New Deal Coalition Retained III: A New World

Three things, welcome to the TL its nice to see you, two,please don't quote entire updates, and three,you'll be interested to know that this entire War On Drugs is a new phase in American history (up till now ITTL the Drug war was more focused on rehabilitation) so its not quite as instuionlaized as it is OTL.
Well, that "tape" or video could always be from a later time, such as the 2020s or the 2030s, assuming the Hardline Bundy Doctrine is kept in place and drug offenders are given the "beat em all up" treatment for over 2-3 decades, the socioeconomical consequences would start to kick in during that period, and once it begins, today's problems and deaths regarding the drug war will befell this America as well, barring a swift repealing of the policy by whoever in feck is elected president after Bundy is impeached and sentenced to death row following his criminal past floating out to the surface, hence the video from the "future".
Everyone keeps expecting Bundy to be impeached for murder while I keep thinking he actually hasn't committed any or isn't going to be found out until after leaving office at least.
FYI for those wondering, yes continuity will be dealt with. I love being in group writing the TL, but shit like this sometimes happens.

FIXED: ITL Hugh Carey was replaced by Zeferetti, but the campaign is otherwise identical, in part cause Zeferetti was similar to Carey OTL (and even replaced him). Zeferetti loses in 1994 in an interesting race, might want to look back... Update has been made with Wikibox
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The year was 1997. The EEC, outside of Germany, had been hit hard by the trade wars of 1994 during Iacocca's presidency. Belgium and the Netherlands didn’t fare much better compared to their other major allies, as trade restrictions eliminated these smaller nations from competing. France's internal market, and the work of the Rocquejoffre prevented the worst, but a change was needed. "Teflon Michel" managed to use his status as a national hero and patriot to win an easy re-election in a weak economy, but new something bold wold be needed to keep the FN in power.

Pictured: Michel with his [OTL and ITL] wife

Meanwhile, German overtures to Britain for what looked to be a Bilateral Trade Agreement made many wonder whether Germany seemed committed to the old EEC structure. The EEC members had unofficially agreed that Great Britain would be “punished for its defiance” in the past. Frey, to the contrary believed that Great Britain deserved to be given another chance. He defended its well-known “island-mentality,” which was a leading factor for this, saying, “it has its own culture, better not to punish it for that”.

France, at the same time, seeked further integration not only with its European neighbors, but the country’s African friends in their Concordat alliance. President Roquejoffre had been meeting continually with France’s closest allies in the EEC, secretly, discussing the notion of a single currency. The rebuilding in Europe and Africa after a great war allowed a more coordinated economic policy. The French believed that the Kalmar Group, which would likely decide this decision as one, had wanted to stay around. This as well as the instability in Eastern Europe, would limit the potential of a solely European Union as there would be few new potential members in it.

In June, of 1997 at a key EEC meeting of heads of state, French President Roquejoffre announced the launching of a new currency not only for the EEC, but for France’s wealthier African allies, who would accept entry into the EEC, under certain economic conditions. The President announced that the new currency, who he wanted referred to as the European Franc would soon compete with the American Dollar for most used global currency, to thunderous applause. In America, those who weren’t in hysteria, were shocked by that announcement.

Germany and Italy immediately refused to endorse the “three-continent” single currency, or even any single currency. Frey endorsed a “European-Only Currency”, but French President Roquejoffre feared this would limit France’s ambitions to the continent as well, refused. The Italian delegation, knowing Italy relied on competitive devaluation to compete economically, outright refused to be part of any joint currency. France’s allies, had the votes (the EEC had been moving steadily towards majority rule in some post-war reforms, and so Italy and Germany were forced to leave the Union after votes in their Parliaments.

However, Frey, two weeks later in a speech in front of Brandenburg Gate, promised “an alternative European economic group” that would be “embrace European [i.e. mostly Freyist] values,” and be “more democratic and respectful of its respective member states.” Moreover, in order to win over members, he promised there would never be a single currency, a flip flop from his earlier position, but necessary to sway some to his side, especially the Italian delegation. His new proposal involved maintaining the ECU while expanding it into Eastern Europe. A decision on a united European currency would be decided on later. Germany and Italy both formally left the EEC (now renamed the Atlantic Economic Community in 1998. Confusingly, it was called, at least colloquially called the Concordat Market as well, per the name of the eponymous military alliance.). In many ways France had absorbed the EEC into its own creation, an event depicted negatively in a New York Times cartoon which depicted France like the Kraken sinking a ship.

The Trans-Atlantic Franc would enter legal tender in 1999 in the countries listed below, when the common market also entered into legal service. The non-European members (and Monaco) would enter the Trans-Atlantic Parliament (the renamed European Parliament) in 1999 after elections in 1998. This “renewed” common market eliminated restrictions on the movement of labor and capital between these nations, with at least for its European members and Tunisia, adoption of a common passport down the line.

  1. Algerian Sahara (Autonomous Prefecture of)

  2. Andorra

  3. Belgium

  4. Brazil (Kingdom of)

  5. France

  6. Iceland

  7. Ireland

  8. Luxemburg

  9. Monaco

  10. Netherlands

  11. Portugal

  12. Spain

  13. Tunisia

  14. Gabon (joined in 2000)

However, some of France’s less developed and poorer allies were not yet “ready” for the common market or the European Parliament, but wished to be integrated, with the hope that future that they could reach the economic standards met to join the currency. These nations would not be accepted into the Common Market, at least yet. These nations would form a companion economic community with a common currency planned to be partially pegged on the TAF based off of the TLF. However, they would steadily join the community, with Mauritania being the last addition in 2007.

  1. Chad

  2. Dahomey

  3. Guinea

  4. Ivory Coast

  5. Liberia (Previously used a currency pegged to the U.S. dollar. The democratic government began moving out of American orbit around this time due to anti-dumping tariffs on various Liberian businesses)

  6. Mauritania

  7. Niger (Eventually kicked out of the group in 2002).

  8. Senegal

  9. Togo

Members of the Concordat Market

In September 1997, after Germany and Italy had left the EEC “cold turkey” in August, (with the erection of hard borders again but travel visas/work permits created in a swift crisis mutually extended on both sides of the divide) the leaders of various central and eastern European governments, lead by Frey, met and announced the creation of the Central European Customs Union in Berlin. It was economically similar to the old EEC, except without any political council (each nation would have an appointed representative at an official office in Warsaw, like an ambassador) and the specific provision that there never would be a common currency, instead a currency basket and ERM similar to the old European Currency Unit would be used for inter-state trade. It would also have a religious council, per the request of Alexander Solzhenitskyn, who believed religious revival would lead to peace. These were all compromises hastily sewn together between the various states who wanted to stop the outward flow of investment or start attracting foreign investment.

While Frey had wanted his “own group of miscreants” [Credited to Donald Trump, 1997] to have its own currency, it was not in the cards, as Poland and the FRR feared that a devalued German currency would make their goods uncompetitive. Italy had similar qualms. Frey flew to meet his leaders in their own separate meeting in Lodz. He also invited the leadership of both the F.R.R. and Tatarstan, both previously not as close to Germany. They agreed to enter the new customs Union. Samara, citing issues with past treatment of Ukraine by Germany and Poland (a diplomatic ally and trade partner) declined, but agreed to further trade negotiations. Samara also refused to enter any ERM type arrangement. In addition, the FRR was opposed to their membership.

Central European Customs Union

  1. Germany
  2. Poland
  3. Italy
  4. Lithuana
  5. Latvia
  6. Belarus
  7. F.R.R.
  8. Ruthenia
  9. Tatarstan

Solzhenitskyn speaking about the new CECU

This relatively sudden collapse of the European Project sent shockwaves in the markets (though this rebounded upon the announcement of the details regarding the TLF and the CECU), and in the capitals and the campuses of the world. One of the key projects of post-WWII Europe had seemingly been thrown away. Some were ecstatic at the more universalist Concordat, scoffing earlier pan-European ideas as backwards and exclusionary. Many academics would argue that the rise of both the FN and the nationalistic Freyism made the destruction of the EEC and its replacement with what they called more imperialistic alternative, inevitable. The Freyists were viruently against such an argument, bringing up that European cooperation was continuing and that Europe was at the time (for the most part at least), keeping the peace. Moreover, they felt that since the FN wasn’t Freyist, why should the Freyists get blamed. Whilst the Communonationalists argued that Frey was acting unreasonable.

The American reaction to the Greater Franc was mixed at beast. It was denounced by the now isolationist-leaning Republican Party, and the affiliated Natural Law Party. (The latter had become a Republican party affiliate in many states in the Northwest, absorbing the local Republican Party there. Its platform mixed together elements of all parties, though it borrowed most heavily from the Republicans and then the Progressives, respectively.) Randy Weaver, who had shifted to becoming a Bundy surrogate post-election, called France “Neo-colonialist” to the French Ambassador’s face on Meet the Press. Weaver followed this by saying, “I feel sorry for the people of Benelux, Greece, Iberia, Iceland and Ireland for finding themselves being colonized economically by their fellow white man. They do not deserve this one bit, Monsieur Ambassador.” The argument heated up in a fiery roundtable that nearly lead to blows. Weaver became a hero to many Republicans and some Progs, with the fiery Clarence Thomas and the popular Bernie Sanders coming to his defence for the incident. Weaver later said he “didn’t regret one bit what he said to that Frenchie.” This caused a rift in relations, especially because Weaver reflected an opinion held by most Progressives, many Republicans, and a substantial number of (primarily liberal, Kennedy wing) Democrats.

Seeing recent developments, Frey was greatly aged by recent developments and chose to resign. He would be remembered well in Germany, especially after steering the country through World War Three and the new world that arose from the aftermath. Leaders from around the world called him to wish him good health, and good luck to his successor. His second in command, Joshka Fisher, who had risen since running much of the operations in rebuilding of Germany, would become chancellor until an election was held in 1998. Fisher was a left-Freyist who had considered joining the small, irrelevant, Green Party, before listening to a speech by Frey on the television with his girlfriend. Frey’s magnetic charisma appealed to Fisher, who would join the more Green-leaning wing of the LP… And now he found himself the leader of Germany.

Joshka Fisher, the New Chancellor

Peace Between the Kingdoms

In 1998, Fisher would invite Roy Mason to Berlin to negotiate a trade agreement to at least make peace with one of Germany’s rivals on the continent. Fisher wanted to punish Poland for its recent behavior, whilst making peace with a potential rival in the post-war world. Fisher knew that in many ways, Roy was devoted to British mining. He agreed that the UK would become the sole legal importer of coal to Germany (per a loophole in the founding document of the CECU originally intended to protect German Miners). This would cut off Poland, but serve as an effective sanction for its terrible behavior in the year prior. It would also make coal in Germany, and the rest of the CECU, more expensive, something that pleased his environmental sensibilities. Support from domestic local mines was high as well, although Germany’s CECU allies were unhappy at first.

In return, the United Kingdom would allow firms from across CECU to invest more in the United Kingdom and mutual import quotas would be lifted. This appeased the other CECU states. Roy Mason, delighting at another chance to save his miners, while also winning Liberal support, agreed wholeheartedly. This deal was very popular in the UK, however, as the miners couldn’t meet demand.

In many ways, there were drawbacks to the deal for Germany. It also made Germany more dependent on the UK, something Rudolf Scharping and the “Freyist Wing” of the SDP would make quite clear. It also hurt industry in Germany as energy prices increased. Fisher would support more Green energy efforts to combat this, with limited success, especially as nuclear was off the table. Poland was angry at first, but Wasela calmed the populus, which “accepted their punishment”, glad that sanctions were winding down.

This rapprochement through the deal would be sealed by the marriage of Julie Nixon’s only daughter to the Kaiser George [A/N: Charles married Julie Nixon instead of Diana ITL], a symbolic move that indicated more peaceful relations in the next century than in the last.

“Maybe Nixon’s still alive out there somewhere, you know? And he’s planning this huge plan to take over the world by marrying his kids into royalty! Say hello to the United States of Nixonia.” -Trump, joking about the announcement.

In tandem with wedding, in 1998, the Treasury released the now ubiquitous Nixon Copper Quarter which cemented Nixon's historical popularity, though there were other reasons for the release [A/N: future update]

[A/N: As the CECU has no common currency, this makes US manufacturing way more competitive without a devalued currency helping the Germans as per the Euro OTL. Chancellor Fisher helps too...]
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So, no European Union, France expanding its economic and political might, Germany consolidating its place as the leader of Central-East Europe, and Frey finally taking his bow. Interesting developments.

And I hope everyone remembers Julie Nixon marrying Charles in place of Diana, or that last section of this update is going to confuse people. :D

President Bundy’s Address to the Nation

“My Fellow Americans, I speak to you tonight on a matter of economic and military security. A partnership that began with Lafayette and the birth of freedom, and continued through three world wars, fascism, and communism, has now been fundamentally severed in selfish pursuits. In response to some selfish decisions made by the past administration, which I have campaigned against on the campaign trail and in congress, and in pursuit of imperialistic grandeur, France and its allies have decided not only to reclaim old territory in the third world, but wage economic war on our people. Even though the negotiations made between Secretary Romney and President Roquejoffre have been incredibly successful, even eliminating long standing mutual cheese import quotas, and seen by many as the first step towards normalized trade relations, our friends have revealed their duplicity. They have announced that they intend to, and I quote, “become economic masters of the world” with a new common market and currency, the Trans-Atlantic Franc. They have also stood against disarmament treaties involving the most heinous of weapons-chemical weapons and land mines. They attack our criminal justice system. And they continue to encourage their allies, Spain and Portugal, to violate the Monroe Doctrine, and deprive free peoples’ of their rights to self-determination. On top of that, the nation of France, as well as its allies in the Concordat have refused to support the United States in our cause to stamp out the growing drug crisis gripping the world. Meanwhile, our German friends, who we fought for in the most recent war, have indulged in Polish Nationalistic fantasies and created chaos, terror, and fear. We had hoped that Ukraine would join NATO, but that will no longer be the case thanks to Frey’s leadership and power games. In all, this type of behavior is not tolerable in our enemies, let alone of our friends.

It also stands in firm contrast with the behavior of our allies in this hemisphere and Asia, who have remained close allies even in the face of chaos from the Marburg Virus and threats from China and India.

Our relations with Europe in general, and France in particular, have hit an all time low. Moreover, the USSR, our common enemy, has been defeated. This has caused France and its closest allies to make a rash decision.

<short pause>

I have received an official notice from President Roquejoffre notifying the termination of their involvement in the NATO agreement, along with their close friends, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, who have also chosen to wage economic war on us. As such, it saddens me to announce that the United States will officially dissolve NATO, as it has effectively ceased to exist. While I have been critical in the past of our commitments in the post-war world, I have not made this decision out of partisan politics, but upon the advice of multiple figures from Roquejoffre. I would like to give special thanks to Republican Senator Buchanan of Virginia, Progressive Congresswoman Jordan of Texas, and Democratic Senator Dale Bumpers for Arkansas for their advice and council.

That being said, after discussions with Secretary Cheney, I am proud to announce that our troops will be coming home. Outside of the easternmost ex-Soviet States and the United Kingdom, no more troops will be based in Europe, Africa, or most of the Middle East. The United States formally absolves itself of its past defense commitments to the European and African Continents. Our bases will be decommissioned and sold. Non secret military and civilian equipment will be sold to our friends elsewhere. This is consistent with this administration's plans to radically reform our military spending and commitments, in line with our plans to combat inflation, respect the American taxpayer, and commit to a disarmed world. We will also honor the bravery of our troops abroad, and I look forward to a parade honoring their sacrifice, which Secretary Trump has volunteered to fund using his own money.

“Welcome Home” Parade of the returning forces, Washington DC, 1998.

This decision is not a call to arms. We will not allow the cultural and economic tensions mentioned earlier to lead to a military buildup and war, quite the opposite. We do not seek war or view our neighbors with malice. This administration looks towards nations with good will, and a desire to end the trade wars whilst maintaining proper respect for popular sovereignty, traditional cultures, and human rights.

Using the IDFC and private industry, this administration plans to eliminate wasteful trade barriers in the Western Hemisphere, and has been engaged repeatedly in talks to do so. We also look towards strengthening economic ties our historical allies such as Vietnam, and new allies like Ukraine, after dealing with issues of human rights and labor laws. This administration will ensure that the ex-Russian World remains peaceful and that no single state attempts to remake the USSR or old Imperial Russia. We will use trade to foster mutually beneficial relationships that will foster security without raising tensions and entanglements. But we must be firm.

Further violations of the Monroe doctrine will not be tolerated. We also renew our commitments to defend the brave people of Vietnam and the Philippines against Chinese aggression in the face of the recent border skirmishes. We will not dictate how others rule themselves so long as they avoid our national security zone and the territory of our closest brothers.

This is a new dawn in American foreign policy, we either choose to move forward through struggle or let our weaknesses define us. I choose to seize the moment and to use recent crises as chances to progress as a nation. Our old friends have chosen their bed, lie them lie in it. We choose to move forward economically, culturally, and diplomatically, unencumbered by past commitments, and looking towards developing friendships and economic relations with hitherto ignored allies.

I thank the American people for their attention and ask that they remain calm. Enjoy this lovely late summer evening that God has given us, catch my Seattle Mariners later tonight on UPN, perhaps, and keep our nation in your prayers, God Bless and Good Night. “

[A/N:Further Specifics to come in a later update]​
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The sad part is that he's actually making a few good points, regarding the French and Germans' actions.

Sad to see NATO go, but with the rise of the different blocs amongst its members and lack of a shared enemy, it was bound to happen.

So, Trump's managing to organize a military parade? Heh, that's one area where he's more successful than OTL, I guess.

I have received an official notice from President notifying the termination of their involvement in the NATO agreement, along with their close friends, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, who have also chosen to wage economic war on us. As such, it saddens me to announce that the United States will officially dissolve NATO, as it has effectively ceased to exist. While I have been critical in the past of our commitments in the post-war world, I have not made this decision out of partisan politics, but upon the advice of multiple figures from . I would like to give special thanks to Republican Senator Buchanan of Virginia, Progressive Congresswoman Jordan of Texas, and Democratic Senator Dale Bumpers for Arkansas for their advice and council.​
You left out the President's name, and that second bit I highlighted just stops short. You might want to edit that.
Who wants another update on Scandinavia?

An Ever Closer Union

The North Sea Swindle, Part 2
The British were not the only ones to take advantage of the oil in the North Sea. When the news broke that oil had been struck, the Nordic Union, or rather, the Danish and Norwegian delegations had some very heated discussions concerning the line of demarcation that would serve as which country had the rights to what oil. Of course, it helped that Prime Minister Ritt Bjerregaard was personal friends with the British Prime Minister Roy Mason who was more than happy to team up with Denmark if it meant furthering the British interests in the North Sea, and if the richer Norwegian deposits could be gained, it was worth sacrificing a few British deposits. Ultimately, Auken and Bjerregaard had a better working relationship with their ideological comrade Mason than with the right-wing Norwegian government. One story of how the Danes got control of the oil field Ekofisk goes that the Energy Minister Per Hækkerup invited the Norwegian Foreign Minister Carl I Hagen to Copenhagen before proceeding to drink him under the table with two to three bottles good whiskey to get him to sign away the oil fields to the British-Danish alliance [1].

Let’s just say that the Norwegians weren’t amused regarding that. As for the British, they happily signed Argyll and Ekofisk over in trade for Dunlin and Troll, and everyone (well, almost everyone) was content with their share. The Danes in theory, became independent of foreign oil, Britain walked away with some impressive loot, and the Norwegians got squat

(The oil refinery in Ringkøbing, responsible for refining most of the Danish oil)

There was one little squabble however, in this otherwise cordial relationship. The fishing rights regarding Iceland. For a long time, Icelandic waters had been the fishing grounds of British fishermen. This began to change with the Cod War. It was never a shooting war but it began to be that the Icelandic Coast Guard seized ships that infringed on a 40 nautical mile zone, to which the Admiralty sent three destroyers in response. Unfortunately, this final confrontation came at an unfortunate time. Had it been in the 60’s, the USSR could have stepped in and helped Iceland, but this was the 90’s and there was no such thing. Tensions mounted until the French stepped in to support Iceland. Partly to stick it to the British and partly to gain inroads for a good trade deal. Mostly the latter.

A new North Sea…Treaty
Even if the Nordic Union was trading with everyone who wanted, the fact of the matter was that as the middleman between the EEC and the Nordic Union, Denmark was making bank of the trade. This was not pleasing to either of the other countries, who looked towards Britain for a trade deal. The Mason Ministry was decidedly already Nordic-friendly, so why not? Negotiations were carried out mostly in Stockholm and in Edinburgh, for the purposes of not seeming too Denmark/London-centered, though it was clear that London was in control in Edinburgh, but it also clear that it was not the same in Stockholm. In this, it saw Iceland, Norway and Sweden in an unusual alliance against Denmark, who was forced to give way to the others. Resulting from this was the North Sea Trade Bridge Treaty of 1997, opening up markets to both sides (provided they followed each other’s rules of course). The Treaty stipulated at first only pharmaceuticals, coal, iron, lumber and agricultural products, but plans were in the treaty to expand its purview should it be necessary. The harbours in Denmark, the point where the various trade zones now overlapped became one of the larger ports of entry in Europe, in part due to the largely undamaged nature of some harbours while Hamburg and Antwerpen had been shelled to hell and back during the War.

Despite Denmark being the one who benefitted the most from the Nordic Union, the other four countries in the Union benefitted as well. Polling in the five countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland) consistently showed approval of the Nordic Union to be over 75 percent, with only the fringe of the political spectrum being against. As for sceptics of the project, the Freyists, Communonationalists, etc. saw the writing on the wall and considered the Nordic Union to be a project that they wouldn’t be able to reverse, and so their official platform talked about just halting it. In any case, the centre of Nordic politics, from Social Democrats and Eurocommunists to mainstream liberal and conservative[2] were in favour of the Union, again for different reasons.

A Neutral Union
Despite the fact that the Nordic Union was founded as a subset of NATO to secure their own defense, during the 90’s, it emerged that NATO was splitting. The Germans and Italians were carving out their own bloc in Central and Eastern Europe, France had their own little sphere in the Atlantic and Britain was Britain. Instead of seeking closer relations with the Freyist bloc, supported by the Norwegians and subsets of the Danish Folketing, the watchword became balance. Located between Germany, Britain and France, with the United States not that terribly far away and ports that were actually usable, the Nordic Union decided on a policy of neutrality between the four western powers. When the EEC broke down in 1997, Denmark quietly left, with the Nordic Union being even more important than it had been.

Eva Kjer Hansen, prominent member of Venstre (Liberal Party) in the European Parliament. She later quipped that “The Nordic Union is a fitting successor to the old European Project”

One thing did they copy from the outside though. The idea of a transnational parliament had been gaining steam in the past years due to gridlock in things like trade negotiations and the proposed Nordic Single Market that would effectively abolish borders with regards to commerce and give the NU a chance to punch above its weightclass. The fact, however was that it required referendums. And those take time. While the idea was floated all the way back in 1992, just after the creation of the Nordic Union, the national mood had to change first, and that was not to happen until 1998 where the majority in all five countries voted for further integration into the Single Market and a Parliament to be established (or Unionsdagen in the local languages). [3]

(The chamber of Unionsdagen, picture taken during recess)

Foreign (ie. Commercial adventures)
Meanwhile, abroad, a general trade negotiation policy was being worked out in Göteborg, which was that A) The Union would negotiate as a bloc, and B) MP’s who had political leanings that were closest to whomever they were negotiating with would be dragged along. Fx. In the North Sea Trade Bridge Treaty, the leading negotiator was the Danish Foreign Minister Svend Auken, while the Norwegians sent the leader of the Worker’s Party. The self-imposed challenge was to become a place where goods flowed freely between blocs

The core concept of this was harbour-merging. While Antwerpen had been busy being rebuilt Aarhus and Göteborg were still in roaring shape. Aarhus had already been used during the War as by the Allies to bring in supplies, and they had helpfully deepened the harbour and built larger piers. Of course, when the war ended, the Nordics found themselves with some large harbours and no purpose for them. So, on October 1, 1997, the harbour areas in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Malmö, Göteborg, Aarhus and Frederikshavn were merged to form the Greater Kattegat Harbor Area (GrKaHAr), whilst the Baltic ports in the Nordic Union did the same. For now, only the harbours gave profit, as the trading fleet of the five Nordic countries had been decimated by Soviet submarines during the war. And while it may have been that the Allies compensated the Nordics with Soviet ships, they preferred to build their own. It would still take until the new Millenium for the Nordic Union to be a global competitor in commercial tonnage despite Burmeister & Wain, Götaverken and other shipyards working around the clock

Cecile Maersk, one of the first ships launched after the war in Scandinavia.

The trade deals came in one by one. First the North Sea Trade Bridge that removed most barriers between the Commonwealth and the Nordic Union. Then came the Baltic Agreement that facilitated trade between the Freyist bloc and the Nordics. Lastly, so far the Amsterdam Treaty made sure that goods could move relatively (with some notable exceptions for protection of own industries, such as services) freely between the AEC and the NU. One prominent example of the trade with Europe that Scandinavia got up to is the short film Supermarket in which goods from most of Europe were displayed in full view, and to much lower prices than what people thought, thanks to the absence of most tariffs.

There were, however two places where the Nordics were running their heads against walls. Against the United States and Japan. Both had come out of the war without foreign soldiers standing on their soil. They had been bombed, yes, but they weren’t subjected to occupation on any part of their own. Japan had even walked away with territorial conquests and was too busy trying to take care of them than to listen to the Norwegian Prime Minister trying to get them to sign a trade deal. Well, one was signed, relating to the trade of herring and salmon, but it was in no way the large, comprehensive omnibus deal that Göteborg had hoped for. It was even worse in the United States. President Bundy refused to even consider one such thing, fearing cheap iron and wood would outcompete American industry. The feeling of animosity was probably mutual, given that Ritt Bjerregaard noted that Bundy was…off.

1996 and 1997 Elections
Like all governments in democratic countries, the election pitted the left vs the right. How it went was different however. In Norway the ruling right-wing coalition had come under heavy fire from the opposition for handing the oil to the UK on a silver platter, whilst they pointed to Denmark as what they could have gotten from the deal (never mind that this was obtained by swindling Norway) Although Høyre were able to deflect the worst of the criticisms, the unexperienced Liberty Party had far less luck in doing so, being unexperienced in government[4]. They were unceremoniously thrown out by the voters on a 4.5 percent swing from the coalition to the opposition, opening up for a new left-wing government, that, despite their bluster, mainly let the swindle lay where it was.

Grete Berget, new Norwegian Prime Minister

Denmark on the other hand saw the ruling left-wing coalition being mostly intact, save for a few MF’s being handed to the opposition as part of the usual fatigue. Sweden, for their part saw the Social Democrats pushed into a series of long and arduous negotiations regarding government formation due to the Centre Party being initially unwilling to enter a coalition (or rather, as one biography from an anonymous, prominent Moderate[5] claimed; “To extract as many concessions as possible”). The results of this election has mostly been drawn up to the fact that the long-standing Swedish prime minister Olof Palme resigned due to old age and falling health in 1995, trying to clear the way for the heir apparent to stand on his own…unfortunately this meant that the previous charismatic leader was now gone and voters dissipated. But, despite this, Allan Larsson, in his new role, still saw heads roll of his own MP’s. And for all Olof Palme’s efforts, it was ultimately in vain as they had to see the Moderates enter government.

The most interesting news in the election season, however, came from eastwards. In Estonia and Finland, a growing sentiment was fostered to take the Greater Finland idea one step further and integrate Estonia. The Kola Peninsula was already under Helsinki’s control, so why not? In Estonia, it was echoed as a way to drag themselves out of the quagmire that was the devastation after the war and entering the Nordic sphere. The “Soomesugu” Movement in Estonia began to rapidly gain steam and by 1996, it had more or less forced the ruling government through parliamentary maneuvers to go to Helsinki and to the people to ask a single question in a referendum

“Do you want the Republic of Estonia to be annexed by the Republic of Finland as an autonomous region?”

The campaigning included a lot of mudslinging from both sides, with the pro-Finland side accusing the pro-Estonia side for not caring for the Estonian people and their best interest, and in return, the pro-Estonia camp accused the pro-Finland supporters for being traitors to their country, wanting to subsume it under another nation. Campaign strategists and advisors, fresh off Nordic elections, packed their bags for Estonia, where new campaign strategies and avenues of attack were tested off before they were to be deployed in places like Germany, Britain and France.

The result was close, but still clearly defined when it came out.

1997 Estonian Annexation Referendum

“Do you want the Republic of Estonia to be annexed by the Republic of Finland as an autonomous region?”

Yes: 534,892 (55.2%)

No: 429,271 (44.3%)

Blank/Invalid votes: 4,845 (0.5%)

Turnout: 969,008 (85.3%)

The Yes campaign had succeeded. The foreign minister of Estonia went to Helsinki the next day and informed them of the result. To skip a whole lot of boring deals and negotiations, Estonia would be brought into Finland with provisions added for protection of culture and languages whilst Helsinki would be taking over finance, defence, foreign policy etc. On January 1, 1998, Estonia ceased to be.


[1] This is based off a story with the roles reversed told in Denmark, where Hækkerup was the one who signed away the oil…Even if it is probably untrue, it is a good one.

[2] Nordic conservative parties were and still are way more socially and fiscally liberal than their transatlantic counterparts

[3] For what powers it has, it’s pretty much the European Parliament with a two-nation veto (ie. Two nations combined can veto to prevent Sweden running roughshod over the rest of the Union)

[4] A common curse when an inexperienced party enters government and is outmanoeuvred by more experienced comrades

[5] The book in question is based off a Danish book called “The Secret Social Democrat” about the Thorning Cabinet