When deciding who to work with in the developing mess that Europe was turning into, a lot of things had to be taken into consideration. Most powers had roughly the same strength but positioning and politics could not be ignore. Stuck in between two expansionist powers, Italy would not likely develop into a regional power. France was way too volatile to ally and the Dutch were a wildcard. This left both Poland and Finland. Both countries were positioned well away enough from the action that it was unlikely they would soon be fighting. Unless they fought each other of course. Out of the two, Finland however was better positioned for a global impact. As such the decision was made to reach out there first.
A letter would be sent to the Prime Minister from the Office of the Chief Magistrate through the Athenian ambassador in Finland. Contact between both monarchs was deemed a bit premature.
First of all I would like to wish you the best of luck in your election. Having recently concluded my own, I can imagine how busy you must be right now. I write to you on behalf of my monarch, Empress Athanasia of the Athenian Federation.
Her Imperial Majesty sees great potential in the future of the Kingdom of Finland and would like to engag formal diplomatic contact between our two states. If you approve I would like to propose a meeting between ourselves to be hosted in Athens or a Finnish city of your choosing. Ideally this meeting would serve to set the groundwork for the future of our two countries and a possible future meeting between the Queen and the Empress.
Avra Giannis Georgiou,
Chief Magistrate of the Athenian Federation
The letter would make its way to Prime Minister Makkonen who would read the letter and speak with his cabinet about how to respond. Since he had been prevented by the constitution from running again he wanted to ensure that the government would be in agreement about this meeting so that no matter the results of the election nothing would be affected negatively. After the meeting it was determined that the Prime Minister should travel to Athens so that the arrival of the foreign leader did not disrupt the current campaigning.
While I thank you for the kind sentiments, our constitution has prohibited me for running for reelection once more. As it stands however my cabinet and I have agreed to the proposed meeting.
Due to the current campaigning going on throughout our state it would be best for me to travel to Athens for the meeting. I am certain this will create a good future groundwork for relations. And as I am sure you are aware any meeting with her Majesty will have to wait due to her current tour of the state. However given a fair warning I am sure the Royal Office will be able to find a time that works.
Prime Minister of the Kingdom
With the confirmation of the Finnish acceptance received the Ministries of General Affairs and Foreign Affairs began on the preparations for the dignitary’s arrival. They would consult extensively with their Finnish counterparts to make sure everything went perfectly.
Upon the agreed date and time a Hellenic Air Force escort would await the Prime Minister’s flight and a landing strip had been arranged at Athens AFB to allow the plane to land and its passengers to get off without the insanity of civilians and press everywhere.
The Hellenic Army Band were set up to play both the Finnish and Athenian anthems while the Hellenic Army Honour Guard alternated Finnish and Athenian flags. Finally the Imperial Guard had secured the zone to make sure both the Athenian Chief Magistrate and the Finnish Prime Minister would be safe.
Makkonen would arrive at the agreed upon date and time, having spent his time preparing for this meeting between the North and the South of Europe. He was accompanied by a few aids and they provided him with some information during the flight and as they landed. He was personally glad that the Athenians had kept the press and crowds to a minimum. He much preferred subdued surroundings.
He would be the first to exit the plane, followed closely by his aids and small security detail. Once he met with the Chief Magistrate he would smile as they began conversation. “It is a pleasure to meet you my friend. It was quite pleasant to receive your invitation, the Cabinet was more than happy to agree to accept it.”
Avra smiled as the Finnish Prime Minister spoke. “The pleasure is all mine” The brunette tanned woman replied. “We have given a great deal of thought to who we wanted to reach out first and in Finland we saw the qualities we so appreciate. Especially with certain other subjects in this grand European concert” She continued.
“Please join me, we have prepared extensive conference facilities in the Magistral palace to make sure we can talk freely and secure”
“Well it is an honor that you thought so highly of us. And that is important, recent events have shown we have much to discuss.” The Prime Minister would join the Chief Magistrate in the travel to the meeting room, keeping a semi-sunny disposition. Once they got into the security of the conference room he changed to a much harder personality.
“First off, I would like to express that Finland stands by Athens against the naked aggression shown by those fools. I cannot believe that I would even be entertaining the notions that I have to be entertaining today.”
Avra nodded. Her smile shifting to a stern and serious expression. “Your support is more than appreciated, your Excellency. I can say that Athens will not let even a single hair on our people be hurt. We have sent the Germans an ultimatum to release our people within 24 hours or face a military response. Depending on their response and behaviour this can vary from an air strike to a complete invasion. Ideally we would like to do any such response as part of a wider European effort. We all know the horrors from the last time someone like Chancellor Schmidt ruled Germany. We cannot again let such a horror unfold in our own home.”
The Prime Minister shook his head, looking exasperated at the very idea of the Germans. “I hope a military response is unnecessary. We have not fought in a conflict since the Second Winter War. However if it comes down to it, it would be a moral failing on our part to let this stain stand. The Finnish Defence Forces will render aid to any military action against Germany if it is required. While it is still a fair distance from Germany your Aircraft and Naval Vessels can base themselves out of Estonia, as our closest region to the threat in question.”
He would let out a small sigh. “However not all news needs to be negative. We agreed to this meeting with good intentions in mind, and I would like to start on that. Let’s discuss the future of Europe, disregarding the German issue.”
Avra nodded with delight. “Thank you so much, your Excellency. I will relay your offer to my colleagues in the Ministry of Defence. On behalf of them and my Empress I wish to extent my gratitude as I am sure they will be grateful.” She said before sitting down and offering her honoured guest something to drink while she ordered a glass of springwater for herself. “Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. While the fate of my fellow citizens occupies my mind, looking forward to the future would be great. The Athenian Federation wants to see a peaceful Europe, we want a Europe that can stand united against threats but that respect infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We’re faced with many challenges. The space race, international standards to keep our orbit safe for space travel, international standards on trade and human rights. In all of these Athens is looking for partners so we can act as a united front. Of course an individual agreement on trade and perhaps even military cooperation is desired as well.”
Isko would take a glass of water for himself as well. As much as he might have wanted something else, he was working after all. “Indeed we have quite a few things to discuss. I think the most prominent thing on the agenda would be some talk of trade, while military cooperation is nice to talk about, that I will have to leave to the next government.” He would drink some of his water.
Avra nodded. “Of course, perhaps a better topic discussed with the Empress present as well” She said with a smile. “The Athenian Federation would like to encourage something we call fair trade. Trade that is generally free but with protections in place for vulnerable industries and smaller companies in our respective economies. In general a system to make free trade truly beneficial to everyone”
“I see, the reduction of trade barriers in general will generally receive positive reactions back in Helsinki. Our citizens are always looking for more money outside of Finland.” He would nod approvingly. “Now you also mentioned human rights, what sort of standards are you thinking in that regard that aren’t already acknowledged?”
“It’s not so much an addition of human rights where our own states are concerned but more a kind of multinational pledge open to all that their respective countries will not only guarantee base rights such as the right to life, freedom of expression and others but also a commitment to oppose gross violations of human rights by others. The most obvious example in recent memory is of course the ongoing German crisis. Situations where governments specifically target members of their citizens for extermination would be a case where under this unwritten coalition the civilized world would unite to oppose them and offer their citizens the protection that their government does not”
“I can see how that would make sense. Of course we already both know that such an action is already taking place within Germany. Honestly what would be best for such a thing is to bring back Wilson’s failed idea in the League of Nations. A multinational forum where we can discuss these issues on a global scale would give this idea a little more strength than just unstated pledges.”
Avra nodded. “Yes an international organization of some kind would be the most ideal scenario. Until that time however the Empress in her wisdom has instructed the government to seek commitments in all our diplomatic negotiations so that there is at least something until such an organization could be founded. In fact a different conference meant to sign an accord on space debris is partly also intended to measure the world’s appetite for multilateralism to review the possibilities of a union of nations. A United Nations if you will, to eventually act as a body where the world can come together in peace and talk out disputes before they escalate to war”
“A commitment to an international community is important. A place to adjudicate disputes is important and I see no reason to be opposed to it. Preventing states of war from breaking out should be on the front of everyone’s minds, as well as figuring out how to deal with the defeated German state once it inevitably surrenders.”