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MiziaNews - News From Mizialand

Postby Mizialand » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:41 pm

OOC: This thread is a collection of relevant news from Mizialand. Feel free to comment.
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A PROFITABLE EXIT, NOT DISTRESS SALE
Chairman de Haan on sale of the nation's largest airline Air Liberte


St. Louis: The Chairman of Air Liberte, Mizialand's largest airline and part of the Liberte Conglomerate Mr. Morphieus de Haan said here on Friday,"This is not a distress sale, rather a financially prudent move." Early this year the Liberte group has put its airline Air Liberte on sale. Two large organisations Arthropol Airlines and AstyriaCorp have bid for the airline. If the merger goes through, it will be the largest in Mizia history.

Mr. Haan also said that there was no financial or operational pressure to exit the business. AL had earlier reported a net profit in the 2017-18 financial year but made net losses in the financial years 2012-17. He further said,"We felt that future profits in the business were suspect. Not only are margins in the airline business, particularly domestic, extremely low, the sky is also crowded with many players."

The airline was granted 'Special Subsidy' to expand internationally by Her Majesty's Government in 2010. Since then the airline underwent a rapid expansion adding over 115 destinations and 180 aircraft but in none of these years did the airline turn a profit. Experts blame it on a rapid expansion, continued subsidy, rising fuel prices, economy downturn and stiff competition from Low Cost Airlines.

Janis van Herbert, aviation analyst comments,"AL has not been able to finds its niche in the competitive environment. It is neither a luxury airline nor a low cost carrier. The end of subsidies earlier last year (HMG had decided to end all subsides to AL in July 2018) and a very large operational base surely puts a lot of pressure on the company."

Meanwhile, trouble seems to be brewing up at Air Liberte as the proposed sale draws to a close. As reported earlier, on Friday AL Employees Asssociation threatened an 'all out' strike if employee grievances are not addressed before the sale. They claimed 'proper treatment' and 'should not be thrown away like tissue' after the acquisition. "The future is worrisome" sums up Noémi Allard, President of the Flight Attendants Union. The representatives of various unions met the Board of Directors here on Friday over a 4 hour long meeting at the end of which the Board assured that the best interest of the employees as well as the guests lie at the core of the sale. The threat of the strike was thus withdrawn but the Unions told our correspondent that they will use their right to approach Her Majesty's Workers Right Department if the deal is not amiable to the workers. The trouble seems to subside, at least for now.
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Postby Mizialand » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:07 am

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"I CAN ENGLISH SPEAK" SAYS NEW MINSTER FOR THE ECONOMY
The People Have Their Doubts


Heleventia:The newly appointed Minister for the Economy,Maik Koch said here on Monday," I can English speak." He was being asked a question about his perceived lack of multilingual skills by a correspondent from a national newspaper. Mr. Koch replied in English before switching to his native German,"...but I prefer to speak in German."

Mr. Koch was widely mocked in the social media - a comment on Twitter reads "May be he thought "Well, English is basically just German, so this should work!"" Some people raised questions as to how Mr. Koch will conduct business and briefings in international meetings.

Mizialand has three official languages - French, Dutch and German. Most people are bilingual in at least two - and all students learn English, at least till Grade 10. Though English proficiency is low in the country, most politicians have a basic command of the language.

In meetings conversation is usually carried out in either French or Dutch but translations are made simultaneously. However Mr. Koch was also criticized by the United Mizialand Opposition Front member Janis de Groot," His French hurts my ears. Its terrible." In international meetings while translation is provided, it is essential to have at least communication command of English which otherwise may be a handicap during lunches or informal meets. However, the constitution does not mentions any language skills as a requirement for a minister.

Leading Political Scientist Micheline Calmy-Rey commented," It is important to know English because his position will require dealing with lot of foreign corporations and governments. English is of course, the language of business."
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Postby Mizialand » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:38 am

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NO HOLIDAY ON DURGA PUJA, EID

Referendum to recongnise them as public holiday rejected


Heleventia: The result of the referendum regarding recognition of the sixth day of Durga Puja and Eid-ul-Fitr, the last day of Ramadan was declared here on Sunday. This nation wide referendum recorded a turnout of 40,4% with 65,5% votes for 'No' 34,2% votes for 'Yes' and 0,3% votes declared as 'Invalid'. This referendum was held after the representatives from the Bengali and the Muslim communities in Mizialand, which form the largest migrant community (after excluding migrants from Lorecia), gathered enough signatures for a 'National Referendum'.

In Mizialand, referendum are held at three levels - Communal, Municipal and National. According to Article 3.2 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1996 any citizen aged 18 years and above of sound legal and mental capacity can initiate a referendum which can be voted upon once it attains 200,000 signatures. The signatures are verified at the Commune and the Commune, through their Provincial Representative sends the signature to La Frachiere (the Parliament) which assents it (the Parliament cannot refute any referendum which has required signatures) and puts it to vote. All citizens aged 18 and above of sound legal and mental capacity can vote on the referendum. Mizia citizens residing abroad can also vote at the Mizia embassies and/or consulates.

The referendum was initiated by Mizia Hoichoi, an organisation representing the Bengali Community here. The Bengali Community forms 0,9% of Mizialand's population, 64% of whom are Hindu, 33% Muslims and rest identify as 'Atheists'. Durga Puja is a major festival of the Shaktism sect of Hinduism which marks the victory of the shape shifting Goddess Durga against the demon Mahisasura. Since 2006, celebrations for Durga Puja have taken place at major cities such as Heleventia, St. Louis, Dakota, Bonn, and Amersfoort. It is especially celebrated with great enthusiasm in 'Litte Bengal' neighbourhood of Heleventia.

Eid ul Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting in Islamic traditions. Though initiated by the Mizia Hoichoi, this festival is celebrated by almost all of the Muslims in Mizialand which form 3,5% of the population. It is an expression of the communal aspects of Islam such as giving alms to poor, charity, worship, patience etc. Usually most Muslims take a day of work on that day and pray at mosques.

Business and public holidays allow a day off for religious observance as a tradition rather than a rule. Many small and locally owned businesses however do not give a day off to their employees for these reasons; thus the Community felt for the proposal to be introduced at the National Level. Moreover the laws regarding 'personal and religious observances' vary from Commune to Commune and the Community felt that a uniformity was necessary. The referendum was opposed by the right wing 'Alternative Party', currently the largest party in opposition in the Parliament. "For every minority we cannot give a holiday. Then we will have so many holidays and consequent loss to business and productivity." said Janis de Laang, spokesperson for the party. The party had also campaigned against this referendum.

As is the current trend, this referendum saw a low voter turnout. "It did not concern us. I wonder how they managed enough signatures." said Thomas Sahin, who had recently turned 18 and is looking forward to other referendum "worthy of our time". Similar sentiments were expressed by Lola Gaël, a school prinicpal in St. Louis,"We already had 3 national referendum and 10 communal referendum so far this year. Next year, I'm going to be a member of the Communal Council. I suppose there's something like too much democracy." The trend of decreased public participation was observed in 2018 Mizia Voter Report on the occasion of the Third Anniversary of General Elections. According to it "35% of the respondents were tried of the political participation."

Khondakar Abu Naseer, a member of the Hoichoi expressed his regret that the proposal was rejected. "I am disappointed, but at least these days can be taken as observance." The Community campaigned and tried to raise awareness regarding the issue but unfortunately their efforts did not bear fruits. "We did not get a positive response from many Communes. Also we are only limited to largely urban Communes." said Mr. Naseer. It seems, for now, that people will have to depend on the whims of their employers for holiday on these days.
Last edited by Mizialand on Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mizialand » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:03 am

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EDITORIAL: STATE CAPITALISM - THE WAY FORWARD

Unlike other economies of the Lorecian Community, State Capitalism will be a major driver of growth


The Economy Minister's remark during the 2019-20 Budget Presentation that for sustained growth Mizialand needs a shift from state capitalism to "democratic capitalism", or the Third Way, not only to better integrate itself in the Lorecian Community but also as a means to achieve sustained growth, needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. While not indicative of in the present budget, such a remark suggests a change, or at least thoughts of change in the government policy. As we enter into the 2020s where 'sustainable' and not 'sustained' growth is expected to be a focus, the continuing role of the State in the economy remain crucial.

The data from Das (2015) suggests the striking role the State plays in the economy: : eight of the 10 largest firms by assets were state-owned in 2015. More importantly these firms are in the area of petroleum, natural gas, coal and steel providing the key capital goods for the economy. Waterbury (1993) described these firms as "cash-guzzling dinosaurs, characterized by ‘sloth, waste, and inefficiency’ thanks to the ‘genetic flaw’ of their links with government"; yet they have looked remarkably healthy. Despite increased competition from the private sector, they are more profitable and more efficient than their private counterparts (Moeun, 2017).

Lazzaarini in 2014 described three problems of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs): the agency problem of poor managerial selection, incentive, and monitoring, the social problem of multiple objectives and the political problem of political interference and corruption. Due to these problems, the Lorecian Community and rest of the developed world, beginning from the 1970s, began to turn away from this model. This was when the nature of State Capitalism in Mizialand began to change. We did not abandon this path but reformed it to sustain in an increasingly competitive world.

State Capitalism 2.0

This 'State Capitalism' (let us call it, unlovingly State Capitalism 2.0) is state steered. While the State continues to play an active role in the process of investment and innovation, it attempts to stimulate and not replace the private sector. Now, this leads to a change in the operating environment of the SOEs: first, they are exposed to disciplining power of the market to force efficiency, and second, by increasing their autonomy and endowing them with the trappings of corporate governance. How far these measures have been successful, depends on empirical evidence.

As the rest of Lorecian Community embarked on, or in some cases were the harbinger of 'absolute private ownership', in the 1930s, Queen Marjoline asserted a modified role of the SOEs. She commented that 'State Owned Enterprises' shall be granted complete autonomy to enable them to compete with the emerging private enterprises in the post war economy boom. This was reasserted by the 'Corporate Governance Act, 1951' which stipulated that in SOEs, based on their performance and future prospects will be granted financial and managerial autonomy and powers to incur capital expenditure. A second measure, entry of minority stakeholders also modified the SOEs future prospectus. Have these measures ensured their survival in an increasingly competitive world? The answer is mixed. While 389 SOEs have been privatized and 113 bankrupt since 1967, majority of SOEs today are profitable, growing at an average of 14 percent in fiscal 2017-18. However, while they behave as market players, they certainly benefit from preferential treatment by Her Majesty's Government, for example access to cheap land, railway freight, and finance via public sector banks.

Exploiting the SOEs

The aforementioned three problems described by Lazzaarini do, to some extent, haunt the SOEs. The enterprises healthy profits provide a regular stream of revenue for Her Majesty's Government. Continued political interference and nepotism, despite provisions to tackle them remains a major problem. The board still remains within control of Her Majesty's Government with the controlling line of ministers having little formal roles and responsibilities. The older ‘social’ and ‘political’ considerations—like provision of government revenues, employment, and social objectives—have not disappeared. Beyond corporate profitability CPSEs continue to advance state goals and provide a source of patronage. It is well known that their managing directors are appointed through politicized processes.

They fund a multiplicity of subsidies, which go both to private firms and continue to pacify rival groups that demand a share of the spoils—through cheap power for wealthy agriculturalists and residential consumers, for example. They provide regular dividends and other revenues for the government. At times of financial hardship they are mined still harder for resources: when the Economy Minister promised to limit the overall budget deficit in the face of the financial slowdown, he relied in part on extracting a special interim dividend of $2.6 billion from MiziaPEC.

Conclusion

Yet the SOEs continue to perform well, even in the face of increasing competition. MiziPEC is one of the largest corporation by revenue in Astyria. Majority of the SOEs have an operating ratio of 70 or less. Privatization, at least for now, remains at a slow place. And most importantly, the Mizia economy continues to grow at a healthy rate of 2,3%, thanks to the profiting SOEs.

In this regard, the Minister's remarks rather seem to suggest an upcoming shift in the government's policy, perhaps an approach to fit Mizia economy better into the puzzling complexities of the developed world, not to mention that the Mizia Economy is itself complicated. Mizialand's entry into the Lorecian Community provides the SOEs with an expanding and vibrant consumer base and new avenues of capital and international financing. Further streamlining and making them adaptive to a changing market environment can augment their profits, though the challenges of an integrated and liberalized economy demands an ever evolving operating environment.
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Postby Mizialand » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:41 am

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REFERENDUM TO AMEND CITIZENSHIP ACT GETS HER MAJESTY'S ASSENT

National Referendum to be held on 11th February


Heleventia:Her Majesty's Office on Public Relations here released yesterday that the referendum to amend the Citizenship Act 1890 will be held on 11th February, after having received Her Majesty's Assent.

The referendum was initiated by a social interest group SOI L'Harve last year. It seeks to terminate the citizenship of naturalised citizens or citizens whose parents were naturalised if they have been convicted of imprisonment of more than 2 years under both civil and criminal law. The exact terms of the referendum question reads as follow:

"Should the citizenship of those persons, who have been convicted of an offence, resulting in an imprisonment of not less than 2 years (i.e. 2years or more) under Her Majesty's civil and/or criminal law, be terminated?"

Marine Mergois, a member of the SOI, who has been campaigning for this legislation explains on the group's website,"Just go outside St. Louis Central Station. You see all these drug pedlars, drug dealers, anti social characters. It does not look like Mizialand at all. Visit any prison. I mean any. You will find 70% of the incarcerated are immigrants. We have really gone wrong somewhere. Something has to be done to realise the conception of Mizialand Uber Alles and M4M (Mizialand for Mizia). Our taxpayers money cannot be wasted upon such people. They have violated their oath of citizenship."

If the vote is positive for the first national referendum of this year, the Parliament will be obliged to bring in a bill to this effect. However the passage of the bill depends on the Parliament's vote. Given that the current SPACIYA coalition has not been very vocal about immigration related issues and different parties in this coalition have often expressed diverging views regarding immigration, the fate of such a proposed bill will be in doldrums. Moreover, if the bill is not passed, it will amount to a loss in confidence of the Parliament in HMG and may lead to resignation of this government. Since 2016, the coalition has overcome differences to maintain majority on key issues. It remains to be seen whether the coalition will be able to agree on this issue.

When Ms. Mergois was asked about the constitutional validity of such a legislation, she replied that law operates equally among the equal. She was referring to the the doctrine of 'equal protection of law' which states that like must be treated alike. For this purpose Her Majesty's Government must make 'reasonable classification' provided such 'classification' is 'homogenous' and 'for a defined objective'. In this case conviction of more than two years is classified as 'citizen by birth/descent' or 'citizen by naturalisation' and the objective is reduction of crime. Therefore, Ms. Mergois, argues that such a law will be constitutionally valid. This has been affirmed by Mr. George Tucker, a recognised legal expert.

The referendum does not mention the fate of those convicted accordingly. "Send them back," said Ms. Mergois when asked this question. However, given that their citizenship is terminated and they may not hold dual citizenship of their country of origin, the bill will effectively, render such people stateless, sending them back may not be in question. The provisions in this regard will become clear once a bill is drafted.

MBLM, an organisation representing the interest of Muslim immigrants has criticised this referendum, adding that it makes immigrants unwelcome in a country which has traditionally accepted people from diverse backgrounds. Barim Beglois, chairperson of MBLM said, "Mizialand is like a salad. All communities here maintain their separate identity and taken together what comes out is a beautiful mosaic of multilingualism and diversity that this crossroad of Lorecia has maintained since time immemorial. This referendum is discriminatory. "Crime is higher among Muslims only in certain area. Social exclusion and poverty are the main reasons behind it, not a particular religion. Hate the crime, not the criminal." Poverty rate have been higher among Muslims, with those of Muslim background, earning 35% less than the next highest cohort. The MBLM has maintained that it will take this matter to the Supreme Court if such a "discriminatory" law is passed.

The legistation will not affected those already convicted, unless the bill makes such provisions therof.
Last edited by Mizialand on Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mizialand » Fri May 01, 2020 9:33 am

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THE KINGDOM CELEBRATES 109TH QUEEN'S DAY

Premier Priscilla of Eothasia attends as chief guest


Heleventia: It was with much fanfare that the 109th Queen's Day was celebrated here yesterday. Keeping in line with the tradition, the celebration began with the children's parade. Her Majesty and Chief Guest of the event Premier Priscilla of Eothasia, along with His Royal Highness Pierre Vincent and his wife, Her Royal Highness Hélène Vincent waved to 2,450 children aged 3 to 17 years from various parts of the country who marched in the parade.

Queen's Day is the celebration of the establishment of the Vincent Dynasty. It was on this day, 109 years ago, on 17th April 1912 that Guérin Vincent, the wife of the governor of the french speaking province of Seville marched along with her army to capture the city of Heleventia, the capital of the disintegrating Sanchez Empire. Welcomed by the civilian population of the ensuing towns, many of whom joined the army in their march towards Heleventia, HRH Guérin Vincent called this march the "People's March" and vowed to return Mizialand to its rightful ruler. This "People's Army" led by HRH Guérin Vincent vowed to avenge the murder of her husband and "countless innocents" during the 500 year tyrannical rule of the Sanchez dynasty. On 17th April 1912, the Palace of Fleury-Mérgois was shelled by the Vincent's army and the escaping king Franco Sanchez and the entire Sanchez dynasty executed. Thus with the fall of the Sanchez dynasty, HRH Guérin Vincent became the ruler of Mizialand. The ensuing civil war broke out as Dutch and German speaking provincial governors refused to accept the suzerainty of a French Queen. The Dutch provinces decided to remain independent while the German provinces declared that they henceforth "succeed from the Kingdom and want to accede to Scanonia" where they felt the "rights of the marginalised Germans would be better protected". HRH negotiated a series of power sharing formulas and enhanced provincial autonomy but each linguistic group claimed parity with the other which led to stalling of discussions. Ultimately the civil war lasting for 7 years witnessed ethnic cleansing, population shift, large scale destruction and economic ruin. HRH Guérin Vincent emerged victorious at the end of 7 years amidst infighting among the three linguistic groups. Most of the Dutch and German nobility was put to death while some escaped to Noordenstaat and Scanonia respectively.

The Queen's Day parade, unlike a military parade, sees the march of children from the whole country. Regional symbols, flags along with arts and crafts made by the children are also displayed. Many march along with a band, some march singing popular folk tunes, and recently a few children also perform a dance for HRH and the chief guest. This parade serves as a reminder of Mizia unity amidst its diversity. It showcases HRH not only as a unifying symbol of the three linguistic groups but also as a reminder that the fight for freedom has to be cherished by each succeeding generation. Once freedom is won, it has to be protected, fought for, and won over and over again as it is passed from one generation to another. The parade is a symbol of continued Mizia unity and optimism in the face of greatest adversity. The future generation is reminded of the sacrifices that has made this hard won freedom possible and the need to not only protect but also strengthen it. The smiling faces and the dancing feet of the young generation symbolises the growth and development and the continued march to eternal prosperity that takes place in liberty's bosom.

After the parade, the entire country holds a 2 minute silence for the victims of the tyrannical rule of the Sanchez dynasty and the Civil War of 1912-1919. Vehicles and trains stop. Citizens who are in their home stand up and pray for the martyred souls. The national anthem is played on television and over the loudspeakers. The families of the martyrs hold a candle light vigil and march barefoot to their graves. This moroseness contrasts with the earlier mirth to remind us of the dark chapter in our nation's pasts. People from different linguistic communities, ethnicities, and religion tie bands on each other's wrists as a symbol of everlasting hope and unity. It reminds us of the perils of dissipation while also reminding us that our unity is our greatest strength.

The graduating class from high school has its own celebration on April 17, staying up all night and making the rounds through the community. Theyalso have their own parades later in the day, usually around 4 or 5 PM. In this parade, they will parade through the street with their bus or car carrying signs and pickets. They may parody various local and political aspects, although recently this has become less frequent. These parades have lately become smaller and smaller due to diligent police discouragement.

The nights witnesses light and sound shows organised by the local organisations, resident's association, clubs, political groups, etc. Most people spend their night indoor watching patriotic films and special programs on the TV. Some associations also organise fireworks while a few individuals celebrate on their own drinking and partying with family and friends.

Since 2012, Her Majesty has been inviting a foreign dignitary as a chief guest to attend the parade. This takes place alongside summits, informal meets, forums, and state visits from that country. This year Premier Priscilla of Eothasia attended as the chief guest. This was alongside her informal meeting with PM Ben Vilke in Dakota, and a more formal delegatory level meet scheduled later in the day.

All in all, the Queen's day celebration is a showcase of this nation unity and strength. It is a reminder of the sacrifices that has made this country a reality and that our real power is that the while the three groups continue to maintain their sepearte identities, we realise that our interests are similar and it is only a united continued march that will take us towards the long cherished dream of our founders of liberty, equality, fraternity, and justice.
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Postby Mizialand » Fri May 01, 2020 11:46 am

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Prince Pierre with his son Robert.

On the night of 7th July 1999, in his room at St. George's boarding school, 17 year old Prince Pierre Vincent was preparing for his last paper of the Pre University Examinations. He scored a brilliant 8,9 in his Calculus II paper, perhaps because HRH Sophie Vincent had decided not to inform him of the events that had transpired that night on the grounds of the royal palace. A massacre had taken place at the residence of the monarchy. 15 members of the royal family died, all belonging to the Vincent dynasty. HRH Sophie Vincent, who was crowned the Queen two years ago had survived. Queen Mother AmberlynnLaPierre Vincent and King Lucien Vincent were among the dead, which included any potential claimant to the throne. For HRH the further course of action was clear - an inquiry committee was set up which named Robin Hébras, a member of the Republican Socialist Party (RSA) as the preparator. Leadership of that party was sentenced to death - the first time the death penalty was used in the last 50 years. National emergency was imposed, which would continue for the remaining year, the Parliament was suspended indefinitely , and Sophie Vincent ruled by decree for almost a year - jailing opponents and the "opposing nobility", massacring almost the entirety of RSA, and abolishing royal titles except that of the surviving family. Lèse-majesté was applied with full force and any claims to any conspiracy regrading the massacre, including denial of the official narrative, invited severe penalties under the law.

It was under such conditions that young Pierre returned home. The death of his family naturally left him devastated. Much before the tragedy, Pierre had declared to his mother that he would never lay any claim to throne. That meant one thing - then 26 year old Sophie was to ascend to the throne in 1997. All monarchs have been women since 1912 and they will continue to be - since the present heir apparent is also a woman, though she is not exactly royal blood. However we should not forget that despite this fact, the Mizia society is quintessentially patriarchal. What exists for men has to be demanded for women and this is task every female monarch is upto. Mere ascension to throne, does not, in Mizialand, ensure the reign of the monarch. The task is set forth - consolidation of her position lest she be left as a mere puppet in the hands of the nobility. The nobility resists the monarchy. Mizia throne has been a contest between the female authority and the male nobility. Since 1912 this authority had to be imposed. The challenge has been humungous - get the support of nobility or be ready to be replaced. The nobility is not opposed to women monarchs but wants them to be puppet regents at best and seat warmers for the upcoming nobility at worst. In 1997, as young Sophie ascended the throne, the patriarchal nobility had its eye on the prize. Keeping conspiracies aside, Sophie’s task was made relatively easy by the 1999 massacre. Kingship knows no kinship and the massacre had ended the kinship. Many relatives were exiled on pretence of aiding the massacre as a part of wider conspiracy to overthrow the Vincent dynasty. Trust none was the mantra. Democratic reforms to fast-track Lorecia Community (LC) accession was the goal. Nobility had to be destroyed, even if the pretence was democracy. “We cannot live in a page out of feudal history.” HRH had declared in 2000 as she presented “Road Map to Democracy: Political Freedom Now” agenda. The dawn of the millennia found Mizialand in turmoil and it was this turmoil 17 year old Pierre returned home to.

Concurrent with the conspiracies implicating HRH Sophie Vincent (the discussion of which still remains banned under Lèse-majesté), another set of conspiracies emerged - these involved young Pierre. The latter, as the coming decade would show, turn out to be true. Hélène Françoise had been teaching Year 12 at St. George’s for past 12 years in 1997. Father Luis, the then Principal of St. Geroge’s recalls, “I was against hiring her, but the school board decided none the less to go ahead - they were too afraid of discriminatory lawsuits. But we never had any problems with her. Two years into her teaching, she married (it was her second one), in 96, she divorced, but no, she was beautiful, head smart, anyone would be lucky to have her but she had her bad share of luck. There was rumours of IPV (in partner violence), sometimes we heard screams coming in dead of night from her house, but we decided to leave the matter. It wasn’t our place to say anything. As far as her partners were concerned, she was unlucky, until of course…”

When Pierre returned after completing his schooling, rumours about his relations with Hélène began. Some even suggested that they maintained relations while Pierre was in school. The staff and Pierre’s classmates deny such rumours. “They weren’t close. Pierre never asked any questions. He was shy. I don’t think they ever talked anything other than what was necessary.”, recalls one of the prince’s classmates. For the coming decade, Pierre and Hélène began secret courtship. Tabloids and paparazzi diverted their attention, trying to scrounge whatever was available. In July 2010, Blitz, a tabloid published scandalous report that Pierre and Hélène had a child out of wedlock. This revelation was sure to invite penalty under lèse-majesté but surprisingly Pierre himself confirmed the scandal. “Yes, we have a child and we do not plan on getting married anytime soon.” This was the headline of almost all newspapers that day. For the monarchy it was what could be best equated with ‘dereliction of duty’ the duty being upholding moral values. Naturally a question arouse whether HRH could tolerate so and she did. In a rare public appearance, she said, “ A woman’s destiny is not her own. She is defined by the relations of her husband. She is a daughter, wife, mother, daughter in law, mother in law, sister, even her friend’s are not her own - her husband’s friends wife’s are her friends. Her personal relations remain defined by her family. Marriage is a contract. Consent is required for contract. Here we have two individuals who do not consent to marriage. I cannot understand what is wrong with that. A woman’s choice is her own as a man’s is his. I support Pierre’s decision. The decision to marry is up to them.” The Royal Family not only owned up to this ‘scandal’ but also accepted it as a norm. A Chinese wall between public and private life was emphasised as were the realisation, not merely the existence of the rights of a woman. Marriage is a private affair and the royal family attested that.

In 2017, in a low key, private ceremony Hélène and Pierre got married. In 2018, HRH announced Hélène Vincent as the heir apparent. The modern royal family does not contradict its duty and modernity. It has worked to bring in changes in Mizia political and social life, the best example of the former being voluntary, gradual, sustained, and successful transition to democracy. The royalty supports social changes, yet it does not want such changes to be thrust from above. Societal changes come when the society itself changes. Legislation and punishments can only work to an extent. Any change has to be gradual, brought about by the society itself in a bottom up manner. The royal family reflects this - it balances its duty with modernity and in the words of HRH “adapting to the changing time”

It is these changing times that Hélène Vincent will find herself in when she ascends the throne. She will not have to face the problem of ‘consolidating’ her position or dealing with the nobility but a more precarious one - a society that lives in contradiction. One that claims equal voice and opportunity for women but denies them equal value.
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Mizialand Embassy Programmel Our Factbookl MiziaNews.mzlOOC&IC Me
Member of Astyria
Proud Monarch of the ♔♚IMPERION COALITION♚♔
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