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Eiffelland

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03JUL2020
National elections: Christiandemocrats largest; Sociodemocrats, Environmentalists and Pacifist-Socialists loose 3%


In yesterday’s national elections, the Christiandemocratic party of Chancellor Rheinfeld became the largest fraction in both the Unionstag and the four Landestage. The second-largest party in terms of votes are the Social-Liberals, followed by the market liberals. Compared with the elections in the beginning of June, the Sociodemocrats lost 2 percentpoints of the votes, and the Environmentalists and Pacific-Socialists 0.5 percentpoint each.
It is difficult to compare this election with previous ones, because this is the first time that really nationwide elections are held for the Unionstag, and because of the voting system change in Retalia (from first-past-the-post to proportional representation per province). However, one thing is clear: The Sociodemocrats have definitvely lost their status as one of the big two in Continental Eiffelland, Helgoland and Rügen, while the Christiandemocrats still dominate the political landscape (even with only 20 to 25% of the votes).
The Eiffelloretalian voting system is a complex version of proportional representation per part of the country. There are a 800 seats to vote for. Helgoland and Rügen are assigned 50 seats each. The remaining 700 seats are divided over the six provinces of Continental Eiffelland and eight provinces of Retalia, based on the number of cast votes, where each province gets 30 seats as a minimum.

The election results for the Unionstag are the following.

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Despite a lower amount of votes, the Market Liberals obtained more seats than the Social Liberals. The same, but then more dramaticly, happened to the Sociodemocrats and the Conservative Christians, where the Sociodemocrats obtained more votes than the Conservative Christians (although only slightly more votes) but the Conservative Christians obtained no less than 10 seats more than the Sociodemocrats. This is due to two facts. Helgoland and Rügen, whose votes have more weight at national level because they were assigned more seats than they percentually have inhabitants at national level, tend to vote more conservatively than the remainder of the Union. Furthermore, exactly the four provinces of Retalia and Continental Eiffelland that fell under the 30 seats burden and, therefore, were assigned 30 seats, are the four most conservative provinces of Retalia and Continental Eiffelland. As a result, the votes cast on the Conservative Christians weighted more than the votes cast on the Sociodemocrats.
It already sometimes happened in Former Eiffelland that the election system resulted in less seats for one party than for another one, but this difference was never as dramatic as currently between the Sociodemocrats and the Conservative Christians. Politicians from all political parties already indicated that this is an important flaw in the system and should be corrected. One modification could be that the minimum number of seats per province in Retalia and Continental Eiffelland is lowered; however, that would diminish the influence of the smaller provinces on Union politics. In any case, it can’t be different than that the people who wrote the constitution change foresaw that this could happen: The minimum number of seats per province is not determined in the constitution, but in a separate election law that can be changed by twothirds of the votes in the Unionstag and the Landestage, without having to hold new elections for a constitution change.
A reduction of the seats of Helgoland and Rügen is not on the table. The governments of both Länder already voiced their objections to such a reduction; furthermore, a constitution change would be needed.
The loss in votes for the Sociodemocrats, Environmentalists and Pacifist-Socialists compared with the elections on 2 June have been investigated as well by means of election polls. The Kadikistani intervention in Crotobaltislavonia is the main result. This increased the fear for the Rurikgrad Pact and led to calls for defence budget increases. The fact that the Sociodemocrats, Environmentalists and Pacificst-Socialists immediately objected against extending the armed forces (as phrased by Minister of Internal Affairs Rüdiger Zimmermann (Sociodemocrat): “When we turn Eiffelland-Retalia into an authoritarian militarist country, we exactly destroy what we want to fight for”) made voters turn to other political parties. More in general, the Kadikistani intervention in Crotobaltislavonia led to a turn to the right: Voters went from the Christiandemocrats to the Conservative Christians, voters went from the Socioliberals to the Christiandemocrats and the Market Liberals, voters from the Sociodemocrats and Environmentalists went to the Socioliberals and Christiandemocrats, voters from the Pacifist-Socialists went to the Sociodemocrats, and the Far Rights gained votes from everyone but the Environmentalists and Pacifist-Socialists. The far-left parties and the Post-Delegationists did not experience any consequences to their votes, but their shares in the votes have already diminished to their regular voters.

At Union level, there are no two-party coalitions possible. Several three-party coalitions are possible though. A continuation of the current coaltion between Christiandemocrats, Sociodemocrats and Socioliberals would have 411 seats; however, given the current unrest in the Sociodemocratic party and its stance towards extending the armed forces, it is questionable whether coalition negotiations between these parties would succeed.
The combination between Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Social Liberals would have the largest majority, with 449 seats. This combination would be the easiest to negotiate out, because the stances on several important topics (like the armed forces) do not differ much. Possible problem would be the stance towards economic support packages, at which the Market Liberals look with suspicion.
There are two possible combinations with the Conservative Christians: One with the Christiandemocrats and the Market Liberals, and one with the Christiandemocrats and the Social Liberals. Those combinations are not on the table as first choice, however. The Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals and Conservative Christians find each other easily w.r.t. the defence budgets and economic support packages, but the Conservative Christians’ demands regarding prohibiting the spread of information on homosexuality and transgenderism as well as prohibiting abortions meet a clear veto from the Social Liberals, while the Christiandemocrats and the Market Liberals are not happy with these demands, either.
A coalition containing the Far Rights is only a theoretical possibility. Possible from a mathematical point of view, but all political parties except the Market Liberals explicitly banned the Far Rights from coalition negotiations, even if, like Chancellor Rheinfeld phrased it, “we have to form a twelve-party coalition to exclude them”.

There were also elections for the Landestage in Retalia, Continental Eiffelland, Helgoland and Rügen. The results for Retalia are shown below.

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Two three-party coalitions would be possible in Retalia. The most likely one is between Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals and Market Liberals. The other one is between Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals and Conservative Christians, but that will be unlikely. A four-party coalition between Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals, Sociodemocrats and Environmentalists would be possible as well, but it would be difficult to get an agreement between these four parties.

The results for Continental Eiffelland are shown below.

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Also in Continental Eiffelland, the coalition between Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals and Market Liberals is the most likely one. Other possible coalitions would be between Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Conservative Christians, as well as a four-party coalition between Christiandemocrats, Social Liberals, Sociodemocrats and Environmentalists. However, the latter two calitions would meet the same problems as in Retalia.

The results for Helgoland are shown below.

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Like in the beginning of June, the Christiandemocrats lost their absolute majority. For the first time since Helgoland became autonomous, a coalition has to be formed. Possible coalitions are between Christiandemocrats and Conservative Christians, between Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Social-Liberals, and between Christiandemocrats, Sociodemocrats and Social-Liberals.
Godebald Modrow, who was the political leader of the Christiandemocrats in Helgoland, indicated that he would step down as political leader of the Christiandemocrats, as well as Minister-President of Helgoland.

Finally, the results for Rügen are shown below.

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The coalition between Christiandemocrats and Sociodemocrats lost its majority. The Christiandemocrats could form two-party coalitions with the Market Liberals and the Conservative Christians, or a three-party coalition with the Sociodemocrats and the Social Liberals. The Social Liberals rejected the possibility of such a three-party coalition though, following the principle that “we don’t want to give a coalition a majority again after it lost its majority in the elections”.


03JUL2020
Last school day before Summer holidays


As per tradition in Eiffelland and Retalia, the Friday before the first Saturday of July is the last school day before the Summer Holidays. The schools are closed for two months, till the first Monday of September, the traditional first school day of the new school year. Exception to that rule is for the people who graduated this school year from secondary education or the Berufsschule, and turned 18 this school year or will turn 18 on or before 31 July; those people have to start with their 2 year period of society service from 1 August onwards.
New this year is, that people who graduated from secondary education, turned 17 this school year and will turn 18 on or before 31 May next year, can already start with the civil part of society service and will start in the military part of society service after they turn 18. This is to give people who would normally go to the Hochschule after absolving the Realschule (the second-highest level of secondary education in Eiffelland-Retalia) the opportunity to avoid having to serve as soldiers without rank after having failed the short education for conscript officer. The reason for this decision is to only accept people aged 21 or above for the short education for conscript officer, and to determine already during the examinations for military service whether someone is fit to become conscript officer. The demands for serving as conscript officer have been raised this year, meaning that only a small number of the people with Hochschule or University degrees can serve the military part of society service as officer.
Also new this year is, that the people who graduated from the Gymnasium (the highest level of secondary education in Eiffelland-Retalia) and have been deemed fit to serve as conscript officer, can opt for going to University first and do the society service after they graduated from University.


03JUL2020
Royal Family stops using military uniforms as evening dress


The Royal Family announces that it will stop using military uniforms as evening dress. The reason is, that members of the Royal Family will not serve as officers any more by default when they do military service. Exception to this rule is for members of the Royal Family who serve as professional soldiers, like currently Royal Prince Johann, who is Major in the Eiffelloretalian Air Force.
The Royal Family emphasizes that this decision is not an expression of any kind of displeasure about the decision by the Eiffelloretalian Armd Forces to not let Royal Princes serve as officers by default, but only when they are deemed fit to serve as officers: “We realise completely that the decision to let a person serve as an officer must be based on the person’s fitness to serve as such and not on his or her ancestry. However, we are of the opinion that somebody who did not serve as an officer cannot wear an officer uniform. So if a Royal Prince fails the conscript officers education, he cannot wear an officer uniform. In order to avoid the situation that the only Prince in a dress suit appears on a gala as someone who failed in an achievement, all the members of the Royal Family, except people serving as professional soldiers, will wear evening dress (like dress suits and tuxedos) for evening events and day dress (like jacquets) for day events.”
 

Eiffelland

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Unionsgerichtshof confirms sentences to 10 years imprisonment for pirates hi-jacking incident of February 2019

The trial against the hi-jackers of the February 2019 incident in the Retalian Sea has come to an end. In July last year, the Corte del Circolo Vottinasco sentenced the hi-jackers to 12 years imprisonment. Their barristers decided to appeal the case, saying that "the court of Vottinasco did not take the violent way in which the hi-jackers were arrested, which should have had a mitigating effect on the punishment, into account". The appeal case took place before the Corte della Provinza Wurano in November last year, and the sentence was reduced to 9 years imprisonment. The public prosecutor considered this punishment too low, and appealed the case before the Corte Statale di Retalia. This appeal case took place in March of this year, and the sentence was increased to 10 years. Today the Unionsgerichtshof in Altburg confirmed this sentence.
Unlike the lower courts of justice, the Unionsgerichtshof only judges whether the lower courts followed the correct path to the sentence; if not, the complete trial is redone before a provincial court of a different Land. In this case, the judges confirmed the sentence by the Corte Statale di Retalia. The pirates will be released on 22 February 2029.


New satellite to investigate sun launched from Plauen

The launching of a rocket is always a popular event in Rügen. When such a launch is planned during the Summer holidays, an extra number of people pay a visit to Eiffelland-Retalia's rocket launching site near Plauen in Rügen. This year the Summer holidays started with a rocket launch. As a result, many people planned their vacation in the first two or three weeks of July. "Sun, sea beach and a rocket launch, all on one island," like a Rügener camping owner stated.


OOC: I think that this covers the February 2019 hi-jackers incident. I never thought about it, until Touzen mentioned it in his newsthread. In this way, I hope I made clear what happened on this front.
 

Eiffelland

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Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Socioliberals negotiate at national level
Coalition negotiations in full swing


While the schools and universities celebrate the Summer holidays, the politicians are at work. The formation of the governments is in full swing. The negotiations are conducted by several teams in parallel: While one team is negotiating a deal on public health, another team is negotiating about economics, a third team about defence etc. This is an Eiffellandian tradition that started in 2010; before that, the political leaders conducted the negotiations on their own, leading to long-lasting cabinet formations, while often the political leaders were also demissionary cabinet members who had to govern as well. Now that the negotations are conducted in parallel by different teams, the negotiations are conducted much faster. Especially with the current tensions with the Rurikgrad Pact and the situation in Pelasgia, it is advantageous that the demissionary Ministers have their hands free to handle the international situation.
Currently, the Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Socioliberals negotiate for forming the national coalition. As it stands now, Roland Rheinfeld will continue as Chancellor, and Gianluigi di Gravesano Carone will probably continue as Minister of Foreign Affairs while becoming Vice-Chancellor. It is rumoured that the Ministry of Finance will go to the Market Liberals, and that the Minister of Finance will become Vice-Chancellor as well. That would mean that Jacques de Chambéry would become the new Minister of Finance.
The coalition negotiations are also ongoing in the Länder. The Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Socioliberals are negotiating in Retalia and Eiffelland as well. In Rügen, the ruling coalition of Christiandemocrats and Sociodemocrats lost the majority; the Christiandemocrats and Market Liberals are negotiating there. The situation in Helgoland is complex. The Christiandemocrats lost 15 seats and its absolute majority. The reason is the legalisation of homosexual intercourse last year, because of which 1/3 of the Christiandemocratic voters switched from the Christiandemocrats to the Conservative Christians. Now the Conservative Christians are the winners of the elections, while the Christiandemocrats are still the largest fraction. At this moment, discussions are going on inside the Helgolander Christiandemocrats; one part of the party wants to coalide with the Conservative Christians and abolish the legalisation of homosexual intercourse, while the other part wants to uphold the legalisation of homosexual intercourse and, therefore form a coalition with the Social Liberals and either the Market Liberals or the Sociodemocrats. This discussion also determines who will become the new political leader of the Christiandemocrats, and with that the new Minister-President of Helgoland.
 

Eiffelland

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Speed limits imposed on motorways in Continental Eiffelland

In a measure to save oil, the government imposes a 130 km/h speed limit on the motorways of Continental Eiffelland. As a result of the withdrawal of the Kadikistani SEZ and the tensions in Pelasgia, the oil prices are rising, and with that also already the fuel prices at the pump. The national government, who is currently acting as the government of the Land Eiffelland, indicated that it wants to anticipate on possible oil shortages. Meanwhile, the government is actively buying oil on the international market outside of its oil deals with Pelasgia. Rumours also go that negotiations with Azraq are ongoing.


Armed forces abolish possibility for conscripts to serve military service as officers

The armed forces indicated that the possibility for conscripts to serve military service as officers will be cancelled. As a spokesperson of the armed forces said: "In earlier days, people who absolved the Gymnasium served as officers almost by default. However, now that about 30% of the people going into military service have the Abitur, we can only let 8% of them serve as officers. Selecting the right ones have become a logistical nightmare. Furthermore, an 18 year old from the Berufsschule I is not going to accept orders from an 18 year old with Abitur, let alone a 21 year old with Hochschulabschluss. Letting the people selected for the officer jobs finish University first before serving is an option, but then we have to determine at 17 to 18 years of age who will be fit for serving as officer at age 23 or 24. So much can happen in those five or six years. Furthermore, those 8% with Abitur who were selected for the officers' jobs will have to go to University at age 18, in-between people aged 20 who already did society service. So from now on, all people absolving the Gymnasium will serve society service after having obtained the Abitur."


Military service also for girls?

Things are leaking from the coalition negotiations. One rumour that goes around is that the military service will be extended to girls as well. At this moment, women are allowed to serve as professional soldiers in the Eiffelloretalian armed forces, but girls are exempted from military service at this moment. In order to increase the people serving, an option is to conscript girls as well. Another option on the table is a third professional land army, but that would take time to fill up. Fact is, that many people are recruited for the military academies. Also the number of people recruited as pilots is increasing.
 
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Eiffelland

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Police increase guarding of party offices of Marxist-Leninovist, National-Syndicalist and Trotskist parties

In all parts of Eiffelland-Retalia, the police intensified the guarding of the party offices of the Marxist-Leninovist, National-Syndicalist and Trotskist party offices. Demissionary Minister of Internal Affairs Rüdiger Zimmermann indicated: "Even in the current worldwide situation, the freedom of opinion and the freedom of speech must be maintained, because exactly that is one of the pillars under the democratic society, and with that under the society of Eiffelland-Retalia. Furthermore, freedom of opinion and freedom of speech are exactly two of the most important things the ODS wants to defend. This means that it must remain possible to voice all opinions, even the impopular ones, even if the people voicing these opinions are considered dangerous or enemies of the country. Let it be clear that Eiffelland-Retalia will act swiftly and adequately when certain groups in our society take the step to violently imposing their thoughts upon the nation, but 1. that is the task of the police, the USD and the armed forces, and 2. as long as these certain groups will refrain from violence, sabotage, espionage or anything else that is disadvantageous to the nation, there is no reason to act against them. This is also a warning to certain other groups in our society: We will not tolerate that they will take actions against the people they consider dangerous or abject. The state has the monopoly on violence in Eiffelland-Retalia."


Eiffelland-Retalia offers humanitary aid to Pelasgia

In response to the unrest in the Pelasgian Empire, the demissionary government of Eiffelland-Retalia decided to send humanitary aid to its southern neighbour. Demissionary Chancellor Rheinfeld: "There is a humanitary disaster unfolding in the Pelasgian Empire. We cannot sit back and watch this happen. We must act. We will send food packages and medical aid to the Pelasgian Empire to help out all the wounded people."
 

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Helgolander Christiandemocrats split; Alexander Mirkovitsch new political leader CDP-Helgoland

The discussions inside the Helgolander Christiandemocrats have ended in a dramatic way: A quarter of the party members split off to join the Conservative Christians. This also accounts for eight members of the Christiandemocratic fraction of the Helgolander Landestag. Five of them step down completely as Landestag members; their seats will be filled with the next five people on the election list of the Chrisiandemocrats. The other three remain in the Landestag and join the fraction of the Conservative Christians; their seats will be filled with people on the election list of the Christiandemocrats when they die or leave the Landestag during the current legislation period.
The good news for the new political leader and probably new Minister-President of Helgoland Alexander Mirkovitsch is that the Christiandemocrats still have enough seats to form the coalition of first choice: With the Market Liberals and the Social-liberals. This will also be good news for the Christiandemocrats, Socioliberals and Market Liberals at Union-level, because then it is not needed to close compromises on the currently most difficult topic between the centre-left and leftwing parties on the one hand and the centrist, centre-right and rightwing parties on the other hand: The defence budget.


Coalition negotations in Retalia, Continental Eiffelland and Rügen finished; parties hold congresses to vote about coalition agreements

White smoke in Trier, Altburg and Bergen: The coalition negotiations for the Land Governments are finished. Rügen will get a coalition between the Christiandemocrats and the Market Liberals; Retalia and Continental Eiffelland get coalitions between the Christiandemocrats, the Social-Liberals and the Market Liberals. Magda Rädermacher, currently Minister of Education and Culture at Union-level, will become Minister-President of Continental Eiffelland; her role as Minister of Education and Culture will be taken over by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Marina Dahles. Eduardo Cossiga will become Minister-President of Retalia. And finally, Rheinhard Schmidt will continue as Minister-President of Rügen.


Coalition negotiations at Union-level still ongoing; agreement expected by end of week

The coalition negotiations at Union-level are still ongoing, but they are conducted in a good athmosphere. An agreement is expected by the end of next week. Then party congresses will be held in the first weekend of August. When the congresses of the Christiandemocrats, the Social-Liberals and the Market Liberals approve the coalition agreement, the new government will be appointed in the first week of August.
 

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Eiffelland-Retalia opens borders for refugees from Kadikistan who are persecuted for their religions

Eiffelland-Retalia has a tradition of hospitality for political refugees. Of course with attention to the possibillity that spies can be channelled into the country under the disguise of a political refugee, but the hospitality remains. In 2018, Crotobaltislavonian refugees were admitted to Eiffelland-Retalia during the civil war over there. Gays, lesbians and transgenders from countries where they are subject to persecution find a safe haven in Eiffelland-Retalia. Now that Kadikistan started an anti-religion campaign, the government decided to open the border for Kadikistani who are persecuted for their religions. An official of the Immigrationsamt indicated: "Eiffelland-Retalia has a tradition of freedom of religion. 'Jeder soll nach seiner Façon selig werden,' like King Lothar VII said in the 18th century. Then it is not more than logical that we take up people who are persecuted for their beliefs. Of course in the case of Kadikistani refugees we have to be extra careful for spies among the refugees, and we will be."
 

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Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Social-Liberals reach coalition agreement at Union-level

A meeting at top level last Thursday closed the coalition negotiations. Demissionary Chancellor Rheinfeld, Demissionary Minister Di Gravesano-Carone and De Chambéry gave a small announcement to the press that the Christiandemocrats, Market Liberals and Social-Liberals reached a coalition agreement. Party congresses to approve the coalition agreement will be held in the weekend of 1 and 2 August. After that, the real forming of the new cabinet will take place. It is expected that the Cabinet Rheinfeld II will be sworn in on Friday 7 August.


Party congresses approve coalition agreements for Continental Eiffelland, Retalia and Rügen; negotiations in Helgoland promising

The party congresses of the coalition-forming parties in Continental Eiffelland, Retalia and Rügen approved the respective coalition agreements. Now the formation of the state governments in those states can start. The new state governments are expected to be appointed this Friday, after which they can start governing.
The negotiations in Helgoland are still ongoing, but the negotiators are positive.
 
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