RELEASING THE JUGGERNAUT
Federal Government announces most massive economic plan in Tarajani history
While the latest OMNI Summit is taking place in Eindhoven to discuss the future of the Alliance, a surprising news came from the Palace of Government, where the Council has been gathering for a special session chaired by the Duke of Coevorden (immediately after his return from Eindhoven, where he has opened the Summit before leaving the ground to the Princess of Drenthe, Marguerite Van Drenthe, in her role of Special Delegate of the Landsraad to OMNI, and Baroness Wilhelmine Van Jenne as Tarajani delegate to the Alliance). The announcement, duly made during a press conference by the Duke of Coevorden himself, concerns what has already been termed as "the most massive economic plan ever conceived in Tarajani history.""This is the time for New Tarajan to finally move forward and strive for a new era for our economy"
the Grand Pensionary said "And we have just laid out the grand design for such a new era."
The new plan, officially labelled Federal Policy for Economic Renewal, Progress, and Innovation (FePERPI), actually comprises two distinct parts, one specifically concerned about domestic economic policy, the other detailing the new economic and financial strategy of the Federal Kingdom on the world stage."As part of our domestic strategy the Ministry for Economy and Finance (MEF) will receive the mandate for coordinating all efforts on the federal level, through the appointment of a special committee, headed by the Minister and including officials on the Kreise level [the Kreise being a federal administrative district comprised of a group of States, five in total in the whole Kingdom]. States will be tasked with implementing all the policies they will deem necessary under the general framework of the federal plan, but enjoying a massive investment in money and assets by the Federal Government to achieve our goals."
But what are these goals? And what are the measures designed by the Council to achieve them?
First, the FePERPI provides for the identification of key areas that will be subject to the most widespread intervention: Industrial Manufacturing, Research&Development, Agriculture, Aerospace, and Infrastructure, with the addendum of a separate protocol (not yet finalized) that will mainly concern tourism and the wider cultural sector.
The plan than moves forward by defining an investment budget cap for each of the sectors, the total amount of money which will be then distributed among the different States. Such distribution will not be equalized, however, but will answer to the specific strengths and weaknesses of each State economy, as identified already in the plan and next by the committee and the Ministry (not to mention specific requests that each State will be able to put forward). The goal is to start a process by which the gap in economic progress and development between States (particularly evident in the great divide between Western and Eastern States) will finally be filled, tapping those resources and assets that, in the words of the Grand Pensionary "until now have been hidden in the shadow of inequality and lack of dedicated economic interventions."
The plan also involves massive tax cuts and fiscal helps for the key sectors identified on the federal level, while States will be able to further adopt those ad hoc fiscal measures they will deem necessary or useful in the areas under their jurisdiction.
However "we cannot pretend to simply push from the top down a new economic policy by bringing in more and more money by the taxpayers"
the Grand Pensionary said "What we need is a systemic approach. And this is exactly what we have done."
How? By involving the private sector, in particular the financial and banking institutions that made for the true great power of Tarajani economy worldwide. New rules have been implemented by the plan to ease investments inside the Kingdom and in particular in the abovementioned sectors; what is more, such rules will also apply to foreign institutions and firms willing to invest into the future of Tarajani economy. Foreign investment, indeed, is seen as key for the success of the plan: "New Tarajan always enjoyed a strong economy, supported by a social and cultural system that is the envy of the world. It is time that we make it clear that the Kingdom is the perfect environment for investors that really want to put their money to good use, and to see their capital grow."
the Duke of Coevorden said.
However, while opening its arms to foreign investors, New Tarajan also wants to increase its presence in the world economy. As already mentioned, FePERPI also provides for a new foreign economic policy, whose main lines are the strengthening and enhancement of the presence of Tarajani investors worldwide. In particular, the New Tarajan Investment Authority (NTIA), until now the main tool of the Federal Government for its investments in foreign countries, have been radically restructured, now becoming a mixed private-public vehicle that will see the direct participation of some of the largest and most powerful banks and financial firms of the Kingdom (such as the Royal International Bank and Aegon, the first two firms to already announce their participation). The NTIA will thus become an incredibly powerful financial tool, able to deliver massive investments in the most promising countries.
Solely the domestic part of FePERPI will see a truly massive investment by the Federal Government, amounting at more than one trillion Prands, an unprecedented amount of money for New Tarajan, that dwarfs even the economic plans enacted at the times of the People's Commonwealth during the '30s and early '40s and the later reconstruction policies enacted by the Monarchy at the end of the civil war; if one wishes to add the money that each State will invest as well, the numbers would significantly increase.
Now, the ball will pass into the hands of the two legislative bodies of the Kingdom, the Diet and the Landsraad, for finalizing the plan and approving it. While the former will be mainly concerned with fiscal sustainability issues, the latter, representing the wills of the States, will probably propose a number of amendments and modifications. However, it is expected that no particular problems will arise: the Duke of Coevorden has been wise enough to present his grandiose plan in a moment when he still enjoys the support of a strong majority inside the Diet, which will be incredibly useful in countering and cornering the opposition that predictably will come from those smaller fringes of the political spectrum, such as the Republican Party and some harder socialists, that would have otherwise made a swift approval by the Diet a less smooth process.
The Palace of Government in Astana New District.
The rationale of a grandiose plans, and its expected results
By Prof. Loudewij Mohajerani, KAIBeDiS
One of the first questions that whoever was listening to the Duke of Coevorden while speaking at the Palace of Government made to herself has been, for sure: why? Or, even better, why now? Truth is, there are a number of reasons, most of which can be easily discerned and which, as the plan itself, can be divided roughly into two different, though overlapping, rationales.
The first is a predominantly domestic one, but it would be a serious mistake simply to consider it a matter of domestic economy or GDP; in fact, there is an intertwined mix of economy and politics at play here. First of all, we should consider that the Kingdom experienced a long-lasting political infighting inside its most powerful legislative body, the Landsraad, combined with an extreme instability of governments, and then a global war against Eurasia, which led to an attempted coup by an unlikely alliance of far-left and far-right anti-monarchical groups, their violent suppression, and finally the issue of a new constitution, the first since 1944. Every other country would have fallen on its knees after such a series of events, still New Tarajan survived, even thrived in a sense. The victory in the war surely helped, and so it did the rise to political prominence of a figure such as the Duke of Coevorden. But we should remember also, that the Duke does not come from the world of Tarajani politics: he comes from the military, and from a branch of the Royal House. If the political world came to accept him, so much as to allow him to lead the KTCP, it is because the popularity and ascendancy he managed to gain at the same time over the public opinion (thanks to his swift restoration of order after the attempted coup), the military (thanks to his brilliant guidance during the war), and the King himself (for, in a sense, saving the Monarchy). King, people, and the army: isn't it the fundamental triad of Tarajani politics? Let's not forget that the King is the Chief of the Armed Forces, and the electoral rights in New Tarajan are reserved to those citizens who served in the same Armed Forces at least for one year. So, the rise to power of Leopold Conrad Van Vinkel cannot be a surprise for anyone. What is a surprise, is that he managed to build a strong and stable majority inside the Diet since after his election as Grand Pensionary, and to keep it firmly in his hands.
However, he must have understood the time of reckoning was coming. The main source of crisis and instability in the Kingdom, in fact the true reason behind the Landsraad Deadlock, as it has been labelled since then, is the growing inequality in economic development between Western and Eastern States; the Duke obviously understood this. And he knows that he cannot ignore the issue: without the Landsraad, it is impossible to govern the Kingdom. So he identified one solution for two problems, economic inequality (and growth slowdown) and the looming threat of political infighting. To this, one should further add that for the first time such a kind of federal plan explicitly involved the Outer Territories as well, such as the Gold Coast, South Ienara, and East Karasin, in an unprecedented show of unity.
On the international stage New Tarajan, as one of the countries most committed to the war against Eurasia, emerged once again as a victorious superpower. Still, that superpower image was already waning; and it can be hardly forgotten that the war was also the result of some serious mistakes made by OMNI, and above all Tarajani, politicians regarding their attitude toward Eurasia. The Duke of Coevorden went a long way to make it clear, since the very beginning, that he is no Eurasian fan (and, after all, he fought against them personally), and that New Tarajan will stick more and more to its obligations and its role inside OMNI. Still, that is hardly enough to appease the allies' concerns, as the Antanaresian defection from the JSF program clearly an almost dramatically showed. As a result, New Tarajan needed to send a powerful signal, one that could not be ignore, by either friends and foes. The FePERPI is also this: it is a signal. It tells the world that Tarajani economy, and particularly its manufacturing and aerospace sectors, will be once again the spearhead of the world (a clear answer to the New-Zealand challenge in the same fields), and that it will be at the same time more open than ever to the rest of the world (needlessly to say, particularly to Tarajani allies), by both pourin an unprecedent amount of money as foreign investments and by opening its arms to foreign investors. It is not a coincidence that the announcement came just while the OMNI Summit in Eindhoven, probably one of the most important ones in the Alliance's history, is still on-going.
The Federal Government aims at transforming New Tarajan in the economic juggernaut it was very close to become (particularly during the '70s and '80s), at the same time without sacrificing the traditional strength of the Tarajani system and addressing its main weakness (the disparity between States). It is the proverbial jack-of-all-trades: it enhances the political legitimacy of the Duke and its political majority; it appeases the latent conflict inside the Landsraad; it restores Tarajani economic power; it reaffirms the Kingdom's role as a great power and as a valuable partner and ally.
It now needs to be seen how also the rest of the world will perceive it.