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Greek-Alvonian Diplomacy


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July 10, Year 2

Vienna, Alvonia

[Private]

Thea Garis was loathe to travel so far from Greece during a time of conflict, but she understood the necessity of her actions. So it was that she found herself in Vienna, a city famed throughout history, and one which she did not have the time to enjoy. She marched to the Palace, where she was to meet her Alvonian counterpart, and gave the requisite courtesies to the staff and security there. It wasn't until she'd reached the meeting room that Thea relaxed. She extended her hand to the man facing her and inclined her head in greeting, “I'm Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thea Garis. It's my pleasure to meet you. I look forward to building a friendship between Greece and Alvonia.”

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"Foreign Minister Finn Powers. Welcome to Vienna," Finn said, taking the hand and shaking it. "Feel free to help yourself to anything here," he added as caterers wheeled out various Austrian and Greek snacks, desserts, pastries and of course, drinks. Finn himself took a careful minute to peruse the alcoholic section and poured himself a shot of whiskey. "I can only hope the same. This mess in Bulgaria, I hear it's causing quite a ruckus in the League of Nations."

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Thea took a small cup of coffee and a piece of baklava, thanking the server before turning her attention back to the Alvonian Minister. “I wouldn't say it's causing much of one. Greece will raise the issue again when tempers have had time to cool. If things go well, the issue will be settled before the month is over.” She finished the baklava and set aside the small plate it had come on before continuing. “The reason I've come, though, is to negotiate a deal with Alvonia. Greece wishes to construct a rail line through your territory. Additionally, I believe we'd be interested in a formal non-aggression pact.”

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"One can only hope." Finn commented as he took a sip of his drink. "A rail line, you say? Hm, that's new. Where do you envision this going? To my knowledge, there's already some fairly well-used lines present in Austria and the Czech states already, Germany might be a different story, though." The phrase "non-aggression pact" piqued Finn's interest even more, though. "A non-aggression pact? Expect to be fighting with the Yugoslavians soon?"

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“Well, we'd like to construct a special high speed rail line from Greece to the Northlands. Passing it through Alvonia makes the most sense, or else we'd have to swing through the unprotected territories of Italy. I think Alvonia can appreciate the significant benefits of having a commercial and cultural through way connecting Greece, Yugoslavia, Alvonia, and the Northlands.” She laughed softly at the question regarding the Yugoslavians and shook her head, “Of course not. Yugoslavia is our ally in the Eastern Mediterranean Union. Though we disagree with their invasion of Bulgaria, we won't break our pact with them, nor would we approach you in the hopes of getting you to betray your ally. No. A non aggression pact is a standard part of Greek foreign policy when we approach another nation for trade matters. It does us no good, after all, to negotiate for trade deals, or rail lines, when it remains possible that our nations could one day go to war. Better to sign a pact to help ensure that peace and prosperity reign, don't you think?”

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"Right, can't have some uppity Italians trying to blow up railways. I've been hoping for some time that a stable Italian state could rise so we can finally shake off Trentino, but I suppose that will have to wait. But yes, the economic benefits of such a rail line can't be overlooked. I'll make some magic happen in the state ministry, so long, of course, Alvonian companies are contracted to assist in building the railway."

 

"To be honest, madame, if you did come to Vienna to propose such a thing I would probably laugh you out of here faster than I did any British politician." Finn was about to answer the second half of the conversation when an aide entered the room, apologizing profusely for the intrusion, but had to deliver a note to Herr Powers. He took the note and thanked the aide, and asked him to leave, then read the contents of it, his brow furrowing. "Hm. Well, while it might not be causing much ruckus in the League, it certainly is a hot-button issue in Greece and Yugoslavia, isn't it? Now, granted, Alvonian intelligence agencies do their job damn well, like all agencies do I suppose, but our knowledge of what's going on in Bulgaria is quite limited. All we really know right now is Yugoslavia sent some forces and according to this note in my hand, Greece has as well, along with making contact with some partisans. Now, I know Yugoslavia is denying all charges, but I want to hear the Greek side. What exactly is going on in Bulgaria?"

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Thea grinned and nodded, “We can certainly contract with Alvonian corporations, so long as their work is up to standards. We wish only for the prosperity of all our friends and neighbours.” Her smile vanished after the note arrived, and the man continued. “The situation in Bulgaria is not one I'm pleased about. Not one that any of us in Greece are pleased about. Our neighbour, a nation that assisted us in our revolution, and a nation that we fought beside, has invaded both of our northern neighbours. Oh, I know,” she spoke quickly, to forestall complaints, “Yugoslavia maintains it is not an invasion. But what else do you call an army of that size arriving, without invitation, and that seeks to occupy a land that does not belong to their own nation? Greece has sent a smaller force to secure the south of Bulgaria, to provide a safe zone for any Bulgarians who have fled the occupation. We maintain several refugee camps, and we do coordinate with local militias for defense of those camps, where we can. We also bring a good deal of food and medical supplies up to distribute to those in need.”

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"Medical supplies and food...well, I doubt many here would find that objectionable." Finn took a sip of water as he thought about how to respond. "I can't disagree with you, madam, it is an invasion force. Yugoslavia, in all honesty, doesn't have the right to occupy that land. Reminds me of what Germany is now...but anyway, we've adopted sort of a wait and see attitude here in Vienna. I'm really hoping that cooler heads can prevail when it comes to Bulgaria."

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A small chirrup interrupted the meeting, and Thea frowned. “Excuse me,” she murmured, “that's set to only go off in emergencies.” She withdrew her phone and examined it, sighed heavily, and put it back in her pocket. “The Yugoslavs have just declared war on the Bulgarian resistance, and Greece has enacted a No Fly Zone over the Bulgarian territory.” She paused for a moment, clearly considering something, before taking another snack. She chewed slowly, then spoke when her mouth was clear, “I think we can be of assistance to each other. There is an airport rated for international flights that is within the Greek defended territory of Bulgaria. I am certain I can convince the Republic to provide an exemption to Alvonia to fly food, medical supplies, fuel, and other humanitarian needs into Bulgaria through this airport. It will allow the supplies to be brought in, though Greece would be doing this ourselves if you decline, and will allow Alvonia to wear the trappings of the humanitarian on the world stage. I think this is a suitable offer to help a new friend, don't you?”

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Almost as if there was a really bad dramatic writer conniving plots, Finn's phone went off at the same time too, informing him of the same news through Heer intelligence stationed out of Koper. "Well, I'll be damned. Here I was thinking I'd have to go back to the Director and encourage him to withdraw the Marines. I'll pull some strings with THW and see if that can't be arranged, might have to convince the Luftwaffe to loan some cargo planes, but that shouldn't be hard to do." Finn chuckled at the humanitarian comment. "Be sure to let the Hungarians know we're humanitarians...actually, hold off on that. They might translate that to mean we eat people or something."

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Thea arched a brow at her companion, “A bad relationship there, I take it? Perhaps we can be of assistance as intermediaries. Greece has no such poor reputation with Hungary, and we would prefer for stability to reign through all of Europe. None of us wishes to see another European War erupt. That said,” she smiled and finished her snack, “I'm glad that we've been able to work together on this delicate matter. Though I do believe we haven't gotten a formal answer on the idea of a non aggression pact. Hmn,” she tapped her lips twice then shook her head, “No, I don't think non aggression will do anymore. If we're to be invested in your nation, with a major rail line in your territory, and working with you to ensure that the Bulgarians receive the aid they need, I think we should consider something a bit stronger. Non aggression, optional defense, and lowered trade barriers and visa requirements. How does this sound?”

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Finn let out a short laugh as Thea speculated on the Hungarian-Alvonian relationship. "Oh lord, the stories to tell there. You know, in the Foreign Ministry here there's a joke that went around a few years ago that nobody in Vienna could sneeze without somebody in Budapest sending down condemnations. They think we've been trying to contain them, but in reality all we want is to keep our Polish brothers and sisters safe without people intervening to make things worse. We've fought each other twice, both times ending badly for Alvonia, but they've consistently allied themselves with states and blocs that work against Alvonian interests. If Greece truly wants to be a mediator there, good luck to you."

 

"As far as the non-aggression, optional defense and such, that sounds like a fair deal. Is there any pre-made text on this or should I call in someone?"

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“I will see what I can have done to ease some of the tension between the two of you. If you'll wait just a moment, I'll have a treaty faxed over. I have the authority to sign it here.” She pulled her phone out and made a short call, speaking in clipped Greek. Minutes later a draft treaty had arrived, which Thea signed on behalf of Greece.

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"Hmn. Well, if you'd like to help enforce it, perhaps the Yugoslavs will be less likely to violate it, if they know it'll mean facing off against Alvonian forces. But we do not, by any means, expect you to provide forces that might well be put in a position of having to fire upon your own ally, should Yugoslavia choose to violate the no fly zone."

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