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(Jay Dardenne, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Economy)

Oceania Union regains the global economic top spot, officials scramble to retain vaunted position

Lafayette, Oceania Union

The Oceania Union has regained the economic top spot after being cast to second place for the last couple of years due to the ragging effects of the COVID-19 virus that swept across the planet. The Oceania Union being the center of the global economy and a hyper-connected transit node both internally and globally never stood a chance at stopping the infections from spreading through the nation before officials were finally able to halt the virus.

Unfortunately the virus wiped out hundreds of millions of Oceanians, over a billion citizens globally, and cost several states their territorial and political integrity. The Oceania Union which for a brief span of time was a Union on who the sun never set. Now the Oceania Union exist as a collection of fragmented territories with the exception of Great Louisiana which has always served as the central core of the union and remains the strongest of all the union regions.

Despite spending trillions in a failed attempt to retain even a semblance of the union's original territorial breath, the Oceania Union has lost roughly 46% of its territory to lands now infected by the virus and whose populace was sacrificed for the benefit of the whole. While Lafayette still maintains adequate government services to the millions of surviving residents, those residents can realistically never return normalized Oceanian society. We currently see movements to allow these regions to form their own separate government from the Oceania Union, however Lafayette has declined such banter hoping to eventually reclaim these regions after a cure is discovered. Further many of the regions contain precious mineral resources crucial for the advanced Oceanian industry that was spared being largely already based in Louisiana far from the troubles of the virulent outbreak.

Lafayette is undergoing an expansive economic redevelopment program designed to strengthen Great Louisiana's economy and redirect transit routes from virus exposed territory to routes that completely surpass them. Key points will be redeveloped to receive minerals extracted from these territories, at these points goods will also be distributed to the infected population. Lafayette will be boosting healthcare spending in all regions to strengthen the nations healthcare infrastructure to ensure this never happens again, while hospitals in the infected region will be reclaimed and will service the population in that region.

Advances in automation and robotics, along with breakthroughs from Oceania's extensive space program will ensure that the regions remains the central node of the global economy. Combined with efforts to shift some supply chains to other Union Bloc states, Oceania is confident that it will continue to steer itself and the Union Bloc back into an era of prosperity and success. We stand united, we are the Union Bloc of Socialist States.

(Union Bloc Chairman, John Bel Edwards)

Union Bloc chairman calls for alliance wide defense hike

"The Union Bloc will be prepared for any fight with any enemy, the Red Army will ensure of this Union's longevity and the sovereignty of the working man!"

Baton Rouge, Union Bloc

In a booming speech to the Palace of Nations, Union Bloc Chairman John Bel Edwards issued a new mandate to the world's largest socialist alliance.

"Compatriots! The time has come the imperialist yoke attempt to consolidate their borders, they attempt to enslave the working man, they desire to stamp out any competition in their corrupting quest for power!

Well I say that the Union Bloc will rise to the occasion once again as it bravely as in the past! I have signed an executive order to ramp up capability of the Red Army 3 fold, 30% of this increase will come via the Oceania Armed Forces due to their being the world's largest economy and the world's largest budget surplus. My friend State Chancellor Landrieu has personally assured me that he will immediately increase his defense expenditure by 700 billion and 1 trillion annually for the next 5 years.

The Union Bloc will be updating its military structure to include an updated Security Council that will include the national commanders in chief as well as their defense ministers. The national commanders in chiefs along with myself will decide the Uion's military policies and objectives within a Steering Committee with the national defense ministers working out what's needed to effect those goals and what will be needed to achieve those aims in a separate Strategic Conclave... next after the Conclave submits what's needed back to the Steering Committee, the Committee will then submit the proposal for review by the Treasury sub-committee to be packaged as a funding bill to the Palace of Nations and to the individual national parliaments of the member-states. The Palace of Nations is expected to provide bridge funding for up to 40% of the new cost to national militaries via transfers.

The Union Bloc is expected to channel up to 10 trillion in new defense expenditures within the next 5 years. The Oceania Union has already vowed to account for at least 30% of that requirement but likely can absorb at least 50% of the cost and 70% of the cost without serious economic damage in the short-term."

The Union Bloc is the world's largest economy and the world's 2nd largest economy. The socialist bloc began cutting defense spending in recent year citing the growing peace in the world. Now however the socialist world is firing up its defense industry with trillions in fresh spending and the imperialist yoke unleash their hellish fury upon the world's innocent.

(Oceania Naval Ship Ashana Class Frigate)

Oceania Union renames newly christened ship class after Ashana

Brusnwick, New Acadia, Oceania Union

The Oceanian Naval Forces have renamed a newly built class of space frigates in honor of new strategic partner and prospective Union Bloc member Ashana. The Ashana class frigates are a smaller class designed smaller than the typical frigate for the Oceanian Navy. This class was primary designed for cargo escort between Earth - Moon orbit and for receiving and departing missions between Moon - Mars orbit.

The vessels smaller sized was designed to allow for them to be concealed within larger cargo fleets. Raider swarms are to be lured into the ships approach zone where the frigates will emerge from the cargo fleet to engage their highly sophisticated EM attacks and to disable pirate ship targeting systems and overwhelm their computer systems. This will prevent raider vessels from countering the frigates plasma rails.

The ship despite its small size comes with a powerful power plant, coming fully loaded with 1 primary and a secondary fusion reactor to give crew additional options when engaging enemy targets. The vessel was primary designed for defense of local space and attacking raider bases in the asteroid belt.

The Oceania Union is designing new ship classes and producing modernized designs of established classes to be named after Union Bloc states and current and former regions of the Oceania Union itself. Lafayette is currently constructing Bossier-class Battleships in honor of the Union's former territory that had over a billion citizens. The Battleships will be largest and most advanced space faring vessels ever fielded by any nation and will unlikely be surpassed in size for at-least 30 years due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure, technology, and finance to create such class vessels.

Most nations will continue to produce frigate and rarely a cruiser class due to the extreme cost of such production that only the Oceania Union can afford due to its tremendous economic clout. Further Oceania heavily controls the critical minerals and technology needed to produce these vessels. The remaining other superpowers have so far failed to manifest the political will needed to conjure up the funds to begin to compete with Oceania in this area. These nations have instead decided to focus on creating scores of inferior classed vessels in the hopes of overwhelming the smaller but vastly technologically superior Oceanian Space Forces. Lafayette is spending hundreds of billions to upgrade the shipyards of other Union Bloc states in the hopes of accelerating the production of other ships that will protect the primary Oceanian fleet. The Oceania Union offers technology transfer of critical technologies to help Union Bloc allies gain production independence for their own space forces.

(Jay Dardenne, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Economy)

Oceania Union mulls 10 trillion in debt relief to allies

Lafayette, OU

Lafayette has recognized that additional financial relief required by it's allies. As such the Oceanian Parliament is set to debate a large aid program with fairly strict terms. Lafayette will commit to upwards of 10 trillion in debt relief, and the below conditions will be requested that applicant nation implement.

  • Average Tax Rate of 35% (or a legal promise to increase it to over time)
  • Re-direct savings (If debt completely wiped out) to military
  • Forgo URB Rebate for 8 Quarters (these funds will be earmarked to denied applicants)
  • Detailed Fiscal Reform Plan (We believe that most allies can credibly restore their solvency after the fiscal intervention)

Further some allies may receive conditional approvals, for instance a nation's whose popularity is severely eroded may not be approved for the full debt forgiveness program. So if a nation request 3 trillion in debt relief and their popularity is negative or shows other signs of imminent collapse the Program Director may decide to approve all of some of relief based on performance targets that will be set. This is to protect Oceanian taxpayers and ensure nation's have a greater motivation to ensure the longevity of the government which is the objective of the program. Allies will also have to acknowledge that failure to meet the conditions will mean that they will have to repay a portion of the debt relief up to 50%.

The move is unprecedented in regards to intra-alliance aid. Oceania as the world's economic hegemon is taking additional steps to protect the solvency of the alliance. Lafayette is boosting economic development measures to ensure it remains the world's largest national economy and to ensure it can finance its broad interest such as military development. The Oceanian budget is expected to dip into deficit for the next 10 years as Lafayette prepares to jack up spending tremendously to retain its international position.

Lafayette has notified the Union Bloc that as a result of this program, it will revise down its military spending commitments by at least 20% to fund this program. Lafayette expects remaining Union Bloc allies to pick up the remaining balance on the cost of the Rearmament Program ordered by the UB Chairman. Lafayette will also no longer commit to additional alliance-wide spending or bilateral debt guarantees to nation's outside the borders of the former Oceanian Union space. Lafayette is preparing for the latest round of Great Power competition as the sole remaining superpower outside the WRG, the OU is determined to rise as the world's most powerful nation while retaining its vaunted economic status.

(Michael McCormack, Vice Chancellor for for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development)

ITR Vice Chancellor boast of big quality of life enhancements to citizens and off-world colonist

L'Assomption Space Elevator, New Lafourche

Michael McCormack, the Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development has announced that the government has approved appropriations to massively enhance the nation's infrastructure and transport capacity in order to strengthen regional development. Naturally these improvements will also support the government's larger objective of sustaining economic growth to support overarching military dominance.

The Vice Chancellor stated that an additional 3 trillion has been approved to construct government owned civil lunar bases in contrast to the vast array of military and private civilian settlements sprawling the moon and mars. The additional capacity introduced by the government will complement private and military efforts to develop and militarize the Oceania Union's outer space presence.

500B has been approved to construct asteroid belt logistic staging stations. A total of 2 have approved with a 3rd nearly completed with the cost assessment phase as this station will essentially support the region of the belt that provides little reach to the outer solar system; yet will provide logistical support to support mining operations in the region. Lastly, 50 billion has been approved to support operations with other government departments for marketing support for space tourism already a trillion dollar industry.

The government will not further increase taxes to support these programs and will instead reach into capital markets to finance the deficit, the Oceanian Central Bank will also provide liquidity support to the government to fund the civil ventures. The moves are expected to cost 3 trillion but yield over 10 trillion in economic activity and will take less than 7 years to pay for themselves.

Earth-side, the Chancellery is moving to explore approving additional licenses for seafloor and sea surface developments. The Oceania Union currently maintains the world's largest collection of ocean cities with Pacifica and Oceania City being the largest housing 5.4 million residents. 300 billion will be provided in capital to support the expansion of these cities as well as underground cities will receive a massive 1 trillion dollar development grant.

The purpose of these efforts to disperse the population and ramp up infrastructure is to help the nation survive any potential atomic campaign against it. Further dispersing the nations already massive population of nearly 400 million citizens will also frustrate any attempt to invade and occupy Oceanian territory. Lafayette is quietly preparing steps to mitigate the ill effects of nuclear war on its territory. While the world is going through a prolonged cold war, the specter of nuclear warfare hasn't escaped us. While the Union Bloc has vowed to never deploy its atomic arsenal first it aggressively protects its multi-wave strike capability. The Oceania Union and the Union Bloc has always and continues to maintain and aggressive defensive strategy preferring to maintain layered defensive networks, with additional multilayered strong holds layered around individual defense centers that ultimately are designed to protect the core region comprising the Lafayette - Baton Rouge - New Orleans megalopolis housing 120 million citizens.
Union Bloc Commission for External Trade orders members to only accept local currency for trade with Heiluge Ordnung

The Oceanian Dollar currently the lynchpin of international trade being the medium of exchange for 77% of global supply chains, 60% of intra-Union trade, and 80% of Union Bloc external trade is indisputably the world's most powerful currency. The move by the UCE is seen as an additional tool to blunt the economic influence of Heiluge Ordnung within Asia Pacific a region long claimed by the Oceania Union and Colomb as a region of mutual significance.

The effects of the move will largely force Heiluge Ordnung to not only comply with the Union Bloc's stringent labor rules governing how workers producing goods and services bound to the Union Bloc just be treated, but will now also require the Union Bloc dependent economy of Heiluge Ordnung to hold trillions in Oceanian Dollars, Colomb Reals, Ashanischer Dollar, and the Motyro Pirapire in order to conduct trade with the region.

Since further abroad markets cannot replace the demand the regional Union Bloc states provide to Heiluge Ordnungs markets it leaves the nation little choice but to comply. The effect of this move will be to seriously blunt the economic powerhouses ability to support policies harmful to the Union Bloc.

To be sure, that the Union Bloc can adequately support it's allies abroad from any economic retaliation from this brilliant move by Union Bloc officials to restrain it's chief rival, the Union Reserve Bank is suspending membership reserve contribution requirements until reserves approach 2.7 trillion. Further the URB will subsidize any nation running a trade deficit with WRG states as a result of reciprocal measures. The Union Bloc has identified Schlabanien as the most vulnerable state and as such will begin to eliminate the regions state debt and will provide intensive logistics support to ensure all goods and services are provided to the population.

Since Schlabanien is the Union Bloc most strategically placed state, officials will provide the region with whatever it requires to be successful. Even the Oceania Union has guaranteed Schlabanien officials fiscal grants of up to 1 trillion dollars to support it's economic and military development.
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