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Pelasgia

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Major Pelasgian news outlets with editions intended for foreign audiences typically include:
  • The Pelasgian Broadcasting Corporation (PERT), Pelasgia's public broadcaster, which maintains an international radio, TV, and internet news and media service in the form of PERT World;
  • O Propontios Logothetis, Pelasgia's primary newspaper of record, which publishes an Engellsh edition in print and online since the 1990s; and
  • The Propontis Tribune, an independent Engellsh-language newspaper published by Engellsh-speaking expatriates in Propontis since the 1970s.
PERT typically publishes concise reports on specific, important issues and news pieces. O Propontios Logothetis generally includes a variety of articles combining moderate length and depth on various issues and stories. Finally, the Propontis Tribune generally publishes in-depth explainers on important events or broader policy trends.

Broadcasting and online media in Pelasgia are regulated by the State Oversight Committee for Telecommunications and Broadcasting (E.K.E.TIL.RA.). Likewise, print media are regulated by the State Censorship Board (K.E.L.).
 
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Pelasgia

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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
| PELASGIA | HIMYAR | WORLD | WEATHER | SPORTS | OPINION | SPECIAL

Government rejects privatisation plan for PelPetrol, PEFA
Propontis, 19 July 2022 | The Editorial Board

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A state-owned oil refinery in the Propontine suburb of Nea Lykaonia
Source: Propontis News Agency

The Government of Pelasgia has rejected a plan submitted to it by opposition lawmakers from the liberal conservative New Progressive Party (NPK) to open up the ownership of Pelasgian Petroleum (PelPetrol) and the Pelasgian Natural Gas Corporation (PEFA) to private investors through the stock market. The two corporations, which manage Pelasgian extraction, refinement, production, supply, and export of oil and natural gas and their byproducts, are under the sole ownership of the State, thereby granting the Pelasgian Government a virtual monopoly over the two valuable natural resources. Propontis' rejection of the proposal is thus likely twofold: on the one hand, 2022 has so far seen record profits from both companies, which the government can reinvest into other sectors of the economy or retain for use in its own budget—as in past years, the government has opted for a mix of the two approaches. On the other hand, ownership and control over an oil and gas monopoly in one of the world's largest producers for both resources grants Propontis unparalleled diplomatic leverage.

This was seen in recent months, when PelPetrol and PEFA increased their production to mitigate global oil and natural gas price increases, in order to counteract the effects of the Tarusan and Frankish incursion into Himyar—an incursion which Propontis has long viewed as an unwelcome intrusion into its own regional sphere, as well as a repeat of historic Gallo-Germanian imperialism on the continent. Propontis also granted cheaper oil to @Tianlong, as a means of boosting diplomatic relations between itself and Europe's largest economy (as well as a fellow opponent of the Gothic Sea Pact's Himyari adventure). With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that Government of Pelasgia would seek to retain its control over the two state corporations. Indeed, even if incumbent Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos were to be replaced by the leader of any other major party, it is unlikely that this policy would ever change. Put simply, ownership of PelPetrol and PEFA is simply too good an asset for any Pelasgian leader to give up. [...]


PM tells young Pelasgians to "marry, reproduce"
Propontis, 19 July 2022 | Georgios Papadakis

In a speech he made during a visit to the Imperial University of Propontis (VPP), incumbent Constitutional Democratic Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos told young Pelasgians to "marry and reproduce", sparking a wave of reactions and comments, both positive and negative. "You represent the cream of the crop of the next generation of Pelasgians," Mr. Angelopoulos told students, before adding: "It is therefore your foremost duty to the country to form families, which consists of marrying and reproducing." Mr. Angelopoulos has long promoted nationalistic and natalistic policies, as Pelasgia’s conservative but increasingly urbaniser and prosperous society has seen its fertility rate drop in recent years. According to the latest census data, between 2011 and 2021, the country’s fertility rate fell from 2.36 to 2.14, just above replacement level. Still, Mr. Angelopoulos' comments drew criticism from many left-wing, progressive, and socially liberal students and netizens, who posted memes of the Prime Minister brandishing a gun, with the caption: "I'm not asking anymore: have sex." Mr. Angelopoulos' supporters were quick to appropriate these images, creating a memetic wave that extended beyond Pelasgia's shores. [...]


PM, ODI announce plan for 9 more nuclear reactors
Thermi, 18 July 2022 | Kyriakos Panagiotopoulos

In a press conference in Thermi, Pelasgia's second largest city and a hub of electric production, Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos held a joint conference with executives of the Public Power Corporation (ODI), Pelasgia's nationwide power utility company, to announce the opening of 9 more nuclear power plants, with at least 3 being open before the winter. Pelasgia has long relied upon nuclear power as a clean and reliable source of energy, despite its significant fossil fuel deposits, considering nuclear power to be both more stable and more environmentally friendly than fossil fuel sources.

Indeed, ODI itself was formed in the 1980s with a view to uniting various local power companies in order to better coordinate Pelasgia's transition to nuclear power. [...]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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Government rescinds official recognition of Catholic Church in response to Pope's radical policies
Editorial Board | 21/07, 10:00 | Upd: 25 minutes ago
Tags: [Featured] [News] [Religion] [Politics]

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The entrance to the Tiburan Catholic Cathedral and Legation in Propontis


In response to the Tiburan Catholic Pope's radical policies, the Government of Pelasgia has withdrawn the Catholic Church's designation as an "officially recognised minority faith" under the Act respecing minority religions and confessions. More specifically, the Government has taken issue with the Pope's recognition of female clergy and homosexuality within the Catholic Church, both of which the Orthodox Church and the Pelasgian State consider to be antithetical to fundamental Christian dogma. By depriving the Catholic Church of its recognition under the Act, the Government would reduce it to the legal status of a "sect"; under this regime, the Catholic Church would lose its tax exemption and several other legal protections (such as the legal privilege against forcing priests to testify to the content of confessions, or the right to internally manage its own affairs and run its own ecclesiastical courts for its clergy). Additionally, the Tiburan Church would no longer be able to take part in the joint management of certain religious sites, while Catholic monasteries in Pelasgia would lose their legal status and protections.

This move is highly politically charged, and it likely comes at the personal initiative of Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos, whose own conservative, natalistic, and traditionalist agenda directly conflicts with the current Pope's message and reforms. The governing Constitutional Democratic Party (KSD), and its junior coalition partner, the United Loyalist Party (IKN), both endorse social conservatism to varying degrees, while both Mr. Angelopoulos and the leader of the IKN, Athanasios Lazarides, are also members of the controversial National Renewal Forum (SEA), a hard-right civil society group involving many prominent Pelasgians from all sectors of society. SEA has long fought for harder enforcement of traditional gender roles and against the legal recognition of homosexuality, with many going so far as to claim that it was behind the recognition of the previous KSD leader, Anastasios Kostarakis, who had caused uproar within the Pelasgian right by proposing increased legal recognition and protections for same-sex couples. The highly influential and powerful Pelasgian Orthodox Church, which is presently headed by arch-conservative Ecumenical Patriarch Serapheim III of Propontis, was also likely involved in the decision, as it has long pressured the government against any concessions to more liberal religious groups.

On the political front, the decision seems to have consolidated the governing KSD-IKN coalition, whose base appears solidly behind the reprisal step, while it has clearly alienated the socially progressive Radical Liberal Party (KRF) and the liberal conservative New Progressive Party (NPK). The Socialist Workers' Party of Pelasgia (SEKP), the most left-wing mainstream party in the Empire's political spectrum, is mostly against the decision, though a significant segment of lawmakers affiliated with the more traditional, working-class left of the party appeared to back the decision, owing to their socially conservative voter base. As SEKP has always functioned as a coalition, it allowed dissent, though the party's leadership was decidedly against the government's decision. Civil society was equally polarised, with religious and conservative groups backing the government, and minority rights groups opposing it. A court challenge by the Catholic Archdiocese of Propontis appears likely, though it is unclear whether it would bear fruit, given that the KSD's decades of nearly-uninterrupted time in power have given it much time to "pack" the country's high courts.


| ΔΕΙΤΕ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ
- 2022 local elections: The latest polls broken down by District and Municipality
- 2 Years since the Annexation of Philistaea: How the region returned to the Empire, and the issues that still linger
- Wildfire near Selymbria: Situation under control, says Fire Service, urges travelers to avoid Motorway A6
- Fortress Petralona: Imperial Gendarmerie crack down on people-smuggling networks on southern border

For all the latest news from Pelasgia and the world, visit .


© 2022 Pelasgian Broadcasting Corporation (PERT), S.A. | Πελασγικὴ Ἐταιρεία Ῥαδιοφωνίας καὶ Τηλεοράσεως (Π.Ε.Ρ.Τ.) Α.Ε.
 

Pelasgia

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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
| PELASGIA | HIMYAR | WORLD | WEATHER | SPORTS | OPINION | SPECIAL

Omnibus bill passes legislature, awaiting Imperial Assent
Propontis, 12 August 2022 | The Editorial Board

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The Great Palace of Propontis, as seen from the Imperial Gardens
Source: Propontis News Agency

The omnibus bill put forth by the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos has cleared both houses of Parliament, and it is now awaiting Imperial Assent. The omnibus bill (officially, Law No. 52/2022, "Respecting the protection of marriage and of the family, and the promotion thereof") owes its popular name to its touching upon numerous areas of law, due to the wide birth of its provisions. Among other changes, the law would introduce a partial abortion ban (except in cases of rape, incest, risk to the mother's life or health, etc.), as well as a bachelor tax for men aged thirty and older and women aged twenty-five and older. Moreover, the bill would re-criminalise adultery, while divorce by mutual consent, limiting divorce decrees to traditional grounds (adultery, non-consummation, abuse, abandonment, etc.) and to cases of "irretrievable breakdown in the marital relationship", the requirements for which have been raised. By contrast, the bill also offers generous rewards for couples to marry young and have more than two children, including tax reductions and credits, low-interest and forgivable loans, priority for social services and other fiscal incentives; simultaneously, the social benefits granted to couples with less than two children are limited.

The wide variety of radical measures proposed by the new law have sparked great debate across the country, though discussions surrounding the bill were temporarily muted due to the attempt on the Prime Minister's life earlier this month, as well as the ongoing diplomatic crisis with the papacy, which is seen as interfering in internal Pelasgian matters. It was partly due to this effect, as well as the wide sympathy generated for Mr. Angelopoulos following the attempt on his life, that the omnibus bill easily passed the Boule of Representatives and the Senate, as the opposition feared that offering too heated a response to its provisions would paint them as siding with the country's external opponents, as well as those who tried to take the Prime Minister's life. By contrast, now that Mr. Angelopoulos is safely out of the hospital, the opposition have launched a latch ditch effort to convince the Emperor not to sign the bill into law, by staging peaceful protests near the Great Palace of Propontis. Given that the bill passed both houses with a clear majority, relying on the governing coalition's votes, it is doubtful that demonstrators will succeed in convincing the Throne to override the legislature.

Still, many opponents of the bill place their hopes in a judicial challenge, or a series thereof, hoping to weaken proposed law's various provisions gradually. [...]


PM faces internal criticism over perceived authoritarianism
Propontis, 12 August 2022 | Nikolaos Kolyzos

In spite of a rowdy and controversial term as premier, Mr. Angelopoulos has always had the ability to rely on the discipline and cohesiveness of his own party, the Constitutional Democratic Party (KSD) to support him throughout his tenure. Nevertheless, that unity appears to be slowly dissipating in face of widening divergences of opinion regarding both foreign and domestic policy. [...] Even more robust was criticism offered by KSD members and parliamentarians regarding Mr. Angelopoulos' domestic record. One prominent backbencher, Philippos Andreades of Propontis, characterised the PM's style of governance as "authoritarian, bordering on unconstitutional", while lambasting the PM's "blatant disregard for institutional norms and his regular use of extraordinary tools such as proscription for otherwise minor political disputes". Mr. Andreades pointed to the recent row with the Catholic Church as something that could have been resolved with normal judicial tools, but was instead "improperly elevated to a matter of national security, for no apparent reason" (@Radilo). [...]


FM unveils details of deal with Tarusa
Thermi, 12 August 2022 | Eleni Soteriou

While addressing a class of graduates at the International Relations school of the University of Thermi, Foreign Minister Count Theophrastos Palaiologos outlined the details of Pelasgia’s agreement with @Tarusa regarding the formation of an international association of petroleum-producing states. According to the deal, in exchange for adjusting its output of oil to match the price level set by the association, the Empire would see its trade restrictions with Tarusa relaxed to adjust for potential losses in trade in other sectors with oil buyers. Among these shifts is a purchase of steel from Tarusa rather than Tianlong at competitive prices. [...] Furthermore, the two Empires agreed to collaborate in missionary efforts in Hajr and Al-Magrab. […] The Count maintained that the agreement is mostly economic and does not reflect a broader shift in Pelasgia’s long-standing policy of neutrality, as evidenced by the Empire’s recent accession to the Nom-Aligned Organisation (@Ebria). In his view, the agreement does present détente with Kremlyov, without necessitating alignment. […]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
| PELASGIA | HIMYAR | WORLD | WEATHER | SPORTS | OPINION | SPECIAL

With omnibus bill enacted, PM goes on the offensive
Propontis, 14 August 2022 | The Editorial Board

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The New Senate House, which houses the Imperial Parliament at the edge of the Great Palace
Source: Propontis News Agency

The omnibus bill put forth by incumbent Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos has been signed law by His Majesty Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes. This development presents a major political victory for Mr. Angelopoulos, who has thus been able to make good on a significant campaign promise to his conservative electorate, particularly such constituencies as multi-child families and religious conservatives. Even greater is the symbolic significance of the new law, which was enacted just a day before the Feast of the Dormition, one of Pelasgia’s most important religions holidays.

Having left the opposition in a defensive position, the PM has decided to answer criticism within his own party by going on the offensive. Specifically, the PM had aired reforms to further reign in primary education and kindergartens in private schools by limiting their ability to diverge from the state curriculum on historical and religious matters, while also announcing new subsidies to promote Pelasgian films and cultural content to limit “foreign influences”. [...] As a caveat to these measures, the PM has also resurfaced the idea of adding an interpretive statement to the Constitution that would ban parties from actively seeking to abolish the monarchy and the state religion as “fundamental parts of the constitutional regime”, a measure no doubt meant to force the Radical Liberals and the Socialists into moderating their opposition. […]


Despot Basil dispels rumours about sexuality, announces expected child
Nymphaion, 14 August 2022 | Anthe Petroglou

Speaking from the traditional secondary imperial residence in the city of Nymphaion in the Theme of Lycaonia, where the Imperial Family is planning to celebrate the Feast of the Dormition, Despot Basil, the Emperor’s youngest son, denied rumours about his sexuality which had been picked up by local tabloid press from Radillan media, according to which Despotess Anna, who is married to a noble from and resides in @Radilo, “alluded” to the Despot’s supposed homosexuality.

The Despot vehemently denied any such claims, stating that his marriage with his wife has been a good and Christian one, even if his duties as a dedicated senior officer in the Imperial Army have often kept him away from home. The Despot and his wife announced that the latter is with child, stating that they planned to initially keep the pregnancy a secret until later for reasons of privacy and because they had had some difficulty to conceive, thus judging that additional publicity would place unnecessary strain on the mother-to-be. [...]

The youngest adult member of the Imperial Family remains widely popular with the military, where he is seen as an outstanding commander, having twice risked his life to save subordinates from death or injury. […] The rumours raised a considerable fuss in conservative circles, causing many to ask the Throne to clarify its position or distance itself from the Despot—something which was rejected off-hand by the Emperor. […]


Pelasgia, Corrientes announce comprehensive free trade agreement
Callao, 14 August 2022 | Stavros Papadamos

Speaking from Callao, where he was visiting to oversee the arrival Pelasgia’s delegation to the Non-Aligned Organisation (NAO), Foreign Minister Count Theophrastos Palaiologos announced a comprehensive trade agreement between Pelasgia and the United States of Corrientes (@Ebria), which he personally negotiated with his Correntine counterpart. According to the agreement, Pelasgia and Corrientes would completely free up trade between them, lifting both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Additionally, to facilitate this trade, Pelasgia would construct satellite ports in Callao and Rio Verde, while visas would be waived between the two countries for touristic purposes.

For Corrientes, this would provide them with cheaper oil and gas, since normal duties and administrative delays would be lifted, as well as a cheap gateway to Gallo-Germanian and Himyari markets. For the Pelasgian side, this means a revatilisation of trade to South Occidentia through the Meridian and Propontine Straits, as Pelasgian shipping companies would use the new satellite ports to connect local markets with Pelasgian and Himyari ports. Indeed, the two port connections would open Pelasgia to both the iron reserves and the industrial goods markets of Corrientes. Furthermore, both sides would benefit from expanded tourism profits and increased exports for their industries, on top of strengthening their ties within the NAO. […]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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The Independent Voice of Northern Himyar· Pelasgia's Oldest Engellsh-Language Newspaper·
The Propontis Tribune is a member of Pelasgian International Press Holdings Ltd.

Analysis: Pelasgia goes on economic offensive in Gallo-Germania, Occidentia to revitalise Meridian Sea corridor
Propontis, 15 August 2022 | Herbert Anderson*

PROPEX Naftem 400: 19,663.22 +1.07% | VIOMAX Index: 1,578.21 +2.91% | APEEDA (PELDAQ) INDEX: 201.44 +0.06% | REIT Index: 2,127.30 -5.31% | PEL 10 Yr: 2/32 Yield +0.456% | Crude Oil: €M 97.36 +3.77% | €M to PGO: 5.99 -0.03%

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(Photo from Propontine Straits Photography): View from the deck of an oil tanker as it transits the Propontine Straits

*Dr. Herbert Anderson is an associate professor of economics and international trade at the Westernessian College of Propontis. Born in Charleroi, he studied economics at the University of Charleroi, before pursuing a masters degree and a PhD in Great Engellex. He moved to Propontis in 1993, after marrying a Pelasgian colleague whom he met in Dulwich, and has lived in the Propontine district of Hagia Trias ever since.

The Germanian Connection: Tarusa and Ostmark
Taking advantage of its non-aligned status to do business with both sides of the Gothic Sea Pact-CETO divide, Propontis has positioned itself as an intermediary between Toyou and Germania. In this respect, it has struck deals with Tarusa to limit oil supply for their mutual profit, all the while relaxing trade restrictions between the two countries; the latter measure will allow Pelasgia to not only expand commerce with the massive Tarusan market, but to also act as an intermediary for the sale of Tianlong goods to Tarusa, often with some local Pelasgian value added to circumvent sanctions. Moreover, this deals opened Tarusa's iron ore reserves and steel production to Propontis, which would logically seek to replace increasingly costly Tianlong ore (due to rising oil prices) with Kremlyov's. The deal with Ostmark presents another such balancing act: Pelasgia has announced that it will finance the construction of a 4.3 billion euromark port in Ostmark, by Pelasgian firms. This new harbour will allow Pelasgian shipping prime access as exporters of Ostmark's new semi-conductor and microchip industry, giving it a cut of profits from Gothic Sea Pact nations looking for new microchip suppliers following Uicheon's sanctions, while also allowing Pelasgia an alternative in case Tianlong electronics become more expensive or otherwise limited in supply. By also lifting tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers between itself and Ostmark, Pelasgia has given itself prime access to the rising industrial powerhouse's market, while guaranteeing that a large chunk of its exports will go through Pelasgian shipping and ports.

Occidentian Adventures: Corrientes and San José
Much like in Ostmark, Pelasgia has sought to use its shipping edge to forge new trade routes that feed directly into the Meridian-Basilisk Sea Corridor via the Propontine Straits, allowing its major export and import centres on the coast to profit therefrom. Thus, in Southern Occidentia, Pelasgia announced the construction of three new hyper-modern ports with associated infrastructure, at the cost of 4.3 billion each: two in Corrientes (Callao and Rio Verde) and one in San José (Monte Plata). Like in Ostmark, all three ports will be built and operated by Pelasgian firms, which will then use them as bases to route much of the resulting shipping via their own home ports near the Propontine Straits and along the Meridian. Coupled with total free trade agreements with Corrientes and San José, and a visa waiver for tourism with the former, this will greatly expand mercantile activity between Pelasgia and the two Occidentian countries. In both cases, Pelasgian industry will access cheap resources (particularly San José's iron ore) to fuel its own production, while also being able to export the resulting goods back across the Thaumatic. In turn, the two countries will profit from slightly cheaper oil, due to the elimination of many import and export duties on the resource, as well as of administrative delays previously driving up the cost of its export (Ostmark will also benefit from such provisions in its own agreement).


The Big Picture and What Might Be Next
At the cost of around 12-16 billion euromarks, Propontis has opened up for itself several major markets, while also ensuring that the resulting trade will be, to a great extent, routed through its own shipping companies, ports, and trade routes. Shipping, the life-blood of the Pelasgian economy, will significantly profit from its control of the new satellite ports and its privileged access to the associated markets, as well as Pelasgia's ability to trade with both sides of an increasingly sealed-off iron curtain--and to thereby act as the intermediary for their unofficial trade, with its own markup due to value-added requirements to avoid sanctions. Propontine industry will also benefit from cheaper access to natural resources and to electronics and other components, in addition to finding new, ripe markets for its goods and services (the tourism sector in particular stands to benefit from millions of visa-free Correntine tourists). At the same time, these agreements are also highly beneficial to Pelasgia's partners, who gain new infrastructure free-of-cost, as well as access to Pelasgia's own markets, and slightly cheaper oil and gas (especially after the establishment of a global pricing cartel by oil producing nations)--or, in Tarusa's case, increased oil profits, iron ore exports, free trade, and an intermediary for Toyou commerce.

With all this considered, it is likely that Pelasgia will continue its investment initiatives, no doubt looking at other countries along the Meridian Sea, but also beyond it, as a means of ensuring the continued vitality of its increasingly liberal and trade-oriented economic model. Recent measures meant to grow the size of Pelasgia's merchant marine to avoid the competition's catching up, and to support the country's port infrastructure with rail and other modernisation measures certainly point to an economy that is only getting more committed to free trade--and to all the benefits that accrue therefrom. Yet, this is also reassuring to all on the geopolitical stage: if Pelasgia is this committed to trade as a backbone of its economy, it means that it is less likely to disturb the vital trade routes that it controls, or to cause great fluctuations in the prices of the commodities that it exports. As the saying among economists goes: one can either trade, or they can make war. For now, it appears that Propontis is going all-in on the former.
Tags: @Tarusa; @Ostmark; Corrientes (@Ebria); @San Jose; trade; economy; shipping; commodities

Other News
Dormition Feast Celebrations: All over Pelasgia, people of all ages have been celebrating the Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, one of the most important holidays for country's Christians, Orthodox and Catholic alike. The Imperial Family joined in the celebrations as always, going to their traditional retreat in Nymphaion, Lycaonia, while the Ecumenical Patriarch observed festivities in Propontis' Cathedral of Divine Providence (Hagia Pronoia). Most Pelasgians took advantage of the holiday to celebrate, with many using their vacation days to spend the end of August by the beach.
Wildfire Season Winds Down: With August now past its hottest days, experts and civil protection authorities are in agreemenent that the peak of the traditional wildfire season is behind us. This year saw a relatively mild season of fires, with no deaths and only a few burned properties. The largest fires occured in the Archipelago (where a large forest area on Ophioussa was incinerated), Philistaea (between Koroni and Methoni), and in dry areas near Thermi and Propontis. However, the Imperial Fire Service quickly put out most flames, owing to a mix of luck, good weather, and local vigilance.

© Copyright 2022 - Propontis Tribune Ltd. / Βῆμα Προποντίδος Ε.Π.Ε. | Foreign-Language Publication License No. 1/1956 / Ἄδεια ξενόγλωσσου ἐκδώσεως ὑπ. ἀρ. 1/1956
 
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| ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ

PM Angelopoulos steps down, to retire from politics - KSD leadership race underway
Editorial Board | 16/08, 14:30 | Upd: 4 minutes ago
Tags: [Featured] [News] [Politics]

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The Leontion Palace within the Great Palace complex, which serves as the PM's office


In a move that many called long-overdue and others completely unexpected, long-time Pelasgian Prime Minister Sophokles Angelopoulos announced his intention to step down as premier and to retire from politics. The PM first came to power in late 2010, mere weeks after having been named as head of the Constitutional Democratic Party (KSD), Pelasgia's dominant, conservative political party. Since then he has held uninterrupted power for almost twelve years, making him one of the longest-serving PMs in the country's history. The methodical, calculating, and seasoned politician had previously served as Vice-President of the Cabinet and Justice Minister under his predecessor and long-time mentor, two-term Prime Minister Tiverios Rangaves, on top of having been elected to the Boule of Representatives in at the age of 39 years, after a near two-decade career as an accomplished corporate lawyer and executive. Mr. Angelopoulos had been long expected to enter politics even before his election to the Boule, due to his being the eldest son and heir of the late Leon Angelopoulos, a successful right-wing politician who served as Prime Minister in the 1990s following a long political career, and who became a sort of national martyr for many Pelasgians after he was assassinated by Zionist terrorists while serving as High Commissioner during the transitional period of the transfer of control over Philistaea from the E.F. Mandatory authorities to the Pelasgian Empire. The late Mr. Angelopoulos had been one of the primary architects of the policy that led to the region's re-integration into Pelasgia, earning him respect from political allies and opponents alike.

Whereas Mr. Angelopoulos was initially perceived by many as having entered politics on his father's name alone, in actual fact, he had been an active member of the KSD political youth's most prestigious chapter during his time at the law school of the Imperial University of Propontis, having risen to its head. He soon dispelled illusions of nepotism upon being elected to parliament, where he played an active role as a backbencher, becoming the star of many committees and a shrewd advisor to more senior politicians, who saw potential in him. After nearly a decade in the Boule, Mr. Angelopoulos placed his bid for premier following his mentor's unexpected resignation a mere month before a general election—and he managed to win a leadership race against far more seasoned politicians. It was this ability and sheer luck that, according to an interview he gave to PERT in 2017, allowed the PM to win three consecutive elections and to remain atop the notoriously cutthroat internal politics of the KSD. Yet, for all his wit and ability, the PM had increasingly found himself assailed on all sides. His third election, in 2021, saw him narrowly lose his majority in the Boule, forcing him to collaborate with the more hard-right United Loyalist Party (IKN), inevitably alienating many more centrist voters. This translated into an increasingly authoritarian style of governance couched on the state of exception, as was most recently demonstrated with the heavy-handed crackdown on liberal Catholic currents within the country. Inevitably, politicians within KSD started to criticise the PM, noting that normal legal remedies sufficed to achieve his goals without "media coups", and a growing wave of dissent started to publicly voice its withdrawal of support. In the end, these steps must have convinced the PM to retire when even his relationship with the Sublime Throne, formerly a close institutional ally, must have started to wain.

The announcement of the PM's retirement means an almost certain path for him: the cushy and prestigious life of a Senator, a role to which the PM is both entitled and obligated by the Constitution. Perhaps Mr. Angelopoulos will seek some other, more active position in addition to his senatorship in the meantime (such as an ambassadorial or other senior political appointment); at any rate, however, his path is clearly limited to a few options. By contrast, the KSD finds itself faced with an uncertain leadership race, the first one in many years where there is no clear front-runner. Of the two major candidates to announce, both have significant chances of victory: on the one hand, Mr. Angelopoulos protégé, Justice Minister Konstantinos Sphrantzes, has much of the old guard in the PM's cabinet backing him, along with a solid and successful term as the cabinet's top jurist. On the other hand, backbencher Philippos Andreades of Propontis, who many see as the man behind the soft "coup" against the PM within the governing party, has garnered considerable support among the KSD's parliamentary wing, on top of strong popularity with voters, the party youth, and major stakeholders, such as the Church and the business world. This time, at least, it appears that the new PM's identity will not be known until the deciding vote later this week. Until then, the PM will remain in a caretaker role, allowing others to focus on a by-election for his seat and on the leadership race.


| ΔΕΙΤΕ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ
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Pelasgia

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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
| PELASGIA | HIMYAR | WORLD | WEATHER | SPORTS | OPINION | SPECIAL

PM outlines vision, causing factional shift in Boule
Propontis, 23 August 2022 | The Editorial Board

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The plenary session chamber of the Boule of Representatives
Source: Propontis News Agency

On Monday, a landmark speech by newly inaugurated Constitutional Democratic Party (KSD) leader and Prime Minister Philippos Andreades before the Boule of Representatives caused strong reactions, both positive and negative, as the PM outlined his new vision for Pelasgian society, and for the KSD itself. For decades, the dominant KSD has conducted a careful balancing act between the business interests of the country's coastal bourgeoisie, who favour free-market capitalism and free trade, and the traditional aristocratic elite of the rural areas, who prefer more mercantilist and ruralist policies, which respect the traditional order of Pelasgian society and the role of the Church as the main provider of major social services. This has allowed the KSD to dominate Pelasgian politics since the 1980s, with its coalition partner, the United Loyalist Party (IKN) forcing it to maintain a decidedly conservative stance on matters of political organisation, opposing all significant constitutional and social reform apart from occasional market liberalisation.

On Monday, Mr. Andreades opted to eschew this careful balancing act in favour of a new vision of conservatism: that of one nation, united from top to bottom, where those who are more elevated or successful are duty-bound to the humblest in society. While this vision is nothing new in a country whose history is characterised by paternalistic conservatism, it certainly upset the scales of political power and influence in the Boule and the Senate. There, the bourgeoisie and the urban middle class, both of whom have grown in size and influence over the last few decades, saw their interests as being threatened by Mr. Andreades' new proposal, since they would be the ones who would be most taxed for this alliance of top and bottom to take shape. In the words of Mr. Georgios Athanasiades of the liberal conservative New Progressive Party, "the Prime Minister's plan would tax those who have worked hard to improve their own lot and to enrich the nation, so that idle aristocrats can pay off the working poor to forego democratic, institutional, economic and social reform". Evidently, this shift seems to have spelled a divorce between bourgeois and aristocratic interests.

Regardless of the political storm caused by his admittedly historic speech, Mr. Andreades seems determined to go forward, taking time after Monday's parliamentary session to consult with representatives of each faction in his coalition: the aristocracy (represented by Count Theophrastos Palaiologos); the rural conservative vote (represented by Mr. Nikolaos Phokas of Metaxopolis); the religious right block (represented by Metropolitan Dionysius of Scutari in the Senate); and the Christian Syndicalist unions (represented by Mr. Galinios Kastrites). At the same time, more urban and market-liberal elements of the KSD, which were hoping for modernising reforms to be instituted by Mr. Andreades rather than mere welfarism, turned to dialogue with the IKN and even the Radical Liberal Party (KRF), whose leaders, Messrs. Stavros Antonelis, Alexios Petrides and Aristeides Kalothetos seemed to be coalescing around the need to oppose the PM's initiative. The left-wing SEKP remains a wild card, with analysts wondering whether it will seek to work with Mr. Andreades to make practical gains, or whether it will ally with the liberals to frustrate the KSD leader's policies before their success can steal away their voters, on top of finding common ground for more substantive, systemic reforms with the liberals. […]


Agreement reached on maritime safety rules—but oil prices remain high
Propontis, 23 August 2022 | Chrestos Petrou

Representatives of the Federation of Maritime Workers' Unions (OMESYN) and of the Board of Directors of the Pelasgian Shipping Association (SPE) and Propontis Board of Industry and Commerce (SEVP) have reached a putative agreement, according to reports from multiple sources. The two sides were negotiating under the auspices of an inter-ministry board set up by the Government of Pelasgia, with a view to resolving labour disputes as soon as possible to resume the shipment of oil to @Tianlong. In the meantime, the Government had implemented provisional measures, at a considerable daily cost to shipping firms and oil exporters, as well as the economies of South Toyou, whose oil supply practically plummeted. […] According to the agreement, SPE and SEVP have agreed to raise pay and increase safety standards and inspections, on top of allowing independent boards to oversee safety standards on oil tankers and related platforms at every step. Moreover, they have agreed to do away with the practice of "filling to the brim", whereby tankers would be filled to their limit but beyond advisable volume with precious cargo to maximise profits. [...] Among the provisions of the agreement is a settlement for all judicial disputes relating to labour accidents involving OMESYN-affiliated workers. [...] In return for these concessions, OMESYN has immediately called off its strike and vowed to return to work.

In spite of this arrangement, however, oil prices do not seem to have dropped meaningfully. For one, the authorities of the Gothic Sea Pact nations have not reciprocated Tianlong's decision to lift sanctions, and they are persisting in their denial of petroleum exports to the South Toyou country. The authorities of @Tarusa even authorised suits before their courts by Tarusan or Tianlong entreprises seeking damages against Uicheon for its sanctions. [...] At the same time, Pelasgia's new measures, coupled with Tianlong's own initiative to allow Pelasgian workers to sue shipping and oil firms for their injuries before the Republic's courts, have meant that oil supplied by Pelasgia to South Toyou remains supply-limited and expensive. Indeed, the Association of Petroleum Producing States (APPS) has not made any moves to cut the cost of the valuable commodity, which has been gaining ground throughout the year. [...] Some analysts posit that the Gothic Sea Pact might be using their leverage to extract concessions in exchange for reduced oil prices. In Pelasgia, at least, SPE and PelPetrol are raking in record profits, compensating them for losses incurred due to Tianlong's attempts to reroute global trade away from the Propontine Straits (all the while the ban on bunker oil sales to Tianlong by Tarusa frustrates the Republic's attempts at matching Pelasgia's merchant marine). With this in mind, neither Propontis nor any other APPS nation, regardless of neutrality, seems inclined to lower oil prices for now. [...]


Police bust separatist terror cells in Philistaea
Hierosolyma, 23 August 2022 | Argyrios Hadjidakis

The Imperial Pelasgian Gendarmerie and Police have rooted out three separate terror cells in Philistaea, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry. The inter-branch operation was carried out based on information provided by the Imperial Secret Service (Krypteia), which notified law enforcement to the smuggling of lage quantities of weapons and explosives to towns around Hierosolyma and Tyre through international criminal networks. […] The three cells belong to three different organisations: the first belongs to the Philistaean People's Front (FLM), a communist, regional separatist faction which has been banned by the authorities since Philistaea was first integrated into Pelasgia; the second cells is affiliated with the People's Front of Philistaea (LMF), a left-wing Zionist body which is also illegal and which broke off from the FLM at an undetermined point in the early 2000s; finally, the third cell belongs to the Islamic People's Liberation Front (ISLAM), a radical Muslim terror group which is one of the smallest and most sparsely organised terror groups in the region (largely due to the foreign origin and funding of its members).

The three groups appear to have been separately planning attacks, which, ironically, were mostly aimed at one another than at the authorities. However, it also appears that all three cells received their arms from southern Himyar, where the illegal arms trade has been balooning in response to recent geopolitical shifts and instability. [...] Over the last few months prior, Pelasgian authorities have also intercepted weapons shipments at airports as well as seaports and aboard cargo vessels. [...] More in-depth inquiries into how this equipment got into the hands of the three proscribed organisations are underway, while all those arrested following the bust are facing steep criminal charges, many under extroardinary procedure pursuant to anti-terrorism legislation. [...]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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Bund der rheinischen Fürstentümer und Bürgerschaften
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Kanzleramt
Fehrbellin, Rheinbund


Our congratulations to Prime-Minister Andreades for his election as political leader of the KSD, and for his appointment as Prime-Minister of Pelasgia. We look forward to a fruitful cooperation on the international stage, given the warm connections that exist between the Pelasgian Imperial House and several of the Rheinian Sovereign Houses.

Hans-Georg Lauritzen, Chancellor
 

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| ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ

Senate blocks new PM's omnibus reform package
Editorial Board | 31/08, 16:30 | Upd: 30 minutes ago
Tags: [Featured] [News] [Politics]

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The Senate Chamber at the top floor of the New Senate House


The Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Pelasgia, has blocked the high-profile reform package put forth by newly appointed Prime Minister Philippos Andreades. The package contains many of Mr. Andreades' signature reform promises, which include the institution of jury trials for many criminal offences, devolution of power to the Themes and institution of elections for their officials, and the taking over many social services (including education and healthcare from the Church by the State). The bill also provides for the codification and restriction of the Throne's prerogative powers via Constitutional Amendment, as well as the abolition of most privileges of nobles, including hereditary sears in the Senate (which are to be replaced by seats representing the Themes of Pelasgia). One final controversial measure is the enactment of civil union provisions for same-sex couples in the Imperial Code, which is to be accompanied by a constitutional amendment to codify marriage as a distinct legal union between a man and a woman. Additional provisions aired (but likely to be implemented in future legislation include land reform to favour large-scale industrial farming, and corporate law reform to open large conglomerates to private ownership and enforce anti-trust provisions).

These sweeping reforms have raised objections from different segments of the Senate's membership, despite passing the Boule using a mix of support from segments of the Mr. Andreades' own KSD-IKN coalition and opposition votes to make up for dissenters. One the one hand, the hereditary nobles, who make up around half the seats of the Senate, were opposed to measures meant to curb their own privileges and to outright abolish their hereditary right to seat in the legislature's upper house. Additionally, the Church, which is also represented in the Senate through many of its Hierarchs, who are ex officio Senators, objected to the limiting of its role in public life. Despite being nominally subjected to the State's control, the Orthodox Church retains great social influence and jealously guards its control over various social services, which grant it significant power over the everyday lives of Pelasgia. Apart from self-interest, the two senatorial factions have justified their opposition by pointing to the fact that Mr. Andreades was appointed to the premiership by the Sublime Throne without an interceding election. They therefore claim that the incumbent Prime Minister lacks a clear mandate to effect such significant changes to the Empire's socio-political system.

The Sublime Throne seems to be decidedly behind the Prime Minister's proposals, likely due to a combined will to reform the Imperial system in order to ensure popular support as well as the overall reformative and somewhat progressive character of the Emperor's Dynasty, the House of Vatatzes. Likewise, the Prime Minister has a steady enough majority in the Boule, allowing him to return his measures to a vote individually if need be. Nevertheless, the opposition of the two senatorial factions and the broader social forces that they represent is severe and not to be underestimated. Political analysts and insiders in Propontis note that the Emperor may attempt to force the passage of the measures either indirectly (by appointing more Senators of his liking) or directly, by enacting them via Edict. Either route is sure to cause blowback; alternatively, elections could be held to legitimise the PM's power, but, without any major reforms to earn popular support under his belt, it is not at all certain that the PM would want to head to the polls just yet. For now, the standstill persists, while the bill is to be returned to the Boule for amendments this week.


| ΔΕΙΤΕ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ
- @Tianlong oil prices back down as Pelasgian exports return to full volume
- Gov't announces more initiatives to boost Meridian Sea shipping after end of war removes some temporary business
- Hierosolyma Metro: Court refuses religious group's request to block work
- Police reform: Interior Minister unveils large-scale proposal to modernise policing

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Pelasgia

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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
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Emperor to be operated on for stomach cancer
Propontis, 5 September 2022 | The Editorial Board

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A staircase inside the Great Palace, with a painting of the current Emperor at age 30
Source: Propontis News Agency

His Majesty Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes is to be operated on for stomach cancer, according to a statement released by the Imperial Chancellery (Sakellareia). The Chancellery maintains that the operation is urgent but not dangerous, and that is a standard procedure entrusted to highly skilled surgeons. Most likely, the Emperor's surgery will take place at the Central Military Hospital of Propontis, where members of the Imperial Family and other important state officials are usually treated. The male Vatatzes line does not have a history of the disease in question (indeed, the Vatatzedae are renowned for their longevity), which, according to most analysts, points to an inheritance of the disease from the maternal side of the Emperor's ancestry. Indeed, His Majesty's own maternal grandfather died of stomach cancer at an age not too older than that of the reigning monarch, though the more primitive medical methods and technology of the time might have contributed to the death in question. […]

The Orthodox Church has asked all faithful to pray for the Emperor's health, while the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the two other Patriarchates within Pelasgia have mandated that prayers be said for the Emperor's health at all liturgies and vespers, in addition to holding a special service on the day of the operation. [...] The heir-apparent to the Sublime Throne, Grand Despot Alexios Vatatzes, who is currently serving as an officer in the Imperial Armed Forces, has been recalled to Propontis to ensure the continuity of imperial succession, should the operation not go as planned. [...] On the political front, some left-wing and radical liberal politicians took the opportunity to lambast the state of the healthcare system, particularly its alleged inequality due to its domination by the Church, noting that the Emperor is to be operated on in a state hospital. Nevertheless, most political figures either remained silent or offered their condolences, seeking to avoid a debate on so delicate a matter. [...]


PM takes 'piecemeal' approach to reform, seeking compromise with Senate
Propontis, 5 September 2022 | Andreas Zakrinos

Incumbent Constitutional Democratic Prime Minister Philippos Andreades has decided to take a gradual and piece-meal approach to his reformist agenda, seeking to work and compromise with opposed elements of the Senate to achieve a lasting solution. "My ultimate goal is to preserve the sanctity and integrity of the Empire, and radical steps or confrontations will not further that objective," Mr. Andreades said before the Boule of Representatives on Wednesday, rejecting a government lawmaker's proposal that a plebiscite be called to force the amendments through. Instead, the premier has sought to break up his reform package into several pieces, starting with the least controversial proposals (such as jury trials, and devolution and election of Thematic officials). These measures are to be enacted immediately with the approval of both houses of Parliament, pursuant to assent by the Throne. For broadly controversial social issues, such as the enactment of civil unions for same-sex couples with simultaneous a ban on such marriages, the Premiership has aired the idea of a consultatory referendum (though many analysts consider this to a political trick to put pressure on the Orthodox Church, given the Constitutional Democrats' traditional aversion to plebiscitary methods).

The more controversial proposals (regarding the makeup of the Senate and the role of the Church in society), are to be sent back to the drawing room under a joint Boule-Senate committee with a view to ensuring maximal consensus around any reform before it is returned to the Senate for a second vote. Presently, Mr. Andreades has amended his proposal for a partially elected Senate based on the equal representation of Themes, to one consisting of many functional constituencies, whose members would be allowed to elect Senators to represent them. The nobility and the clergy would be among those constituencies, as would be many of the officials who were all previously guaranteed ex officio appointment to the Senate. Nevertheless, new constituencies such as business, labour, various industries, and regional governments would also be included in this reformed Senate. [...] Regarding the Church, the government seems poised to continue with its efforts to involve the State in social services, albeit with a hybrid model, where Church and secular officials work together and jointly draft policy (though with the final say belonging to the State). [...]

Other proposed reforms, including major corporate law reforms (to open major conglomerates to public ownership and limit the formation of trusts), codification of Throne powers, and the abolition of many privileges of nobles are being studied by purpose-built committees, given their more specialised and legal character. [...]


Pelasgia, Central Himyar renew military assistance agreement
Hierosolyma, 5 September 2022 | Michael Papademetriou

The Governments of Pelasgia and Central Himyar have decided to renew the military assistance agreement originally concluded between them last year. The agreement was concluded in the aftermath of last year's abortive coup, which removed the Central Himyari Republic's previous strongman, President Joseph Kisani, and then installed the Speaker of the National Congress, Mr. Andrew Kinuani as Acting President of Central Himyar, to facilitate the transition to elections. Pelasgia, which had sought to strengthen mercantile ties with Central Himyar through investments over the last few years, was one of the first countries to dispatch civilian advisors and election monitors to aid in the transition process, as well as police and military advisers to help stabilise the country as negotiations between Acting president Kinuani's government and the long-standing Communist Party of Central Himyar (CPCH) insurgency kicked off to ensure the latter's disarmament. [...]

Per the agreement, which was passed by the Central Himyari National Congress following the renewal of several foreign aid packages intended for Central Himyar by the Parliament of Pelasgia, the Empire has been granted a permanent base near the Central Himyar capital of Kalamba City, which serves as the main base for the Imperial Pelasgian Armed Forces' 6,000-strong peacekeeping force. In addition to monitoring and enforcing the ceasefire between Central Himyari Authorities and the CPCH, the force also trains and advises the Central Himyari security forces. [...] However, this seemingly minor force is dwarfed by the presence of Pelasgian private military contractors (PMCs), more than 12,000 of whom are estimated to be in Central Himyar either on the direct payroll of Pelasgian firms and government agencies to protect investments in the unstable country, or on the payroll of the Central Himyari Government to assist with law enforcement and police training duties (often with some of the pay being covered by Pelasgian military assistance funds). [...]

Nonetheless, in light of recent treaties and rapprochement with @Natal, Propontis might be more inclined to cooperate with the nearby Engell Dominion regarding the pacification and stabilisation of Central Himyar. [...]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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Rheinbund

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Bund der rheinischen Fürstentümer und Bürgerschaften
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Schloss Schöneweide
Kanzleramt
Fehrbellin, Rheinbund


On behalf of all the sovereign families of the Rheinbund, its national government and national parliament, the governments and parliaments of its memberstates, and its people, we send our best wishes to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes. We will pray for his well-being and a speedy recovery.

Philipp von Homburg-Gosta, König des Rheinbundes
Hans-Georg Lauritzen, Chancellor
 

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Hofburg Bichl
Neckarbrück, Tirolstein, Rheinbund


Best wishes to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes, on behalf of the Sovereign Family of Tirolstein. We daily pray for the health and well-being of my sister's father-in-law.

Also on behalf of Fürst Karl IX von Görisburg and Crown-Prince Pippin von Görisburg,

Prince Karl von Görisburg, Regent of Tirolstein​
 
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O PROPONTIOS LOGOTHETIS NEWSPAPER CO., EST. 1923 | ONLINE ENGELLSH EDITION | PELASGIA'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD
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Senate refuses to confirm Grand Despot as Emperor, appoints Sebastokrator as Regent
Propontis, 13 September 2022 | The Editorial Board

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A guard of honour outside the Great Palace awaits the arrival of the Sebastokrator
Source: Propontis News Agency

The Senate has refused to ratify the enthronement of Grand Despot Alexios Vatatzes as Pelasgian Emperor, citing its opposition to his support for reforms which it deems "contrary to the fundamental character of the Constitution". In response, the Grand Despot has produced an unpublished decree of the late Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes, which purports to appoint a great number of senators loyal to the Emperor to the upper house of the legislature. The Senate has challenged the validity of the decree, with a special, expedited proceeding set to take place before the Chancery Division of the Supreme Court to determine the whether the decree in question is in fact authentic and enforceable. The document presented by the Grand Despot is a chrysoboule (that is, an imperial edict signed with special red ink and sealed in gold with the Emperor's seal), which retains its validity even after the death of the Emperor who authored it and without having to be published in the Government Gazette. Nevertheless, such decrees have largely fallen out of use in recent decades, and standard practice has been to publish them like other decrees, with a date of entry into force being specified in most such documents. [...]

In the meantime, the Senate has appointed the Sebastokrator, General Ioulios Laskaris, who is the Chief of the General Staff, to act as Antibasileus or "regent" during the interregnum. The Sebastokrator is typically a senior noble from the Imperial Dynasty who is not a member of the Imperial Family; in this particular case, General Laskaris is the head of the Laskarid Dynasty, the parent house of the reigning house of Vatatzes, whose claim to the Sebastocracy was recognised by the late Emperor Theodore VIII. In the meantime, the Sebastokrator has taken up residence in the Great Palace of Propontis to fulfill his tasks, with the Grand Despot relocating to the Palace of Selymbria, the official imperial summer residence just outside of Propontis. [...] Both sides have vowed to respect all legal provisions and to allow the proper procedures to be carried out, so as to ensure a smooth transition of power, with the Sebastokrator acting as a neutral mediator. [...]


Mourning period declared, Imperial Funeral plans announced
Propontis, 13 September 2022 | Kyriakos Leptos

A formal two-week mourning period was declared in Propontis following the death of the Emperor, through a decree published by the Sebastokrator in his capacity as Regent. According to the decree, all Pelasgian flags are to be flown at half a mast with black mourning pennants attached to their poles, including those of Pelasgian diplomatic missions or military bases abroad. Additionally, many public activities such as festivals and celebrations have been postponed or toned down, while the use of mourning banners and images featuring the late monarch's likeness has been authorised for many buildings, both public and private—a measure which has seen wide adoption. [...] Elsewhere in Europe, the governments of foreign countries, such as @Remuria, have offered their condolences and seen their citizens place flowers and other items at memorials near Pelasgian diplomatic missions, leading to official statements of thanks by the local Pelasgian diplomatic missions. [...]

The funeral of Emperor Theodore is set to take place on Saturday, as tradition dictates, following that days divine liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Hagia Pronoia (Divine Providence), in Propontis. His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch will conduct the funeral himself, with dignitaries from all over the world being invited to attend. Other Pelasgian Patriarchates have also decided to hold memorial services at the same time, while prayers are to be said for the departed Basileus during the entire mourning period. [...] The day of the funeral will be a one-time public holiday, and a ban on certain activities (such as sports, public drinking and entertainment) will be in place during the entire day. [...]


Famous singer facing death penalty following conviction
Thermi, 13 September 2022 | Stavros Raptes

Vasileios Marinopoulos, a famous and widely popular singer of the Pelasgian popular music genre laïko, could potentially face the death penalty following his conviction for several grave felonies by a District Court in Thermi. Marinopoulos, who commonly goes by the name "Melingos" (meaning "The Melingian") due to his ethnic origin from the minority in question, was detained at the beginning of the month following a deadly car crash on Motorway 1, the large national highway connecting Propontis and Thermi via the country's northern coastline. Upon investigating the scene of the accident, law enforcement found signs that Mr. Marinopoulos, who had been responsible for the original crash with a small family car due to drinking and excessive speeding, had caused two more deadly crashes while attempting to push past the original crash site and flee the scene to avoid capture. The popular singer confessed to this narrative under questioning, and he was later charged with multiple counts, including reckless driving, criminal speeding, operating a motor vehicle while impaired, fleeing the scene of an accident, inflicting grave bodily harm, manslaughter, and murder. [...]

The court, which consisted of a mix of lay juror-judges and professional judges, found Mr. Marinopoulos guilty of most charges, including at least two counts of murder. This ruling thus opens the celebrity to the possible imposition of the death penalty at the sentencing stage, as murder is still a capital crime in Pelasgia. [...] While the validity of capital punishment has been challenged several times before the courts, it has been consistently upheld. The most recent such challenge concerned the infamous case of four teen career criminals who engaged in the group sexual assault and murder of a young woman in Makri. The case reached the Supreme Court, which upheld the sentence, before being appealed-in-State before the Council of State for review. The Council approved the punishment. [...] Sentencing is expected to take place later this week, while the Sebastokrator has ruled out the possibility of clemency, sparking debate regarding the continuation of capital punishment in the country. [...]
© 2022 O Propontios Logothetis Newspaper Company, S.A. | Ἐφημερίς «Ὁ Προπόντιος Λογοθέτης» Α.Ε.
 
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Pelasgia

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The Independent Voice of Northern Himyar· Pelasgia's Oldest Engellsh-Language Newspaper·
The Propontis Tribune is a member of Pelasgian International Press Holdings Ltd.

Analysis: Sebastokrator consolidates power, sets stage for transition to Republic
Propontis, 15 September 2022 | Albert van Ruprecht*

PROPEX Naftem 400: 19,781.01 -0.07% | VIOMAX Index: 1,588.25 -0.91% | APEEDA (PELDAQ) INDEX: 213.44 -0.39% | REIT Index: 2,147.31 +2.01% | PEL 10 Yr: 3/32 Yield -0.226% | Crude Oil: €M 120.01 +0.21% | €M to PGO: 6.01 -0.03%

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(Photo from the website of the Supreme Court): The main audience chamber of the Supreme Court of Pelasgia

*Albert van Ruprercht is a native of Vrijpoort who moved to Propontis in 2006 to pursue doctoral studies in political science at the Imperial and Patriarchal University (VPPP), before returning to his country to work in an internationally-renowned consulting firm. Moving back to Propontis with his wife in 2013, he has since worked in consulting and journalism, in addition to teaching graduate-level courses at a private college.

Bypassing the judiciary—and neutering the Senate
Taking into account how the current succession crisis gripping Pelasgia started, one would expect the judiciary to be the ultimate arbiter of the country's political future. Both the Senate and the Grand Despot, for all their differences, had agreed to follow legal procedures and to allow the courts to decide as to the legality of the contested final Chrysoboule of Emperor Theodore VIII before continuing their political struggle. In the minds of both factions, the Sebastokrator was meant to be a neutral arbiter, peacefully handling the Throne's duties until the dispute could be resolved. This, however, was not to be. In one of his very first acts since being appointed Regent, Sebastokrator Ioulios Laskaris published a decree packing the Senate with his own supporters and political allies, effectively making the court's determination of the decree produced by the Grand Despot purely academic. To add insult to injury, the Sebastokrator included in the decree provisions shielding it from most judicial review, and reserving what little review remains directly to the Council of State, which is presided over by the Emperor (and, in the current absence of one, the Sebastokrator-Regent himself).

On September 13, everyone's eyes had been on the main hearing chamber of the Supreme Court Palace on Nymphaiou Avenue. On September 14, that was no longer the case. Moving with amazing speed, the Sebastokrator has not only sidelined the Court, but also rendered the whole dispute moot by making sure the Senate will do whatever he wants it to. Both the Senatorial old guard, led by Presiding Magistrate Lord Markos Aslanides, and the faction supporting the House of Vatatzes have been deprived of any real power to decide the succession dispute. Nor are any other, less legal avenues of attacking this shift available to them, since the military remains firmly in control of the Sebastokrator, who is its widely popular Chief of General Staff.

New target: Replacing a broken system
Rather than use his newfound power to force a settlement between the two sides, or to make himself Emperor as most in his place historically would have, the Sebastokrator seems to have set his sights on a different goal altogether: to alter Pelasgia's form of government. It is no secret that the Sebastokrator, like many, considers the unsolvable tensions between nobility and Throne to be a sign of systemic failure, precisely given the waning importance of both in an increasingly urbanised, modern and democratic country. This, the Senate hoped, would motivate the Sebastokrator to remain neutral and to favour some kind of compromise, which would evidently detract from the Grand Despot's intent to force through all reforms he wanted. Instead, the Sebastokrator has characterised the senatorial nobility as part of the problem, and he has moved to neutralise it along with the Throne.

Just after the first meeting of the newly-packed Senate, General Ioulios Laskaris made public a proposed package of reforms that would abolish the position of Emperor in favour of an elected head of state: the Sebastokrator of the Republic. Pelasgia itself would be transformed into a semi-presidential republic, while nobility would follow imperialdom into the history books. Henceforth, the upper house of the legislature would reflect the various regions of Pelasgia as well as various functional constituencies, essentially being modeled on corporatist lines. These amendments would bring an end to over two millennia of de facto monarchic rule in Pelasgia—while, ironically, returning the last successor of the Tiburan State to its original republican form of government. To approve his reforms, the Sebastokrator looks to a referendum as the legitimating mechanism, highlighting the new, popular basis of sovereignty, rather than Divine Right—while also bypassing constitutional requirements regarding constitutional amendments.


The struggle ahead and the day after
When Theodore VIII was made Emperor of Pelasgia some forty-two years ago, both by popular acclaim and by general political consent, it was hoped that his enthronement would serve as a stabilising mechanism standing above partisan politics. Indeed, for most of his reign, the Emperor lived up to that aspiration, overseeing unparalleled growth and modernisation of Himyar's largest, wealthiest and most populous country, following the end of its domination by a foreign dynasty. Yet, over the last ten years of the late Basileus' rule, the need for reform had become apparent, as had the increasingly stiff opposition to change by many powerful parties in Propontis and beyond. What had once been a supra-political institution uniting the whole country had become politicised in a bid to revamp the country's Constitution to better reflect new socio-cultural, demographic, economic and political factors on the ground. In the end, the bid fizzled out with only half-measures, while the Throne itself came under partisan attack.

Like the Carian Dynasty which preceded Pelasgia's full independence (and from which most of the current Constitution was ironically inherited), the Imperial System had become sclerotic and internally conflicted, resisting the very reforms that could save it for fear of upsetting various privileged groups whose very privileges depended on the existence of the system whose survival they undermined. Now, the Sebastokrator, like many in Pelasgia, has had enough of a political elite that lacks the real influence its wealth once gave it in a society that was mostly agricultural and not nearly as urbanised, industrialised or economically liberal as it is today. From the common worker to the richest bourgeois, all in the Empire wish for change. And change they shall have—even if the Empire itself has to perish in the process.

Polls already suggest a strong victory for the pro-Republic option on Monday, just two days after the late Sovereign is put to rest. The funeral of his Throne might follow his own, according to most analyses. And whereas the powers that be in Propontis once had recourse to the military to prevent such reform, the military is now on the side of change—mostly because the said "powers" are not really all that powerful anymore, having given way to a modern bureaucracy, a specialised political elite, and a business class that can no longer put up with the externalities of pretending to maintain a political system devised before the birth of Christ, and last reformed when the personal computer was still in its infancy.
Tags: politics, monarchy, regency, constitution, senate

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Coast Guard fires at smuggler ship: A cutter of the Imperial Pelasgian Port Corps, the country's coast guard, fired warning shots at an unidentified vessel suspected of smuggling people and contraband when the vessel failed to respond to radio messages and to stop when ordered to. The ship, which is registered in Central Himyar, flew no flag, and was carrying several dozen persons, which it was attempting to traffic to southern Gallo-Germania via the Meridian. Unauthorised weapons and ordinance were also found on board, along with large quantities of cash. Prosecutorial authorities have prepared indictments for the ship's crew, while the Foreign Ministry is working with foreign counterparts to repatriate the human trafficking victims.

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Pelasgia

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| ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ

New Emperor enthroned, ending week-long interregnum
Editorial Board | 16/09, 15:30 | Upd: 15 minutes ago
Tags: [Featured] [News] [Politics] [Monarchy]

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A portrait of the late Emperor Theodore pictured early in his reign reign, at the Great Palace
(Note the black armband, as the Emperor's coronation was soon after his father's assassination)


Following a week long interregnum, the Senate, which had previously been blocking the enthronement of the Grand Despot to the Sublime Throne of Propontis, acquiesced, allowing Alexios VII Vatatzes to be finally enthroned as Basileus and Autocrat of the Pelasgians, and August Caesar of New Tibur (the official, full title of the Pelasgian Emperor). What had preceded was a week of judicial battles, including an extraordinary supreme court case, which concerned the dispute between the Senate and the Emperor over the validity of a decree by the late Emperor Theodore VIII appointing a great number of his supporters to the Senate. When the Senate's own chosen Regent, the Sebastokrator Ioulios Laskaris, chose to publish such a decree of his own, and to schedule a referendum abolishing both Senate and Throne in favour of a republic, the Grand Despot and the Senate were forced to make peace—if only to avoid a constitutional crisis potentially sweeping both of them under the rug of history. Though the Sebastokrator's actionswere struck down by the Supreme Court, it was unclear whether the referendum would go ahead anyway.

Indeed, it was only today, just after the Emperor's formal enthronement, that the Regent stepped down, following assurances by the Emperor of a marriage to reconcile their alienated branches of the Laskarid Dynasty, as well as certain appointments to ally their supporters. Some have speculated that, given how easily reconciliation occurred, the two might have been working together since the beginning to trick the Senate into allowing the Emperor to go through with his reforms—but others have rejected this analysis as far-fetched. For its part, the Great Palace of Propontis has offered no commentary on the matter, guarding its usual silence about matters of state. As the saying often goes in Propontis, "God's Viceroy need not explain himself to journalists".

At the same time, the deal concluded between the Presiding Magistrate of the Senate, Lord Markos Aslanides, and Emperor Alexios VII seems to certainly favour the latter. Whereas the Senators will keep their positions and their nominal titles of nobility, the Senate itself will be reformed to incorporate regional and functional constituency representation to a greater extent, as intended by Prime Minister Philippos Andreades. The man chosen to spearhead this reform, Justice Minister Konstantinos Raptes, affirms that these changes will grant the body the democratic legitimacy it needs to fulfill its major tasks, including standing up to the Boule whenever it proposes untenable initiatives on a purely majoritarian basis. More importantly, these changes will allow the reformist faction aligned with the House of Vatatzes to go ahead with more substantive socio-political, cultural and economic changes, which are much needed to ensure the survival and adaptability of the Imperial System in an increasingly urban, affluent and modern society.

The New Emperor was plunged into politics from his first day on the Throne, having had to meet with political leaders in both houses of the Koinoboule (Pelasgia's bicameral legislature), as well as the Sebastokrator and other important stakeholders. Yet, his other priorities cannot also be set aside: the Emperor has personally seen to preparations for his late father's funeral, preparations which have gripped much of the nation after the demise of a widely popular figure, who was seen by many Pelasgians as the father of the Restoration of full Pelasgian independence—and indeed, the "Father of the Fatherland", as many have started referring to the late Emperor Theodore VIII. As such, the new Emperor eschewed the traditional blessing ceremony at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Hagia Pronoia (where His Majesty's father is still lying in state), in favour of a smaller ceremony at the smaller, more recently built Co-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, near Mitropoleos Square. For many, this symbolises not only respect for the Emperor's father, but also a desire to be closer with the people, given that Mitropoleos Square is generally seen as the heart of the City for everyday, common Propontines.

Whatever the case, Saturday will see Emperor Alexios VII carry out his first function as the Head of the Orthodox Church at his own father funeral—and Sunday will see him as the sole Viceroy of God on Europe, in so far as the Pelasgian Orthodox world is concerned. A great task and a great burden, not least given the many hurdles that the new Basileus has before him, if he wishes to successfully reform a two-millennia old Empire.

---ooo0ooo---
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Δόξα καὶ ἀναύπασις τῷ Εὐσεβεστάτῳ Βασιλεῖ ἡμῶν Θεοδώρῳ Η΄ Βατάτζῃ!
Ζήτω ὁ Εὐσεβέστατος Βασιλεύς ἡμῶν Ἀλέξιος Ζ΄ Βάτατζης!

| ΔΕΙΤΕ ΕΠΙΣΗΣ
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For all the latest news from Pelasgia and the world, visit .


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Remuria

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COMMONWEALTH OF THE REMURIAN NATIONS
COMMONWEALTH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY


The Res Publica congratulates the People of Pelasgia on the peaceful resolution of matters of dynastic successions by those parties most in this interested, through means of what we shall term as dialogue, yet more reminiscent of the old days of Tiburan Imperial intricacies undertaken in ways most quiet.

Nevertheless, we wish the Basileus stable and prosperous rule to the benefit of his People and of the Pelasgian Nation and voice support for all advancement that improves the livelyhoods and options of political participation by all Pelasgians, regardless of origin and status.

The Res Publica assures Pelasgia of our continued good neighbour approach.
 

Rheinbund

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11SEP2022
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Bund der rheinischen Fürstentümer und Bürgerschaften
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Schloss Schöneweide
Kanzleramt
Fehrbellin, Rheinbund


The news of the death of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Theodore VIII Vatatzes fills us with much sadness. On behalf of all the sovereign families of the Rheinbund, its national government and national parliament, the governments and parliaments of its memberstates, and its people, our condolences to the Imperial Family, and to the people of Pelasgia. The Rheinian Embassy and consulates will fly the flags at half-mast with black banners for the duration of the mourning period.

Philipp von Homburg-Gosta, König des Rheinbundes
Hans-Georg Lauritzen, Chancellor
 
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