirmjäger.
There was also a representative from the English (Puppet) Government, Mr. Taylor, chosen by Lord Protector Gumby, whom had chosen to remain in England.

[i]"Welcome to Germania."[/i]

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In recognition of the significance of this meeting, King Alaric decided to represent Kurland himself, instead of sending the newly-appointed foreign minister, Ludvig Mikaelsson. He arrived in Copenhagen by private plane, escorted by two of his senior Raiders, both in plainclothes, and was chauffeured to the old Danish capitol building. He was a bit surprised at the odd effigies against the outer wall, but didn't make too much of a big deal about it; on the other hand, Oberst Weiman and Major Kästner, his guards, found the meat figures and the ravens rather amusing amusing. Alaric joined the German and English representatives, exchanging pleasantries while his guards detached themselves to the side to watch the king and the door.

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[b][OOC: Sorry folks, been out at work the past few days, I'll be back for the weekend tomorrow. But... to get things goin'...][/b]

In his first foray out of Sweden as Prime Minister, Fredrik Ericsson would travel to Copenhagen with all haste after the invitation was granted to the new Swedish State. His plane would depart Stockholm a little late due to a pesky flock of geese that could not be shooed off the runway. Of course the tabloids would have a field day with such hilarity, but he would arrive before the proceedings actually began nonetheless.

Ericsson would enter, accompanied by an aide, and nod to the already comfortable delegations of the other Nordic countries.

"Apologies on my tardiness, thank you for inviting us, Herr von Falkenhausen," said Ericsson, straightening his coat before taking his own seat.

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"There we go...all ready then."

"In any case, you all know why we're already here. Each of your countries has strong bonds with my country...but not necessarily do these bonds exist among yourselves, in spite of the many things that the lands have in common. A Danzig Citizen I know suggested to me that we should take steps to remedy this, especially now that the Romans and French are becoming unstable and troublesome."

Then, he was interrupted by Taylor, "The French being unstable? And the Romans having a hard one for messing with European nations? WHEN in history has this not been so?"

Falkenhausen continues, "Yes, precisely. In the recent past this was not a trouble. We were just one country so we had more cohesion. But now, even though we're stronger, we're disorganized. They have already threatened Danzig, which shamefully folded. I want to recreate the ancient Nordic Council, so that none of us ever has to compromise their Internal Politics again on the whim of some stranger from abroad. We're through Germania de-facto allied as is, but I do not need to explain why working together more closely is a necessity for us to mantain our long-term sovereignty."

Falkenhausen looks towards Heutling, whom continues:

"There's more to be taken into consideration in any case. Being only a collective MDP would not be nearly enough. We've got to facilitate movement of our citizens through our borders...for the sake of economy and tourism. Due to our laws, all of your citizens are at the same time citizens of our country, excepting if Double Nationality is explicitly forbidden, and then they must choose. This system is clumsy and regrettable, leading people to use two passports and two IDs to travel, we should avoid such cumbersome issues. The council here, it should be permanent, with representatives sent so as to work in Regional Defensive and Economic Cooperation. Not just a get together once a year or when there's some enemy at our gates."

"Right now our Defence and Economy ministries are running in different directions, while we could make things more efficient. We could be issuing our weakest economies developing loans, for one. That is just to name one of the many options. Also there is an issue with our languages. Norwiegan and Swedish are virtually the same thing, with dialectic-like differences. I think that it is time to standardize [i]Skandinavsk[/i], to quit with the nonsense of having to translate among nearly identical languages. In that case, quite simply, the council's offical languages would be German (Written with runes) and Scandinavian."

"If we go ahead and get this all right not only will our people get richer but we'll make sure that our sovereignty is real, and not merely nominal, given the interventionism displayed by certain "European Brothers" of ours."

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Alaric listened intently to the Germanic representatives, stroking his goatee and nodding. When Heutling concluded his segment, he spoke up. "It truly is troubling, the state in which Europa exists today. Athens waves its prick around the continent, interfering in the internal affairs of other nations on a whim, and objecting only makes them more intent on forcibly influencing that state. They've carved an empire that stretches from the Balkans to the Azores, and then accuse other nations of empire-building for the slightest of 'offenses.' Danzig tried to take a stand against lazy and irresponsible politicians, and the Athenians stood against them simply because the ousted legislators were leftists. While I disagree with their now-overturned decision to gift their seats to another party, it is Danzig's affair, not Athens's. If we are to prevent Athens from grasping our internal policies in an iron grip, Nordic cooperation is a must. As we are already tied to our German and Norwegian brothers, I am in full support of an economic and military agreement with them as well as Danzig and Sweden."

The king took a sip of water and continued. "I'm also favorable towards Herr Heutling's open border proposition. We already exercise such a policy in regards to Norwegian and Germanic tourists, and that is a courtesy we'd be more than willing to extend towards Sweden and Danzig. As for economics, I believe member states should prioritize trade with other members, and tariffs on that commerce should be reduced or removed entirely. We could also look at the possibility of a common currency, but I understand that the representatives of each nation may have reservations about such an idea. And as for the language barrier, I am in favor of using German as an official language, but I will abstain on the question of a Scandinavian language. Since Kurland's Swedish population is a minority, I feel as though such a decision should be left to Norway and Sweden."

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[i]"As Kaiser of the Danzig Reich, I believe the decision taken by my Government is quite acceptable. I'm not willing to have my Reich collapse into chaos and anarchy due to a Athenian supported 'Socialist Revolution'."[/i] stated the Kaiser angrily, banging his fist loudly on the conference table. [i]"I shall hear no more of it! Not one word!"[/i] he finished, sitting back down on his chair after responding to the comments of the Germanic and Kurlandic representatives on the Kaisers shameful decision to allow the Socialists back into government. He then stared off into the distance, thinking back on the decision he made.

Edited by Chancellor Patrick
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Ericsson listened to the line of conversation carefully, looking around the table of representatives, and watching the other delegates quietly before standing up slowly. He addressed his suit jacket, and spoke, "While the economic and defensive assurances that come from joining a Nordic pact could be lucrative, from the line of conversation that we've taken up here, let's face it, this entire agreement is built on counteracting to the influence of our Southern European neighbors. If it is able for me to say that only a few minutes into this conference, once or if it is announced to the world, it will be just as clear to anyone. And what is the reaction of those who feel like their influence is threatened?"

Ericsson took a sip from his glass of water before slowly walking around the table, speaking as he strolled. "Any politician or leader in Athens, or any other European nation who sees the development of a Nordic Council, especially one involving intensive defense/military assurances, is bound to see it as a threat. The typical reaction for anyone put in that position is to either subvert or [i]eliminate[/i] such a threat to their influence. We can rail all day about the indiscretions that have been dealt by Athens or any other nation to ours, but I cannot sit here and say that Danzig's move to throw out leftist politicians without an election was a well-informed decision. While Athens may have been [i]overbearing[/i] in their response to your moves, your highness," said Ericsson, leveling his stoic face upon the Kaiser of Danzig, "did you expect any less of a reaction? Even my own government issued a statement that such an action was rather ill-informed from the outset!"

"We can rail against France's instability, yes," nodded Ericsson, turning towards the German delegation. "But was it not Germany that conducted an outright invasion of Austria not so long ago? While it may have not been your own government, Herr Falkenhausen, it was by the instability of the German state that Austria was invaded by a rogue leader who sought to invest a nation of so-called [i]brethren[/i]. I do not mean this in any form of insult or antagonism, of course, but we can rail against a hegemonic state as much as we want, but we know that this Council and its member states will be quickly tested by any nation who feels threatened by this council. While we can of course, go marching into a pact with our heads held high and banners flying proudly, there will quite surely be bullet holes in those same banners within the next year or so."

"That being said, how can I return to my people and my parliament, and assure them without substantial dissent, that this Council will trust my own nation, for example. While we are, indeed, grateful for the allowance of independence that Germany has given us, we still are without the third most populous city that Sweden originally held sovereignty over, Malmö. We are an emasculated nation, stripped of the resources of the far north, as well as communities and population that are ruled over by Kurland, which King Alaric, himself, already has established, are of Swedish origin. You have me here, representing my government, to take part in a pact that could decide the fate of my country, which could be effected for generations by such an agreement, yet we are not entrusted with what were sovereign Swedish lands," stated Ericsson, pointing out regions of interest as he spoke, and looking at von Falkenhausen as well as the Kurlandic monarch, as well as Kaiser Franz, who had been the first three to speak.

"You ask me to sell this idea and pact to my people, we've already established what the main objective of such a pact would be, this agreement is not about bringing our cultures closer together. While economic prosperity could certainly be guaranteed by this pact, the raw and ultimate motive for this pact is counteracting neighbor's influence, as I stated before, as it is clear by the line of conversation here. You ask my country, and I to put its faith and trust into a binding agreement that puts a large amount of fate in its' hands, but trust, gentlemen, is a two-way street," said Ericsson, finally sitting down again at his appropriated seat, his face even and his voice throughout his statement unwavering.

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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[i]"Classic European dialogue,"[/i] Martensson muttered to himself as the discussion veered sharply towards the socialist Athenian Federation and the ever changing national boundaries of the European nations. Typical Europeans, meet for a discussion on regional unity and spend the afternoon plotting how to subvert a neighbor and re-partition land holdings. Knowing that both men were thinking the same thing, Martensson gave a nod to Adalbjorgson as the Swedish Prime Minister finished, and the Greenland Foreign Affairs Minister stood up, speaking to the rest of the representatives present.

"Greenland has proudly stood by the Germanic people for decades and we are honored to call the Germanic Union one of our closest allies in the world today. As nations who are closely tied with and even formed from Germany, we naturally have no opposition and are indeed keen with the prospect of allying ourselves to the others who are present here today. We support the formation of a Nordic Council with the prospect of closer military and economic ties.

However, we must object to using this council as nothing more than a tool with which to provoke the Athenian Federation. We should make it clear that Greenland is allied with the Athenian Federation and we will defend all of our obligations. However, the Nordic Council has the opportunity for the Nordic peoples to take a united voice in dialogue to improve relations with Athens. Mending relations will lead to a more prosperous continent, not more mobilization and violence. Should Athens aggressively attack one of the nations here, which I find exceedingly unlikely, Greenland would be the first to come to a fellow Nordic Councilman's aid.

Additionally, the national languages of Greenland are Standard Greenlandic and Nordlandic. We would hope this is taken into consideration if we are to have official languages of the Nordic Council."

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"To be able to participate in this pact, Sweden would have to see this pact supersede the objective of trying to counteract the Athenian Federation. Although through my dissertation, it might seem otherwise, I have a strong desire to work with with all those seated here, and we share cultural bonds, but to be able to capitalize on that cultural bond, we need this pact to be more then just petty maneuvering against Athens or other European states," nodded Ericsson, after the Greenlandic Foreign Minister spoke.

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Falkenhausen waited until they all finished speaking and then said,

"That is the thing, Herr Martenson. [i]We[/i] are allied to Athens as well. But they did not hesitate to threaten us. The way I see it, our flag will have bullets on it no matter what we do. The best and only thing we can do is attempt to minimize those bullets. We saw the same thing in France, which outright attacked us while being allied to us. You have to forgive our cynicism, but we have a history of being attacked by our own allies and friends. In fact, this happened with Slavorussia as well. The only major european nation not to have once attacked us WHILE being allied is Dalmatia, actually."

"And of course, every member nation's language can by default have official status."

He directs his words and attention to the Swedes and Danzig instead,

"A distinction must be made. Danzig banned the Communists, not the Socialists, they're two different things and we all should take this into consideration. In any case, as much as we may not be keen on the farthermost left, nor any other political point of view when the -most suffix is applied, the way we see this is that their Kaiser made a mistake in banning that group because most of the time banning something tends to make it more popular, and it also gave the Athenians an excuse to play world police. The fact that the Kaiser had to take back his decision makes things worse, making him look weak and his enemies strong. If extremist politics, like those of the reds, are to be avoided, the best thing that one can do is make the country work well, so that people will pay no attention to those kinds of ideas. Less emotion and more coolheadedness is required. Revolution never works unless the government fails beforehand."

"Sweden should take into consideration the fact that before we moved into Denmark-Lübeck, the whole of Gotaland and Scania was in Danish hands, that we allowed the majority of the area to go back to Swedish hands to begin with...and that we had assisted Swedish independence a few years ago, only to have their government collapse. The only reason why the Malmö Area was held, is because we consider controlling the only one still viable natural means of accessing the Baltic, the Öresund Strait. We can provide Sweden most of the area, but at the very least, the Helsingör to Helsingborg zone where the Strait is the narrowest is needed for our long term national security. There is also a relevant base in the small peninsula west of Trelleborg. Those two zones are key to protecting ourselves. Malmö as well, but...if that is what it takes for Sverige to understand our nature, we can do without the sector minus the Treleborg Peninsula Area and the Helsingborg Area"

"We are not going to "rally" against anyone, we're not going to go and pick a fight. [i]They[/i] are going to pick a fight with us instead. I'm going to sharpen my knife so I can be ready, and little do I care if they should want to use the sharpening of the knife of mine as an excuse to attack me, if they were going to go in for the kill to begin with anyway."

OOC: Map for reference http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/Belte_inter.png

Edited by Kaiser Martens
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"On the matter of Athens, I am inclined to agree with our German and Kurland allies." Haakon said, standing to address those gathered. "We feel that a confrontation with the Athenians is all but inevitable, best to present a united front for when that time comes. However, I agree with swedes that this pact must be something more than that, more than a military alliance. On the matter of open borders, we feel that this would be an excellent step in the right direction for strengthening relations with our neighbours, on a more than political level. As for a united language, like Greenland, most Norwegians can speak Nordlandic, as such; we would find this more than acceptable for a council language."

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"Good. That will work. Nordlandic can be in."

"But these recent events concern me. The fact that Danzig, our weakest link, tends to do things that draw unnecessary foreign attention to us is troubling. That is to say, they bark well, but if push came to show, we'd have to be the ones to bite, and that is not acceptable. Danzig [i]must[/i] keep a low profile and [i]must[/i] be stable if things are going to work out, and, in fact, should approach Athens to try to patch things up."

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"The recent events in Danzig also generated concern in Sweden, our government is a coalition government, which works with the Social-Democrats to maintain a full majority. The Minister of International Affairs and Trade is the Social-Democrats' party leader. As a democratically-elected government, we answer to our electorate, many of whom were not fond of the move made by Danzig as well. My government answers to its people, we need a stable government in Danzig that makes informed and consistent decisions, a radical shift in politics does not do well for that image.

We will need assurances that this can be made by Danzig, before assenting to joining this Council as a member," nodded Ericsson, folding his arms, and looking at the Kaiser.

"As for the offer made by Germany to cede Malmo in exchange for being able to maintain a presence in Helsingborg, we would certainly be amenable to this agreement, and thank Germany for their understanding," said Ericsson, with a polite smile on his face.

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Alaric looked at the kaiser of Danzig, bemused at his defensive reaction, but hiding his smile behind his hand. He heard out the Swedish and Greenlandic representatives, reacting with no more than a raised eyebrow at the Swedish prime minister.
"I do not seek to poke Athens in the eye with this pact. My objective is not to provoke or retaliate against the Athenians, and I certainly don't wish to found this Council on the basis of anti-Athenian aggression. The very discussion of Athens has derailed this conference, and if we wish to make tangible progress, we need to look inward, at the potential member states, and not at what the delegates may view as a threat. Yes, we should be wary of Athens, but we should not fear them. If we form this alliance on account of fear, it will surely crumble. So, I think we should move the conversation away from Athens."

He leaned back in his chair, propping it against the wall behind him and cushioning his head with his hands. "Nor should we spend this conference on regional unity criticizing the actions of our neighbors," he continued, looking pointedly at Ericsson. "Such concerns should wait until the Council is formed. And on that note, Kaiser Franz, I apologize if my comment caused you distress, for I meant no offense by it. Indeed, I applaud your attempts to clean the house of those irresponsible leaders, even if I don't approve of your method."

He focused his gaze on Ericsson. "As for your own concerns, Herr Ericsson...I understand completely, but you must also understand that two previous Swedish regimes, both promising governments, have collapsed, and your immediate successor fell so quickly and so silently that your people suffered in anarchy for several years before a foreign power took note of their plight. I am certain that your government will be the one to bring permanent stability to Sweden, but history has taught us to err on the side of caution. Gotland and Kalmar enjoy full rights as a Kurlandic country, and its inhabitants are all citizens of our country. For now, they are stable and secure; one day in the future, when Sweden's long-term stability is assured, we may enter into discussions to transfer Kalmar and Gotland to your control, but not before. I can't in good conscience hand the lives and fates of my countrymen over to your emergent state while even a shadow of a doubt lingers in my mind. This is not a matter of land and lines on a map, Herr Ericsson, nor of political "trust"; this is a question of peoples' lives." Alaric pushed off from the wall, bringing the front legs of his chair down with a resounding bang. He looked Ericsson directly in the eye as he went on. "However, I can meet you halfway at this moment. If you so choose, all Kurlandic Swedes may be granted dual citizenship in our nations. I would even be willing to facilitate Swedish polling stations, managed by individuals appointed by your state, throughout Kalmar and Gotland, allowing the populace to vote in your elections. We can access old Swedish databases from the previous regime to determine who in the regions are of Swedish descent. This allows you to represent the people appropriately, and any responsible statesman knows that a country's existence is dependent on the citizens, not the land.

"I agree with Germania and Sweden's sentiment on Danzig; drawing undue and hostile attention to the North is not a sound political strategy. I would be greatly encouraged if they could offer us an assurance that they will adopt an amicable foreign policy."

Alaric clapped his hands together. "Now, let us turn our attention towards more pleasant topics of friendship and commerce. Greenland is correct. As I said, a Nordic Council must be based, not on paranoia and xenophobia, but on the boons of regional cooperation. We are all being foolish, acting as though Athens has an impending plot to seize control of Northern Europe, and such beliefs will only be harmful in the long run. I want to see this pact succeed, but we started this meeting off on the wrong foot, and that is in no small part my fault. We should address the economic side of this treaty, instead of just the military aspect. I once again offer up the possibilities of free trade and even a common currency, and I'd encourage my counterparts to also turn their focus away from Athens and offer suggestions on economic cooperation. When we have found common, peaceful ground, we can forge a more defined military agreement, one that does not demonize the Athenians. And on the subject of language, Kurlanders are encouraged to learn Nordlandic, and almost two-thirds of our populace can speak it fluently. I'd be in favor of using it as a common tongue."

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Ericsson heard out Alaric before leveling his gaze at him, "I apologize if I misconstrued your words, your highness, and I wholeheartedly agree that this pact cannot be just built on xenophobia and retaliation towards our southern neighbors. This council, if it is to occur, should of course be built on common cultural bonds we all share with one another. I appreciate the concern you have extended for Swedes residing in Kurlandic territory and would like to work with you in ensuring that they have a say in at least the legislation going on in Sweden. As our representation is based off municipalities, we cannot have them voting for members of parliament of their own, but we would like for them to be able to vote on at legislation votes and confidence votes.

We would, of course, be amenable to a dual citizenship initiative, and can work with your government on issuing relevant documentation to individuals. I am pleased to hear that you are concerned for the Swedish population that reside within your borders, and I appreciate your understanding of where I am coming from."

Ericsson turned his gaze around to the entire gathering, and addressed them, "Primary Swedish education already requires a second language to be learned throughout school, and many are well versed in Nordlandic, as well as German, we would be amenable to standardizing with our Scandinavian brethren the Norwegian and Swedish languages. I will be frank, on the side of economics at the moment, Sweden is still in a recession, but analysts within the Treasury and Swedish Central Reserve Bank are optimistic. Unemployment is dropping, but we are looking for external markets for our goods and services. Our country would be willing to foot part of the subsidies to begin high-speed ferry service, replacing the older ferries with faster and more efficient ships, around the Southern Baltic, as long as other nations would assist us in that endeavor.

Volvo, Saab, Bofors AB, and Husqvarna AB are all major corporations and defense contractors in Sweden looking for potential external markets, and with the impending acquisition of Malmo, Karlskrona Dockyards will be reopening its shipyards for ship construction, large and small. We are willing to accept reduced tariffs on Swedish imports and exports, if this Council does agree to give favored trading status to its member states. We are also willing to undertake major joint infrastructure projects with member states, and Sweden's main passenger rail service, Nordlink, is quite appreciative to any expanded service it can receive from foreign nations," stated Ericsson, taking a sip from his glass of water.

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Much attention was being drawn to the Kaiser. He wished to avoid the irritating issue of the Communists being allowed back into the Reichstag. Not a day goes by when Franz thinks if the decision he made was right. But each time he is reassured by the fact that no one knew that the Communist party had been purged from society within Danzig. Right now he had to forget about all that and embrace the future. Franz needed to assure Danzig's future allies that they will not have to fear anymore sporadic and unstable outbursts from his country.

[i]'You have my word, Danzig shall play it low for the next while on the world stage.'[/i] said the Kaiser in a low but firm voice. [i]' The Communists'[/i] he chuckled [i]' will be quite co-operative, so no worries are needed. My Government has become quite stable.'[/i].

Edited by Chancellor Patrick
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"Actions speak louder then words, your highness," said Ericsson, affixing the monarch with an even demeanor. "For the Nordic Council to be able to function correctly, we should all act in consistent and predictable behavior, if that cannot be guaranteed, nor can Sweden's participation in any future organization. Being able to work in cohesion with ones' allies should be compulsory, one drop of Swedish blood, nor any other Nordic blood, should be spilled because of missteps or miscalculations."

Ericsson took a sip from his glass of water, before addressing the rest of the gathered delegates, "Might I also add that Sweden could be amenable to a Nordic Passport system, which allows for streamlined entry into other member nations, as well as a cooperative constabulary system, which allows for law enforcement agencies from our nations to work together to crack down on organized crime and enhance cooperation in international pursuits and investigations of crime."

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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"If we're in agreement, I'll have those voting records dug up and sent to your government," Alaric said, relieved that the tension that seemed to have been growing in the room was dispersing. He took out his cell phone and sent a text message to Interior Minister Ingvarr Hoffmann, asking him to head to Kalmar immediately to personally oversee the data transfer. "It will take a few days for the Ministry of the Interior to sort through and verify the records. They'll compare them with Kurlandic databases to ensure that those in the records, and their families, still reside within Kurland. When they're done, they will wire both the original Swedish records and the ones they compiled to your state." He slipped his phone back into his suit pocket.

"An improved ferry system would, I believe, be very beneficial for our individual economies, especially for tourism. Kurland would be more than happy to help subsidize a Baltic ferry service. Nordlink is also welcome to expand into Kalmar and Gotland, and even the Kurlandic mainland, if they can link through Germania. They will have to compete with local Kurlandic rail companies, but they should have a fairly open market in our Swedish counties. Perhaps this will be the start to an international Nordrail. I am also in favor of a Nordic Passport, considering that it will likely provide an increase in our respective tourist sectors, and I agree with Sweden's sentiment on the constabulary, provided that it won't interfere too much with purely domestic law enforcement."

Edited by Rauchen
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[i]"I completely agree with the economic side of this Pact. My nations economy is still in it's infancy, and any economic support is welcomed and much appreciated. I also welcome the prospect of a 'Common Currency' within the Pact, but I would prefer to keep Danzig's currency independent, if possible. As for the suggested 'Open Borders' policy between Pact members, I agree with such an idea. As long as it applies to member nations only. I also encourage the establishment of industries, from other member states, with my country and visa-versa."[/i]

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