President Blanc's state visit to Eflad

Izaakian President Blanc and Efladian Prime minister Tirng have arranged a state visit to Eflad.

3rd of July: President Blanc arrives, welcoming ceremony at the PMs residence.
4th of July: groundbreaking ceremony at the IAF Glempo site, meeting at the PMs office.
5th of July: joint session of the Izaakian Parliament and Efladian Sænat, parting ceremony at the PMs residence, President Blancs departs

2nd of July 2022.

President Blanc was coming to the end of a long winters day of work, and a snow storm had begun to lay another layer of snow across Keylian Izaakia. She was rather looking forward to her trip to the tropics, if only to have some nice weather. Retreating to the kitchen at Fin House, she started a fire, and began to cook her supper, which was a simple fried Pheasant Breast in a Garlic and Mushroom cream sauce on a sourdough slice of toast.

As she tucked into her supper by the log fire she was wondering about all the great opportunities that her trip to Eflad would bring. As a socialist nation, it had always been quite closed to outside companies, but as the nation is beginning to liberalise economically great opportunities have arisen, such as the deal to buy trains, and president Blanc was thirsty for a good news story. Her recent state visits have been fraught with issues, however the visit of The Stoinian King had been a success in the end, but she was happy to go and visit a nation that would truelu be friendly.

After supper, she washed up, and read a few chapters on a book about Efladian culture, before packing, last minute as she always does, and by 10pm she was once again out the door, and driving herself to New Mako / Izaakston airport. Usually, Bomber Command one departs from East of Izaakston airport, however due to winter conditions it is standard practice to depart from New Mako / Izaakston which has much more capable ice clearing abilities as a much busier and more important airport.

She drove through the quite deserted streets of Izaakston for a Saturday night, through what was a heavier snow storm than forecast. Headed west, she passed a few pubs and night clubs, which were glowing in the gloom and darkness of outside, and wished she could drop in.

Once she made it to New Mako / Izaakston airport, she boarded Bomber Command One, and after a short defrosting of the Wings, she had taken off, and was nice and toasty wrapped up in the bed of her Bomber Command Quarters.

After a long and weary day full of meetings, the Prime Minister Tirng took the metro to her residence, the “Old House”.

Arrived, she noticed her husband was making dinner. He made some simple spaghetti pesto with shrimp. Her children were about to go sleep. It was one of those days where she would come home late with her children already in bed.

She finished her dinner and got comfortable in her sofa. With the fire in the fireplace cracking, she informed herself on Izaakian history. She checked the agenda for tomorrow and prepared everything for breakfast before checking her mails again.
It wasn’t long after, that she went to sleep.

3rd of July

President Blanc woke up as Bomber Command One slowed down below supersonic speeds as it headed west over northern Bailtem. She’d not had too bad of a nights sleep, however she was never overly brilliant at sleeping on a plane. She showered and got dressed in her quarters, and then proceeded to her seat just in time for landing. Looking out the windows she saw the tropical forest covered hills on Eflad, and was looking forward to feeling the sunny warmth she became acclimatised to during her time as ambassador to Besern.

3rd of July

Prime Minister Tirng was woken up early than usual by her children who were ecstatic to tell her that today they were visiting the local fire departments.
Her husband, Mark, ran to their sleeping room saying “Ey, don’t wake up your mom, let her sleep!”, with a half made sandwich in his hands. It was too late. Hanna was already up.
After bringing her children to school, which was just a walk away, she got back to find her advisors already at her house. Not long after she boarded the metro to head to the Sænatorium where she has a meeting with some committee chiefs, before boarding the metro once again to head to the airport where President Blanc would be landing shortly.

Bomber Command One touched down in Eflad remarkably smoothly, and parked in its designated position. President Blanc stood up as the plane stopped and stretched her legs and arms after the long flight, she was partly wondering how she’d be getting around Eflad, knowing that Efladian leaders often use public transport. As the doors opened she felt the hot fresh air through the cabin, and headed for the door. She looked down the stairs and saw Prime Minster Tring, and offered a courteous smile as she descended.

On the metro she went through the procedure once again. President Blanc would get here on the Bomber One and land at the Tehnograd Int’l. PM Tirng was set to arrive there an hour earlier for her security team to get ready, as she persisted they take the metro making the lives of her detail even harder. Whilst she was riding the M5 she was approached by some fans and was reminded why she became PM: to change the lives of the Efladian people for better.
Arriving at the airport she saw that the security perimeter was already set and that the places designated for visitors were crowded. Pres. Blanc was inboud in 47 minutes. She got dressed in the changing rooms the Airport has and prepared herself mentally. The press was already there and the pedestal for where they would take a few questions by the press.
A half an hour and a some coffee later she got into her designated place as the Bomber One was approaching. It landed soft like butter and got into position. The stairs were runned towards the plane as it parked and opened the door. Prime Minister Tirng stood there and smiled to President Blanc standing at the door, knowing this could be the start of a long lasting friendship between their nations.

President Blanc approached PM Tirng, and although this was the first time they had met, she went straight for the hug. Saying “I’m so glad you’ve invited me to visit and have some discussions about how we can build a future together”.

Hanna waited until Pres. Blanc walked down the stairs from the plane, making herself ready for a handshake. She was then of course a bit surprised to see that Pres. Blanc went in for a hug. Neverthless she made it seem as if she was just extending her arm for a hug as well. A bit perplexed but happy that Blanc was comfortable in Eflad.
“Well this is the chance to build a long lasting friendship between our nations and ourselves. I’m so glad you came!” Then, as the cameras clicked, she leaned to whisper in the Presidents ear: “That’s what she said!” as she started laughing.
A couple of meters away a microphone stand was ready for them to make a statement. The PM showed in the direction of the stand and said “This way, the press and the people want a couple of words and who are we to dissapoint them‽” as she started walking towards the microphones.
“Hello everyone!
Thank you for coming today, as we welcome Pres. Blanc to Eflad! This visit is hopefully a start into a new era of friendship between Eflad and Izaakia!
Thank you”

President Blanc chuckled at Pm Tirngs hugely inappropriate comment, and said “oh I think we’re going to get along just fine”. She truly appreciated PM Tirng breaking the barrier of over formality.
President Blanc moved to the press to make a statement after PM Tirng and she said.
“I’d very much like to thank PM Tirng and the Efladian nation for a very warm welcome, and I’m not just talking about the stifling weather, I think I’ve forgotten what this is like from my days as ambassador to Besern, certainly beats the gruelling Izaakian winter we’re having. Anyway, back on point, I think this trip is very much the start of a new era of closer and more prosperous ties with Eflad, and I hope we can build those ties perhaps closer than we ever have with another nation before. I also hope we can work closely together to build stability in the region, with the opening of a new base in the country which provides an opportunity for much closer security ties.
Thank you.”

Prime Minister Tring was happy that President Blanc and her were on the same wavelength, it was a relief to know they have the same humor.
After President Blanc addressed the press, Prime Minister Tirng and President Blanc were escorted to the Terminal 3 where two and a half months ago, on the 5th of June, a bomb on a gated plane took 153 lives. The gate and a part of Terminal 3 has been closed due to investigations and renovations.

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The explosion at Tehnograd Int’l

PM Tring laid some flowers in remembrance of the killed.

She then points towards the escalator and said “It is this way to the station. We’ll be taking the metro” as she leads the way.

President gave a slight raised eyebrow at the thought of public transport, before saying to herself when in Montacia do as the Montacians do, a famous Izaakian saying.
As she walked besides PM Tring she began to say, “You know I’ve never actually been on a train, or any kind of public transport actually, unless you count carpooling with a neighbour in the limousine to school. But, I am sure it’ll be a pleasant experience.”

She says getting stuck in the turnstiles, which she eventually jumps over.

“I hope you’ll forgive my fare dodging” she exclaimed to PM Tring. “Anyway, it’ll be good to see what we’re buying with those trains we’ve bought, I trust they’re good value”

“Ah, interesting! Well, there is a first for everything! I was lucky in my elementary school days, as I could walk to the school. But later, I got to use the metro when I went to secondary school because we moved and it was not close enough to get there in time by bike.” She says as her ticket is automatically registered by the turnstile. When she looked ti her side she saw Blanc getting stuck, because she didn’t have a ticket. Rushing to help her, she saw her jumping over the turnstile.
“Sorry 'bout that! You get to enjoy the Efladian Railways for free! Believe me, you will enjoy the ride, I take this train a lot. We’ll be getting of at the Main Square Station. From there to my residence is just a two minutes walk and you get to see the food market!”

The station was even fuller than when she arrived around an hour and a half ago. Her detail already made a corridor for them to ge through the mass of people. Some of them getting to their flight and many of them getting there to see Pres. Blanc and herself. After shaking a couple of hands and smiling into a couple of cameras the train arrived, which would be taking them to her residence, the Old House.

President Blanc was stood by the door of the train waiting for it to open, which it didn’t, before PM Tring pointed to the button that President Blanc was closest to and had to press to open the doors.

“Ah” she exclaimed as she pushed the button. Feeling less like Darth Frostie the force welding evil tiger in the Izaakian parody film The Empire Strikes Zak a parody of Frost Empire Sci-Fi, and more like GI-sleepio the useless robot that exhibits many Gianaltan stereotypes.

“Well, atleast the buttons on Efladian trains work” she says using hand sanitizer on her hands after touching a button and dealing with the public.

“So have you always lived in the capital? you’ll have to forgive my ignorance, I like to find out the stories first hand rather than be briefed by my mandarins.”

“Ah, this is one of the older models.” Said Hanna as the train drove into the station. The train stopped and the doors didn’t open automatically. “You have to press there.” She pointed towards the button besides Blanc. “On the newer trains the doors open automatically. Except when there are very few people then you have to press.”

There were some people with suitcases who got off the train. The president and the prime minister found a seat. “Mhm. I’ve grown up here. I used to live in the center until I was 16. My father was a teacher in a nearby school. After the crash, we moved to an apartment on the east of the city. I lived in Cræfoi while I was at Uni.”
“Sjeverni kolodvor. North station”
“You grew up in New Mako right?”

“Yes, well, mostly, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to New Mako, but, the island is flat along the coasts with soaring skyscrapers in places, and in the centre there are mountains which makes it unsuitable to large scale development. So it’s a great country park in the centre of the city, we owned a pile on a hill in the south there overlooking downtown New Mako. But, we also owned a country house about 80 miles south of Izaakston where we spent weekends. I went to St Ottery Prep school and the Black Prince Grammar School both in New Mako, and that’s where I studied at New Mako University before studying at Imperial University across the bay in Izaakston. I guess you could say I’m a New Mako girl through and through. With the exception of my year as ambassador to Besern, I’ve lived within 10 miles of my family home my entire life.”

”What did you study in university?”

“New Mako sounds nice. Our city of Doraret sounds similar to it. The geography is pretty much the same. We went there for our vacations a couple of times. I have never been to Izaakia, but it is on my “to visit” list. I love the antarctic regions, the cold, the snow.”
“Gornji Grad. Upper City”
“I studied engineering, focusing particularly on civil engineering and urban development. I then worked for the city of Eflad in urban planning. Under my managment we created what is now the most suitable city neighbourhood for family living in Eflad. Whilst in my position I saw that the sheer incompetence of our politicians is literaly killing people. So after Fircenza dissolved the parliament I ran for the Senate. We have two more stations than we have to get off.
You studied politics, right?”

“I think you should definitely come down some time soon, perhaps for the Ice Hockey Cup Final at the end of September, and perhaps run an eye across our new city development the Docklands, it’s just across the straights from New Mako, and should house 8 million people by the end of the decade. Of course not in a professional capacity, but more out of interest, it’s the biggest development in the region for decades, if not over a century.”

President Blanc was finding the train journey surprisingly ok, but couldn’t wait to exit.

“Yes, well I studied Politics as a bachelors, and then I studied Economics and Development as a Doctorate, and that’s where I wrote a thesis on Izaakian development called “Evolution not Revolution”, it’s quite an interesting thesis about how Izaakias wealth and stability today is based on the fact we’ve never had a revolution, but a slow stable transfer to democracy.”

“Gladly, now that you’ve invited me, I’ll be holding you to it! I’ve heard about the docklands project. Highly interesting, I must say.”
“Glavni Trg. Maij Square”
The train comes to a halt, the doors open and PM Tirng and President Blanc get off the metro to find a pretty full station.
“This is our stop. I’ve read the dissertation, it is a good read. This way, let’s take the elevator. Prepare for some heat.” Tirng said with a smile.
They took the elevator and reached the outside, where they were met with a heat wave. It was currently around 32°C and it was only the beginning of July.
Tirngs residence wasn’t far away, only a three minute walk. They arrived at the so called “Old House”, Tirngs residence and entered.

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The Old House

“Welcome to my house!”

“Gosh, this is quite wonderful, and so quaint, I love it. This must be older than Keylian Izaakia, everything we have down there is of course no older than 300-400 years old, we really lack some of that old world history. But what we lack in history, we more than make up for in the present. Speaking of which, I have in fact brought one for you. Now I believe there’s a limit on how much you can accept in official gifts, so we’ve made sure it’s under that, but not to worry it’s still out of this world, quite literally,” she waves an official over with the gift.

“It’s a truckle (25kg) of award winning 10 year old mature Izaakian hard cheese, and not only that, we actually sent it to space, here’s a photo”

She hands over a photo from the recent Izaakian space mission with 6 astronauts and a truckle of cheese.

”Don’t worry you don’t have to eat it all at once, if you just wrap the cut edges with waxed parchment, and give the wheel the occasional turn, it should have a good 10-15 years of wonderful maturing in it.”

“O, well thank you. The oldest part of the house is from 1578 and tge newer bits are from around 1856. This is where, since 1770, all heads of government of Eflad have resided.” She opens the door and shows president Blanc her office.

She turns around as she hears Pres. Blanc saying she brought her a present.
“Oh wow! That’s awesome! Thank you very much! I’m gonna have to taste that later, that’s for sure!”
It was already around 14:30 and there was a press conference scheduled.
“Would you like something to drink?”

“Don’t mind if I do, what do you have on offer? When I’m on foreign trips I always like to try a local drink, something new or special. There’s a new craze in Izaakia at the moment for Chai Latte from my last trip to Hai Men, so maybe it can be good for your exports”

“I have some fine Schanps to offer. Made out of potatoes. Not really the same as the other ones (OOC: Wodka; the flavour is different). We call it Kartoffelschnaps. There is some made out of plum. We should have some dry gin aswell, if you want something like a cocktail!
Oh yes, I actually tried some of the Latte. It’s not really my cup of tea, or cup of coffe. Hehe. I am more of an espresso fan, I like my coffe rather strong and without any bells and whistles.”

*An official of the PR Teams knocks on the door and is let in. *
“Prime Minister, the press is waiting for a brief statement from both of you.”
“We’ll be there in a couple of minutes.” She turns to Pres. Blanc: “The Press, huh, can’t stop hearing from us, sometimes they can’t keep their mouth shut about useless things. What shall we tell them? Some talks about new investments here in Eflad from the Izaakians? Don’t tell them about the drink! wink Shall we?”

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“I’ll have the Gin please, and best make it a double if we’re going up against the leaches. I do hate those parasites, they swarm like flies everywhere I go, they’ll be the death of me. Best not tell them I said that either.”

She takes a sip of her gin and says

“On the basis of this maybe we should tell them you’ve secured a significant gin export deal?”

“Well, at least they are consistent across the world. Sips gin Thankfully state secrets are out of their reach” (OOC: That’s called foreshadowing;))
“Imagine their faces! Told you it’s good”
The door is opened towards the press conference room.
The loudness makes it so that noone can be understood:
Press Official 1: “Prime Minister, can we have a brief-”
PO2: “A brief statement on the-”
PO3: “How do you defend Izaakias war cri-”
PM: “Alright, alright. Calm down. We haven’t even started yet. First of all, I believe I speak in the name of all us, when I say that we welcome President Blanc to Eflad. Secondly, the president and I have a couple of hours of long talks, we hope to be productive so just a few questions please.
Yes, Mark!”
Mark, Efladian Telegraph: “Prime Minister, what are your thoughts on the situation in Hazelia?”
“Well we hope that the situation can be solved without any bloodshed, as that doesn’t help anyone. Eflad is ready, if that is the will of the people, ti recognise Hazelia as a sovereign country. Again, this can only happen with a peaceful transmission. Next, Anton.”
Anton Weier, Die Lupe: “President Blanc is here for a groundbreaking ceremony for the ew military base. Will Izaakia or Eflad use this base to station weapons?”
PM: “Like I said multiple times, no nuclear weapons are or will be on efladian soil. Take my word. I will now give you some time for President Blanc.”

Reporter “President Blanc , how can you justify Izaakian war crimes in Denver, N&GB, Hazelbrust and Valora?”

Blanc “ All I have to say is we have nothing to justify, our foreign policy is fair, or conflicts fought cleanly and our brave military personnel do not commit crimes.”

Reporter “President Blanc, with military bases dotted around Cordillia, is this some kind of military expansionism part of a wider scheme to dominate the region?”

Blanc “No no no, of course not, our partners for peace in Cordillia, north and south can only help us all live more peacefully, and develop together as friends.”

Reporter “Would you describe bases surrounding Ryccia as provocative?”

Blanc “No they’re not provocative, they’re prudent given the threat level.”

Reporter “How are you enjoying eflad so far?”

Blanc “Finally, a good question, yes I am loving it, rather fine and unique nation, I always love to see another culture so different to our own. On that positive note, I think we better get back to business, thanks for coming.”

“Thank you for your time. As President Blanc mentioned, we are going back to business.”, said the PM to the press. “This way!”
She lead the way into a conference room where the Izaakian and Efladian delegations were waitin for them. The goal was to seal the deal on the visa-free and an economic agreement. An Efladian battery manufacturer is to build a factory in Izaakia and, in return, an Izaakian car manufacturer is to build a factory in Eflad.
“Well, shall we. Does anyone want a coffee? I think its best to start with the visa agreement. We propose a visa-free programme for citizens of Eflad an Izaakia, as well as to drop customs on some products. What do you say?”