by Max Barry

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by Gruenberg. . 217 reads.

Gruenberg, economic superpower, "accidentally" severs all ties with region

FLURTHWEL -- On only her second day since ascending to the throne, Her Most Supremely Goat-Enabled Holiness, the High Sultana Jianna I, has initiated a complete scaling back of all of Gruenberg's international relations with its former region, Antarctic Oasis, in what is widely rumoured to have been a mistake, arising from accidentally pressing the wrong button. Nonetheless, "Operation Overgoat", Gruenberg's long-rumoured secret contigency plan in the event of deterioration of relations with Antarctic Oasis, cannot be revoked once triggered, and its implementation will have far-reaching consequences for the nation.

While Gruenberg resides geographically in the Malibu Islands region, it has long sought political affiliation with the Antarctic Oasis region; indeed, Gruenberg is commonly identified as "an Antartic nation", despite lying thousands of miles north of the pole and having a humid, tropical climate. This association began in the NSUN, when Gruenberg - lacking the endorsements necessary to submit legislation - was offered a political deal by Antarctic Oasis founders, the Federal Republic of Omigodtheykilledkenny, beginning a long and fruitful partnership that the High Sultana admitted had "been thought of as a kind of friendship among the Gruenberger people" and had seen "the happiest days of our most goat-enchanted Sultanate".

Since then, Gruenberg has served as delegate of the region for two terms, a Charter Nation, and a member of the Regional Security Council, and despite its NSUN/WA membership having long since lapsed and its diplomatic prominence having declined on the world stage, few had anticipated such an abrupt severing of relations. This has led many to speculate that the triggering of the plan was an accident, although the Sub-Viziery for Hands issued a press statement stating that the change in status reflected "both a reevaluation of Gruenberg's long term strategic interests, and a reflection of the sacrifice the Grand Haruspex made last Thursday", while cautioning that "I don't think we'll be using that particular butcher again".

The details of Operation Overgoat are only gradually becoming public, but they include:

  • complete political disaffiliation with the Antarctic Oasis region; Gruenberg now identifies solely as a member of the Malibu Islands/Southern Malibu Islands Co-Prosperity Sphere (an organization hastily created to give the High Sultana something to preside over)

  • resignation from the Antarctic Oasis Regional Security Council, with the Sub-Viziery for Legs clarifying that they "weren't really sure if we were still on that anyway"

  • nullification of the LinkAntarctic Oasis Economic Advancement Agreement, a regional free trade treaty largely written by Gruenberger diplomats, and the LinkAllied Antarctic Asskickers Treaty

  • cancellation of all other bilateral or multilateral agreements with all Antarctican nations and associated dependencies

  • withdrawal of all Gruenberger diplomats and foreign service staff, and closure of all embassies and consulates, in the region, with the exception of Moltan Bausch "because at this stage we have no f*cking clue where he is"; and, serving of immediate notice of withdrawal of diplomatic immunity and expulsion of all Antarctican diplomats and staff currently in Gruenberg

  • withdrawal of all Gruenberger Defence Forces personnel and materiel from the region and closure of all military bases, cancellation of all planned joint operations exercises, revoking of all military exchange programs, and cancellation of all military aid

  • suspension of all aid and sectoral assistance to the region, including calling in of all loans from the Gruenberger Development Bank, except for continuing targeted aid programs towards construction of a 50-mile high "Ice Goat" on an unoccupied shelf on the polar continent, an as yet unrealized plan that now constitutes the entire sum of all Gruenberger-Antarctican relations

  • notice of closure and expulsion of all Antarctican commercial assets in Gruenberg (the announcement that this would mean the end of WhaleCo Global LLC's Wednesday Whale Whopper deal sparked mass riots in Moroschwegen that left seven (whales) dead)

  • banning of all Antarctican media from Gruenberg, including the phenomenally popular "World Assembly" reality television show

  • cancellation of educational exchange programs, cultural demonstrations, and other citizen- or community-led cooperative efforts

The move does not mark complete isolationism for Gruenberg, which continues to participate in the world community primarily through aggressive economic expansion - recent World Surveys continue to place Gruenberg in the top 100 nations in the world by economic sector strength - but also through the "soft power" route of sport. An active participant in world cricket, Gruenberg is the current World Champion in T20 cricket, and currently hosting a Test tour by Wray.

Nonetheless, the drastic nature of the withdrawal from the region has left many scratching their heads at the unpredictability of the new regime. Outgoing Attorney General Lori Jiffjeff, already an outspoken critic of the new Sultana, was forceful in her denunciation: "This is totally immature from the High Sultana, and frankly a complete betrayal of our long-time allies in Antarctic Oasis: they were there to support us in our time of need, and now in their time of need, we are abandoning them." This is believed to be a reference to a current popular urban myth in Gruenberger circles, that a bad batch of Blast! Cola with mind-altering properties has temporarily deluded senior Antarctican government officials into supporting the crushingly stupid attempts to oppose repeal of the World Assembly resolution, "Rights & Duties". Gruenbergers in Exile spokesperson iiPranx Hembyat expressed support for the move, however: "It is only through diplomatic isolation that the world will truly see the depraved Gruenberger regime for what it truly is."

But overwhelming popular consensus remains that it is a bad move for Gruenberg. As Coalition for the Defence of the Fourth Wall media relations officer Vivisection Spungowollop said last night: "Ugh...just get a life, dude."