The Deltarian

Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:21 pm

Clerical takeover in Deltaria
Czar Ľubomír II sidelined...for now
Martinek picks up Cardinal's hat

October 3513
by Orbán Olasz

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Deltaria's new rulers

Hosiany Národná Strana (HNS) have done it, sweeping the legislative elections to win 68 of the 75 positions on the Deltarĭsko Věšte. After his preferred faction won only 7 seats, and realising the tide was turning against him, Czar L'ubomir II quietly conceded the result and agreed to appoint an HNS government led by Vladan Martinek. The Terran Patriarchal Church is pleased with the result, and is expected to gain increased influence under the new regime. In recognition of Martinek's new status, Papez Ľudovít appointed him a Cardinal - one of the most prestigious titles in the Church.

It remains to be seen what the relationship will be like between the Czar and his new government. For the time being, he appears willing to sit back and let Martinek run the show, but L'ubomir has form as a ruthless disposer of government ministers. The populist-leaning HNS is likely to try to trim the wealth and power of the nobility in order to improve the lot of the middle-class and the poor. However, Martinek has already bargained away his more radical policies in his bid to win support from the powerful aristocrat-dominated Vovoideship Veches that elect the national legislature. It remains difficult to believe he would go too far in upsetting Deltaria's political, economic and religious establishments - all dominated by a small number of powerful families. Nevertheless, there has undoubtedly been a political shift in Deltara, and observers at home and abroad are in great anticipation to see where it will lead.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:12 am

Martinek presses ahead with populist reforms
Church rakes in subsidies for education and health programs
...but how far dare he go?

May 3514
by Orbán Olasz

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Saint Prĕčista Hospital for the Poor in Hadsingojer

Cardinal Vladan Martinek, Deltaria's powerful new Prĭvŭ Posadnikŭ, is maneuvering legislation through the Věšte which would radically expand the role of the Terran Patriarchal Church in delivering education and health services to the poor. His faction's Church Schools Act would provide the Church with state funding to educate the children of parents who want to send their offspring to school but cannot currently afford to do so. Similarly, his Churchcare Health Reform Act would subsidise Church-run health facilities for providing health treatment to the poor. Analysts predict these measures would substantially improve living standards in Deltaria, but would also further tighten the Terran Patriarchal Church's stranglehold over Deltarian society. But perhaps this is not surprising when we consider the Cabinet is comprised of one Cardinal, one Archbishop, two bishops, six priests and three monks.

So far, Czar L'ubomir II, who constitutionally retains overall power as absolute monarch, has tolerated the Martinek government's legislative programme, and indeed has even permitted his 7 Czarist lawmakers to support them. However, conflict could develop if Martinek tests the patience of the old establishment too far. Already there is speculation his progressive income tax reforms, which would substantially increase the tax burden on the wealthy nobles, could provoke fierce resistance.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:17 pm

Deltaria pushed to the brink over army reforms

April 3515
by Orbán Olasz

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Newly-enrolled soldiers swearing loyalty to the Czar

Following a continuing internal power struggle between the Czar and many of the nobles on the one hand, and the Terran Patriarchal Church and the Hosiany Národná Strana (HNS) administration on the other, the government has announced bold and controversial plans to reform the army. Under the Army of Boh Act, soldiers would swear allegiance to the Papez rather than the Czar, nobles would be forced to disband their private standing armies and all non-members of the Terran Patriarchal Church would be expelled from the armed forces. The Act would also ban women from serving in the army in any capacity, marking a decisive break with Deltaria's famous female warrior tradition.

Will the Head of Government, Cardinal Vladan Martinek, be able to pull this one off? Fears are growing he has gone one step too far, and that the Czar and his supporters both in the nobility and within the army itself are plotting revolt. One very senior general, who preferred not to be named, told me:

Since the HNS took power in October 3513, they have been cynically trying to reduce the authority of the Czar and the nobles in order to augment the power, wealth and privileges of the Church. If Martinek gets away with what he wants to do to the army, we really will be halfway down the road towards out-and-out theocracy. I really don't think he is going to get away with this, though. Us soldiers are simple people, but we take the oath of loyalty we swore to the Czar very seriously and religiously. How could we possibly swear ourselves body and soul in allegiance to the Czar, and then turn around and revoke that oath by swearing obedience to the Papez instead?


A powerful aristocrat, who also preferred to be quoted anonymously, told me:

Bit by bit, Martinek, the HNS and the Church have been clawing in all the power for themselves and stripping us of our noble rights. Well, we nobles have had enough of it. We will not tolerate having our private armies taken away from us. If that happened, how would we defend ourselves?


Publicly, Martinek and his government ministers are insisting everything is okay, but privately, it is being reported they are fearing for their own skins. "Either we succeed with this or we'll all probably get impaled on stakes outside the gates of the Czar's Palace," one minister told me over coffee. He spoke those words as though he was joking, but they could yet prove prophetic.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:43 pm

Czarists claim victory over army loyalty oath
...but Martinek gets way over private armies ban

May 3515
by Orbán Olasz

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Czar Ľubomír II

After a tense stand-off with the Czarists that brought Deltaria to the edge of the precipice, Cardinal Vladan Martinek has backed down over his plan to make soliders swear an oath of personal allegiance to the Papez instead of the Czar. Reading from a written statement, Martinek told reporters:

In the end we decided this change was unnecessary. An oath to the Czar is, after all, ultimately an oath to the Papez anyway because the Papez is the human representative on earth of the spiritual authority which gives meaning to the swearing of oaths in the first place.


Martinek and his Cabinet are denying they have committed a major climb-down, but few serious observers agree with them. Most people are more relieved than anything else, though. One member of the legislature told me:

Thank Boh that all of this is over! We were seriously wondering whether the government would try to oust the Czar, or the Czar would try to oust the government, and then there might be a civil war. I'm just relieved we can breathe freely once again.


Despite the setback over the loyalty oath issue, the Hosiany Národná Strana regime is still set to achieve much of what it wanted out of the Army of Boh Act. The private armies of the nobles will be forced to disband, and only male followers of the Terran Patriarchal Church will be allowed to enter the armed services in the future. This means that in the future it will be more difficult for Deltaria's notoriously rebellious nobles to cause trouble, and more unlikely that the army would seek to challenge a strongly religious Hosian government. So although today's news might sound at first like a defeat, perhaps in real terms Martinek has strengthened his position.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Polites » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:27 pm

Vonkajšíci Assault Estates

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Tsargrad, September 27 3515 - Czar Ľubomír's feared private militia and secret police, the Vonkajšíci (literally "men asside"), have begun an all-out assault on aristocratic and capitalist properties throughout Deltaria, executing any nobles they can find and calling on the Czar to take full command of the economy. Formed in April 3514, soon after the return of Ľubomír on the Deltarian throne, the Vonkajšíci are the Czar's attempt at keeping the nobility and Church in line. It is widely known that at the beginning of his first reign, the current Czar announced that he would rule as an absolute monarch, a proclamation that gave much hope to the lowborn of Deltaria, all too often subject to the whims of the nobility. The Vonkajšíci are thus the heirs of the revolutionary side of the Czarist Restoration, and the descendants of the illustrious National Bolsheviks, the Union of Deltarian Peasants, the Workers' Rights Party, and other organizations campaigning for a Czardom that cares. So far, the revolutionary actions of the Vonkajšíci have not received the support of the Czar, but as the violence spreads throughout Deltaria they might earn the condemnation of the government of Cardinal Vladan Martinek, and thus of the Church.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:54 pm

Martinek buys off the nobles
...but now the peasants are revolting!
(and the Czar's secret police are pulling the strings)

September 3515
by Orbán Olasz

Image

Amid fears of disgruntled nobles beginning armed rebellion in protest at the decision to ban their private armies, the Finance Minister, Brother Branko Jespersen, cravenly announced the government would use funds budgeted for the alleviation of poverty amongst the peasants in order to offer the nobles massive compensation payments for the loss of their regiments.

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Peasants making their way towards Tsargrad

Observers were shocked by the callousness of the decision, but for a while it seemed crisis had been averted. Now, however, the peasants are revolting, murdering and looting their way around the country and begging the Czar to come over to their side. It is an open secret that Czar L'ubomir II's secret police are heavily implicated in this uprising. Given his long-running disputes with the government, legislature, Church and nobles, the Czar might just be tempted to use the peasantry to crush his political opponents and try to reassert his personal authoritarian rule. How this will all end is difficult to predict, but only one thing is for sure: Cardinal Vladan Martinek and his Hosiany Národná Strana regime are on the ropes.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:10 am

Desperate government throws money at angry peasants
...and imports military back-up from former enemy Zardugal

November 3515
by Orbán Olasz

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The Hosiany Národná Strana government in Tsargrad is panicking. First it tried to placate the Czar, then to buy off the nobles. Now, humiliatingly, it is struggling to bribe the peasants into putting down their weapons. Cardinal Vladan Martinek's Pacification of the Peasants Act will deliver a massive 70,000,000,000 Deltarian Telars every year in subsidies to peasant farmers. Shockingly, it will also suspend Deltaria's ban on bestiality for a six month period. A source close to Martinek said:

The Cardinal was absolutely aghast when we told him he should do this, but he eventually saw the light of reason. The peasants we are having problems with are, well, a certain type of peasant, and appealing to their baser instincts is the only way to persuade them - even if that goes against our Hosian principles. If we don't head off this crisis, we will be looking at the end of our government.


In an equally dramatic development, the Defence Minister, Father Erland Knudsen, has shocked international observers by announcing that the Zardugal government is sending 6000 paratroopers and 4000 "military advisors" to Darali for "joint military training exercises". Few now doubt that Martinek has formed a tacit alliance with Deltaria's former enemy, hoping the presence of Zardugal troops will stabilise the situation and deter attempts to oust his regime.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Now THEY are demanding our money!

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Priests demonstrating outside government offices in Tsargrad

April 3516
Opinion piece by political commentator Mahulena Jelen

First, Cardinal Vladan Martinek's government tried to buy off discontented nobles by showering them with public funds designated for our half-starved, long-suffering peasants. Then, when the peasants revolted, they bribed them with new promises of long-awaited subsidies. That threatened rebellion seems to have petered out, and the government's generous amnesty offer is being taken up in droves. Now, however, Martinek is facing another crisis. And this time, it is one engineered by his own clerics.

Father Werdheri Chvátal, a parish priest from the city of Branovice, is leading a nation-wide strike of priests demanding a 105% pay rise. Explaining his actions, Chvátal says:

For decades, the remuneration of priests has virtually stood still, whilst the pay of bishops, archbishops and cardinals has shot through the roof. This is completely unacceptable. We demand and we deserve a fair deal. Until we get our pay rise, we will refuse to perform any of our duties. Just think of how many people will go to Hell because they've died without confessing and receiving absolution? How can Cardinal Martinek allow such a situation to continue for a single day?


Martinek is in a tricky situation, because he knows the Papez and most of the Church leadership are reluctant to spend any more money on the salaries of priests. Well-placed sources reveal that the government is trying to come to an arrangement with the Church and the priests whereby the priests would receive a pay rise largely or entirely funded by the tax-payer.

But I must ask, how reasonable is this? Who is looking out for the interests of us tax-payers? At the moment it seems the government is so fearful for its survival that it capitulates every time any lobby group challenges it. This is surely not a situation that can continue for much longer. Sooner or later, the pot of money will run out.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Aquinas » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:18 pm

Petulant clerical government bans Indralan carrots

April 3516
by political commentator Mahulena Jelen

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Off the menu: no more Indralan carrots for us...

Following negative comments by the Indralan Emperor about Deltaria's political leadership, our government has decided to ban the import of Indralan carrots for the next 5 years. Deltarian business organisations have expressed regret over the ban, which they fear could lead to a "trade war" between the two countries. Explaining his government's decision, Cardinal Vladan Martinek said:

We needed to teach Indrala a lesson, so we have done. They won't mess with us any more after this. Banning the Indralan carrot was vital to Deltaria's national security, because Indrala is openly talking about undermining our national stability. I personally am going to boycott Indralan rice, broccoli and sweetcorn in protest at their Emperor's behaviour, and I urge all patriotic Deltarians to do the same.
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Re: Nesporný Pravda [Deltaria]

Postby Polites » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:17 am

Lower Clergy Strike


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Tsargrad, 30 July 3516 - Father Werdheri Chvátal's strike of the lower clergy is growing in popularity, with many of the discontent country priests, joined by the few remaining rebellious peasants, protesting violently in front of the country's major cathedrals. The most violent clashes occurred in Naban, the seat of Cardinal Martinek's diocese, and in Dolinka itself, the capital of the Holy Lands, where the Church militia opened fire against the protesters, resulting in 14 dead and 57 injured. The protests, demanding a large wage increase for the lower clergy, the end of Church supremacy in public life, and more tolerance for denominations other than the TPC, were joined by a large number of members of other faiths, becoming particularly popular in notoriously irreligious Doron Akigo. There were were also reported incidents of Church property being looted by vagrants, especially in the case of richer abbeys. As with the peasant revolt, the involvement of the Vonkajšíci, though widely suspected, has not been proven.
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