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La Voyage II


Evangeline Anovilis
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After having visited Mull, the Air France Juuti-Laté 631 flew to the west, as the Directeur general of the CVRF had more visits to make. In general, money could be best made overseas, given that the Germans did not trade with France at all, and the French were reluctant to trade with Athens... national pride, or what was left of it. Anyway, Charlotte couldn't be bothered, her ways would lead her to Dublin Port next, as the seaplane slowly set up on the surface of the Irish Channel. In the past, Franco-Irish relations had been rather positive, now, Charlotte hoped, this political capital could be converted into monetary capital...

While Mull had been too small for the French to think there was any administration below the Ard Rí, in Ireland, they expected a better, more professional administration. Therefor, the first visit was not to the King, but rather to the port authorities, to notify them of the seaplane and to ask, what magistrate would have to be visited to establish business on the island.

[img]http://images.wikia.com/theferry/images/3/35/Dport.jpg[/img]

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[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/Erin_Go_Bragh_flag.PNG/300px-Erin_Go_Bragh_flag.PNG[/img]

Since the opening of trade with Germany and the Athenian Federation the number of "merchants" in Ireland, particularly along the cost, was exploding with numbers. One of the new driving factors of the Irish economy was trade with foreign nations. Minister Cynthia McNeil was the Minister of Culture of Ireland and also on the King's Council - a group of close advisers from different parts of the government that advised the King on various matters (similar to a President's cabinet). Minister McNeil insured that imports would never radically overshadow exports since a major part of the economy was commerce. Though a significant amount of imports was frowned upon if it outweighed exports huge tariffs would never be placed on foreign goods to ensure that the Irish Government would keep its trade partners happy. The significant thing about the Kingdom of Ireland was that the King did hold almost absolute power however a legislative branch called The House of Lords did exist. While King Anthony held immense power, he made sure that it was not the responsibility of the Crown to micro-manage every aspect of the nation and economy.

For that reason, the King himself created new parts of government to assist him in running the country including different minister positions. Some of the positions included Culture (which was essentially internal affairs), Foreign Affairs, and Defense. The four provinces of Ireland (five including the newly annexed island of the Isle of Man) had local governments and legislatures but no executive official with direct power yet. The King had mentioned earlier that he was planning to either add in Dukes or elected Governors to help run the local level more efficiently. In order for trade to be opened between Ireland and any nation of the world the King himself would need to give approval of such an agreement however there were several government agencies, such as the Port Authorities, to help run and regulate commerce. Since Miss Charlotte was coming from Mull she would be luckily have a short trip through the Irish channel to Dublin which held the seat of power of the Kingdom.

Miss Charlotte would discover that she would in fact not have to speak directly with the King to open trade with Ireland and France. Of course if France was more of a controversial nation, like Umbrella, then the King would need to pay special attention to the matter. However, since France was high on the Crown's "Approval" list of nations around the world Charlotte would not need to convince or request the King to open trade but would instead need to discuss matters with either the Minister of Foreign Affairs of someone high inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since trade was vital to the economy and was a major sign of Irish... "affection" for another nation, its government, and its people the Minister of Foreign Affairs (or someone along the line of his right-hand man) would always need to discuss commerce with foreign diplomats. Miss Charlotte would hopefully be happy to find out that the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself, Christopher O'Connell, was in Dublin instead of some other part of the country. Since the House of Lords was currently in session the King was paying special attention to some specific topics that the legislature was deciding on - such as abortion. Christopher would make his way towards the port to meet the Charlotte and the rest of those who came with her. The Irish People had high hopes for relations between France and Ireland so trade would be a vital beginning to a beautiful relationship; while they came from different cultures they had so much in common including a strong since of patriotism for the Royals of Ireland.

When Christopher would take the short journey to the port he would have a nice meeting room overlooking the massive sea quickly outfitted to have a secure meeting. Dublin was the second biggest port, with Belfast coming in first, however the Dublin port was still essential. Water, food, and alcohol would all be open for anyone in the French party that wanted to indulge in the small feast. Among the first things Charlotte would notice when entering Dublin would be the strong, Catholic, religious influence in the city. Churches scattered the city and religious symbols depicting the Virgin Mary, various saints, crosses, or even Christ were also around in yards or sculpted into buildings. Small, less detailed, crosses would be above the entry and exits to many buildings and rooms. Since the King was Catholic and a huge majority of the island was Catholic (and especially Christian) no one in or out of the government was afraid to show their affection and passion through symbolism.

The French Party would be directed to the building which hosted the meeting room. When entering the room the first thing Miss Charlotte would find was Christopher bowing with his right arm across his chest; his hand holding onto the front part of his shoulder. The bow, known commonly as a sashed-bow, was a proper sign of a warm welcome and respect. "Welcome to the Kingdom of Ireland. I am so happy to have representatives from France here, His Majesty has been wanting to do something like this for a long time." Behind the minister was a modestly decorated room with a decent mahogany meeting table and comfortable seats. Three smiling butlers stood in the back of room ready to bring out any drinks or food that the Minister or the French would want. By default each seat had a glass of water at minimum. The room, of course, was decorated with the Irish tri-color and French tri-color. Both the Irish and French flags had been used to represent Free Republics however they were now adopted for monarchies but still held great symbolism and patriotism for the people of each nation. Green, white, orange, red, and blue covered the corners and middle of each wall in the room equally and brilliantly. Moving aside to let the French in he directed them towards the table, "I am sure you all already know but I am Minister Christopher O'Connell, member of the King's Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs." After shaking hands and greeting the others he offered them all the good smelling food and colorful drinks in the back of the room. As they were all seated he'd casually begin the conversation of commerce, "I hear that you all are here regarding commerce?"

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Charlotte looked around the room and wondered. She felt a bit awkward in this atmosphere, but well, at least she got to attempt establish business. "Indeed. Bonjour, my name is Charlotte de Dunois. I travelled to Dublin to discuss potential business relations between our compagnie and the Irish. As it seems, I'd need the approval of the government to establish things." Charlotte smiled, though... she was not all to happy over the extreme policies of Ireland that she could only call... mercantilism. But to each their own, Charlotte couldn't afford to make a fuss over these hings, as long as she could get her business license. And at least, in Dublin they had already progressed to the 21st century, in contrast to where Charlotte came from.

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"Can you tell me a tidbit about your company? It's relation with your government? What it produces?" He scribbled something down in Irish on his leather notepad. The French government and this company probably had a lot to offer Ireland regarding trade, particularly food and fuel, and Ireland had the capability to cheaply mass produce well-made goods. Food and fueling problems would probably still strike Ireland in the winter but there was far too much pride to ask for assistance from any nation. Hopefully that assistance could eventually be done through trade.

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Charlotte smiled and clapped her hands in joy. "Oh, with pleasure. Our Compagnie produces various kinds of devices and ressources. Though, it is mainly divided into the armaments branch, represented in the Arsenal Nationale de France, the maritime branch for trade and a civil branch producing various manufactured goods, though we look into expanding this branch to encompass also production of crude ressources. Also, there is air France, which falls into our Compagnie, you know, the national airline of our country.

A good part of the Compagnie is state-owned, to secure that everything works alright and for the wellbeing of France, so, there is a certain connection to the french state, but still, the Compagnie enjoys a certain degree of freedom to act on its own to secure trade relations and such.

Now, you mentioned what we had to offer Ireland, I'd guess you are right, we can offer food and fuel, though, in regards to the latter, we are currently a bit restricted. There is not all that much that can be extracted in France itself, but, you should probably trade that as confidential, we are looking into acquiring and reopening the old French coal mines in the North. So, while it is not a possibility now, we can provide at least this kind of fuel in a few months, once production gets rolling.

Additionally, we could offer a connection of Ireland to our flight schedules, with flights from Dublin to various parts of France, or other countries in Europe, if you so want." Charlotte loved to talk business, her eyes rested upon Christopher, awaiting his response...

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"I can agree to all of that Miss Charlotte" Christopher said in response. "Of course all French passengers visiting would need a visa but I'm sure that would not be a problem... The House of Lords has expressed worries about bringing tourism into Ireland but I think, at times, it is good we overrule them. How would you like to set this up - financially?"

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"Financially, the only costs we would see for Ireland, would be the costs for increased usage of its port and airport infrastructure, as well as a higher demand for visa. I think, if the Irish state had a consulate in Paris, for issuing visa, that may help things too, before our people need to see the consulates in Athens. Otherwise, we will pay for the aircraft, the fuel, the employees, the fees for usage of your infrastructure. In short, we do the transport, earning our profits there, Ireland can work with the tourists and earn money once they are in Ireland. Both sides win.

For the coal and food, I'd guess, we can export those to Ireland per ship, which would require docking space in Dublin Port. The production of these goods is something you can leave to us, but it will be of good quality and fully within the law. And while we do intent to sell our goods slightly below the prices of the world market to you, we will correct the prices to include all fees and tariffs that have to be paid for the exports. after all, it is also in our interest to earn something out of it and I would expect, your policies concerning imports to be rather... harsh?" Charlotte looked slightly displeased upon this last sentence, as she considered that this nation would surely follow the teachings of Jean Baptiste Colbert, though, without the colonial stuff...

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