Corporate Conflict [ATTN: Shaeoiumlah]

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Tiburia, Jan 28, 2019.

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  1. Tiburia

    Tiburia Well-Known Member

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    Iolcus, Pelasgia

    Iolcus was one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Himyar, and all of Europe for that matter. Stretching back to at least four thousand years, the metropolis built on the northern Pelasgian coast had been settled by some of the very first Pelasgians to cross the Long Sea to Himyar, once they launched their invasion of the Himyari mainland from the Pelasgian Archipelago. Among the Pelasgians, and the countless foreigners who visited Iolcus for business or leisure every year for that matter, the Iolcians ("Iōlkoi") were known to be rather eccentric figures: hospitable, but on the condition that the guest would leave; cultured, but capable of immense solipsism; business-savvy, with the occasional financial disaster; convinced of their purity and superiority over all other Pelasgians (let alone barbarians), and yet weirdly obsessed with how foreigners viewed them. Iolcus was one gigantic contradiction, and it was only fitting that its architecture fit that trope.

    Unlike other cities, where architectural styles gradually transitioned across time and space, reflecting the inherent economic, social, cultural and political diversity of any metropolis, Iolcus could uniquely be split into three areas: the Paralia (or "Sea-side"), the Omalos (or "Smooth ") and the Ori (or "Mountains"). The Paralia was the bustling and wealthy business district of the port, lined with tall skyscrapers housing the offices of major Pelasgian corporations of all kinds, as well as the residences of the wealthiest of Pelasgia's elite. Glass, steel and the occasional marble and limestone where the signature of this part of Iolcus, well-planned and with plenty of green spaces. The more historic areas of the Paralia were built in older neo-classical style, showing off the splendour of the area's shipping magnates. Deeper inland, the Omalos was composed almost entirely of neoclassical building, in the unique and colourful but conservative style that the Pelasgians liked so much, alongside Eiffellandian architects of the 19th century. More modern concrete building could be found here and there, but for all intents and purposes, the Omalos was a sea of marble and stone buildings up to eight floors tall, housing government buildings, smaller business and the vast middle class that made up the local citizenry. Further deeper inland, near the less fertile and rugged mountainous terrain, one could find the Ori, built in a less organised fashion and made up of cheaper concrete blocks. The areas watered by rivers at the beginning of the district housed factories, flanked by planned housing units for the workers and the city's poorer underclass, while further into the mountains housing disintegrated into what could sometimes very well be called slums.

    Like other major cities of northern Pelasgia, Iolcus enjoyed a certain degree of greater autonomy from the central government, which exercised its authority over the rest of the region through the Thematic Governor and the Imperial Prefects. Though Iolcus was formally presided over by an Urban Prefect, most power over its local matters lay with the local democratically-elected Demarch, and the Citizen Assembly. Iolcus was one of the most prominent maritime democracies of northern Pelasgia (though its concept of democracy was limited by descent and property requirments for citizens that would seem clearly undemocratic elsewhere), and the only one that retained the traditional Pelasgian jury system for both verdicts and sentencing over the imported Tiburan bench trial practice. The Iolcus Metropolitan Government operated plenty of essential services for hundreds of thousands of citizens, including the well-known Iolcus Metropolitan Authority for Public Safety, as well as the Iolcus Metropolitan Port Authority and the Iolcus Metropolitan Airport Authority.

    The second to last of these authorities was headquartered in a large modern building at the Paralia. Across the road from it was Poseidon Tower, an seventy-two floor behemoth of glass and steel, its sharp corners and slanted top being vaguely reminiscent of the ram an ancient trireme and the dagger-like silhouette of a modern destroyer. Poseidon Tower was the sole property of Pelasgian Shipyards A.E., whose Iolcus offices occupied most of its space. Whereas the firm's Propontis headquarters, housed in an equally impressive complex, dealt primarily with its military procurement programmes, the Iolcus headquarters dealt with international sales and with managing the various civilian subsidiaries, such as the Iolcus civilian shipyards and their Trapezon counterparts. At the very top of the glass spire was a large penthouse three floors tall. At the bottom of this penthouse was a conference room used for the rare event that a corporate board meeting of Pelasgian Shipayards and the other major Pelasgian ship-building companies was to take place.

    On this very day, the room was packed, with the large circular table at its centered being lined with representatives from Pelasgian Shipyards and the other Pelasgian ship-building companies, including the CEO of Pelasgian shipyards himself, Aristotelis Kephalas. Even more attention, however, was due to the four men sat to the left and right of the CEO: the representatives of the four major Pelasgian business conglomerates (Pegasus, Adamidis-Aetos, Artemis and Polydoras). Despite theoretically sitting behind the CEO, as representatives of the corporation's biggest shareholders, it was clear that their presence was more domineering that differential. Added to these men, exactly next to Kephalas was another man: Special State Plenipotentiary Anaxandros Makrianos, the representative of Pelasgian Shipyard's largest shareholder: the Pelasgian State. Soon enough word reached the board room, from the mouth of an aide: the Sâh'li Ambassador had arrived at the building, and was being politely escorted to the top floor. The board had a long meeting ahead of it, if the latest business with FALEK was to be settled without a full-on corporate war. [SIZE=1]@Shaeoiumlah [/SIZE]
     
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  2. Friuli

    Friuli Well-Known Member

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    Ûshoar Iôru'li iki Ôdushak was an old man, proud of his beard as much as his achievements.
    He was born in a small village in the less populated and developed west of Shaeoiumlah, among the hills of the Jânlah province. he studied hard, supported by his extended family with which he shared his home, the Ôdushak côthlash; and after being accepted and finishing his education in a military university he decided to remain in the army, gaining the respect of the Sâhlji'li people, a respect that allowed him to jump into the political system as a member of parliament with the Constitution League party.
    His strong resolve helped making the parliament easier to access to non-Sâhlji'li citizens, but made him the number 1 enemy of many conservative politicians and influential personalities.
    With his old age, and his personal battle for ethnic equality won, Ûshoar finally gave in to the pressures of his family and colleagues, and decided to choose a less stressful appointment as ambassador in the wealthy west.

    After so many years in the nest of vipers that was the colossal Ocean Palace, home of the parliament and most of the government offices, the view of Poseidon Tower and the mission he had, reminded him of his past.
    This was no easy task, a failure in this meeting would have been a bad "main-nam-nuilian-nish", as they said back home, the accidental trigger to a bad series of events.
    The government back home couldn't let the FALEK leaders to be found guilty of corruption, it would have been like opening Pandora's box, but having the intimidating Pelasgian fleet against Shaeoiumlah wasn't acceptable either, and they were afraid this would have been the final reaction.
    "and be sure, my old friend, not to disappoint your family" was the last message received by the Prime Minister's office, words that, knowing the way Sâh'li politics worked, sounded very ominous.


    The elevator opened, and he was accompanied to the meeting area, he took off his coat, revealing his traditional, but unusually dark, Shâlah.
    "greetings" he said.

    "put your hands on your heart, the more it beats, the more you should be careful" used to say the honourable grandmother Odâshoko Ôdushak, to the then young Ûshoar, as an explanation of the traditional gesture used by the Sâh'li people as a greeting.
    He had to be very careful.
     
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  3. Tiburia

    Tiburia Well-Known Member

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    Aristotelis Kephalas, the CEO of Pelasgian Shipyards, paused as he saw Ûshoar Iôru'li iki Ôdushak enter the room; the man's clothing was certainly eccentric, though it was clearly very well made and designed. In a country where wearing anything but a full suit in any formal setting was unacceptable, the ambassador stood out, as he made full use of the privileged exception to that rule foreign dignitaries were given.

    The ambassador was escorted to his seat by servants, and was brought a glass of water and offered another beverage of his choosing -coffee or tea- by a servant woman dressed in a traditional Pelasgian peplos. After the formalities of hospitality and courtesy were taken care of, the CEO addressed the ambassador.

    "Honourable Ambassador, it is our distinct honour and pleasure to have you here," he started. "I wish the circumstances of this meeting were better; there are many opportunities for business between our countries, and I find it unfortunate that our first major business dealing had to come to such an abrupt and unpleasant end. On that point, I would like to offer you the opportunity the explain your country's perspective of the whole issue, and why it is that FALEK decided to cut us out in the last minute in favour of a competitor two continents away."
     
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  4. Friuli

    Friuli Well-Known Member

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    "tea please" Ûshoar said to the servant woman; the fact that all the others at the table wore simple western clothes made him automatically bow his head to her in respect, as the peplos made her seem more important in his eyes.
    This difference in appearance also encouraged him, as he felt superior to the standardized westerners before him.

    "My respectable and honourable friends will concur that the oil tankers project was a huge investment; not much for the government but more for FALEK, as they covered most of the expenditure, that is 1,818,000,000 ièir of the 3,030,000,000 in total, and the Aurarian government invested a good amount of money as well.
    Having such a large capital frozen, waiting for the payment to be made and the ships to be completed, added a lot of weight on the shoulders of the company's executive council.
    Of course the prime partner for this project would have been your excellent naval industries, and so the group, with a little push from our government, which, I must say, holds you in high regard, decided to open negotiations with you; but the Caledonian National Corporation of Shipbuilders contacted FALEK's council on their own initiative, and assured to cut out bureaucracy, thus promising to start working earlier than you would.
    I really hope you can at least understand the human side of this event, the executive council wanted to get on with it as fast as possible."
     
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  5. Tiburia

    Tiburia Well-Known Member

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    "Impatience and eagerness are indeed aspects of the human condition," responded Kephalas, "But the defining element of humanity are our relationships of trust, for we are social beings. Surely you must know that, by the time FALEK turned to the Caledonians, negotiations between us and your compatriots' company had reached such a point that we were essentially assured that the contract would go through and construction would begin. We had, in fact, reserved several docks for construction, hired additional hands and made several preliminary moves to acquire raw materials. This is without mentioning the rather costly legal services that the negotiations and repeated drafts entailed. To put it rather simply, we had develop a relationship of considerable trust with FALEK, and based on that relationship relied on them to conclude the formalities on their end and finalise the deal. Instead, we received notice that they would be turning to the Caledonians through a news report, not even a privileged communication, and to this day still have no formal communication on their part regarding this matter. It would be rather safe to say, therefore, that our reliance was to our detriment. This agreement with FALEK was the largest agreement of a Pelasgian firm with any company from your country to date, and indeed the first of a noteworthy scale. Surely you could see how such an interaction would prejudice us in the future; if your state cannot constrain a company which, for all intents and purposes, should be operating under its direction, one can only imagine how detrimental our reliance on any entirely independent Sâh'li firms could turn out to be."
     
  6. Friuli

    Friuli Well-Known Member

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    "the long-established.. let's say soft independence of FALEK was earned through years of successful projects and achievements made by the appointed leaders of the group. To assure international competitiveness our government needs to have faith in the abilities of the council, you can't expect the central bureaucracy to approve each and every move of the group, it would hamper the future of our economy that relies heavily on the success of FALEK. The ability to make swift decisions and so finalize more profitable agreements is the basis of their independence, therefore we can't condemn the group's choice; furthermore your decision to invest money in the project before signing a contract can be considered, from an external point of view, as irrational as our switch of partner. I say we have handled this situation badly on the diplomatic side, as much as you did on the economic side, we share responsibility for this accident, but the Fàlthaikshadom is ready and willing to step up and carry the international burden if it means restoring our good relation with you, the government has many project for the future, our navy needs to be renovated, we need stronger and up-to-date vessels to protect our strategic interests in the Hamar sea, and although we will need more time, as our military budget is already focused on other projects at the moment, we would eventually need a partner; our cooperation with Caledonia, and the Aurarian investments in the FALEK group have proved that we can rely on many nations for that purpose, but the historic prestige of the Pelasgian shipyards, along with their closer distance to our shores, makes you a more interesting ally.
    Do you really want to lose billions of ièir in contracts with the defence ministry of the Fàlthaikshadom in the future, just for losing some petty trading boats?" concluded Ûshoar, with a kind smile on his face.
     
  7. Tiburia

    Tiburia Well-Known Member

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    "Controlling every minor deal and controlling billion-dollar deals are two very different things, Honourable Ambassador. Lord knows the Pelasgian State does not control every decision Pelasgian Shipyards makes, but if I were to act in such a way on such a major deal without the input of the Prefect here that would be... highly irregular. Now us to our responsibility for the economic deal, I hardly need to tell you that it is standard practice to make procurements for major projects in our trade before the projects begin, particularly since FALEK wanted to work to start as soon as possible. The fact of our significant investment is merely indicative of the degree to which the negotiations had progressed, to the point where signing the actual contract was seen as a formality. For their part, I am certain FALEK had made preparations, though they were likely able to redirect them towards the Caledonians, thereby avoiding great loss."

    Kephalas paused to take a sip of water, while discretely reading a note passed to him by the representative of the Pegasus Group.

    "Alas, we are not unreasonable people, Honourable Ambassador. We find no aim in holding grudges, particularly as Christians, when our mutual benefit could be ensured through letting bygones be bygones. But for that to take place we need assurances of a nature beyond that of simple promises. You speak of multi-billion dollar deals and projects that could offset any prejudice to our company, both of a strictly economic nature and of a moral kind. But are these assurances of the kind you would be willing to put on paper, Honourable Master Ambassador?"
     
  8. Friuli

    Friuli Well-Known Member

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    Ûshoar took a sip of tea and nodded in agreement throughout the first part of Kephalas response.
    "I do not know any precise date these contracts will be requested, what I do have the power to tell is that the Council Of International Affairs, and the Defence Ministry, are willing to sign a binding declaration that will designate the Pelasgian ship-building companies as the sole possible non-Shaeoiumlan producers of military vessels for the Sâh'li Navy for the whole duration of 2019. also, if this resolution was to be accepted the FALEK executive council will also provide a compensation of 10,000,000 ièir to each of the present CEOs, a merely symbolic gesture to prove the absence of any resentment and close this bad chapter in our history"
     

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