Athens – Unknown to even the highest echelons of the Athenian government, Princess Elena Amalia Argead was sent to Valletta to meet with the Dauphine of France. The Crown Princess of Macedon returns a hero from the meeting with a treaty in hand that not only makes France an ally but even gives the Athenian Federation the ability to project its power globally.
The Treaty of Friendship Between the Athenian Federation and the Kingdom of France starts pretty basic, with provisions about resolving disputes peacefully, sharing important intelligence, and collective defence. Once the reader reaches article 4 however they find that for only 15 International Standard Units the Athenian Federation has now become the owner of the Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean, Martinique in the Caribbean, and the Austral Islands in the South Pacific. Combined with the leases in the next article in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, New Caledonia, and Guiana this guarantees the Hellenic Forces the opportunity to base forces on every ocean in the world and as a result strike any country without needing to worry about running out of fuel. For the Hellenic Navy especially these new territories and bases will allow it to base Carrier Strike Groups, Surface Action Groups and Ballistic Missile Submarines spread throughout the world for rapid intervention wherever needed.
As part of the treaty, all residents on any of the islands now Athenian territory will be granted Imperial citizenship. If they refuse they will be offered the opportunity to remain on the islands as residents or if they want to move to French territory the Imperial government will pay for their move and offer to buy any property at two times the market value at the time of the transfer of sovereignty. Legally the islands have been placed under the Imperial Overseas Territories, this will grant them a status similar to Imperial Cities such as Athens and Byzantion and place them under the direct rule of the Empress and the Imperial Government. The Empress will however appoint a Governor for Martinique and preserve the island’s existing government structure. Imperial Command has earmarked Δ20,000,000,000 for the construction of Army and Marine Corps barracks, air strips and naval harbours away from civilian areas. Another Δ15,000,000,000 has been earmarked for these same constructions on leased territories for the construction of bases using the same model there. As these facilities are considered joint Hellenic Forces bases all branches will be represented in the infrastructure, however the Hellenic Navy and Hellenic Marine Corps are expected to see most use initially with the Hellenic Army only using the facilities in significant numbers when they need to take part in operations in the area.
The Empress has also stated an intent to construct a vacation palace on Martinique using her own funds as a destination away from the sometimes incredibly hectic Athenian mainland.
Experts agree that the biggest winner from the meeting was the Crown Princess. Having recently graduated she has now proven her capabilities as a diplomat to both her sister and the Athenian Federation at large. It has only increased rumours that she may soon be made Queen of Macedon by her sister and now it is even rumoured that she may replace the Magistrate of Foreign Affairs who seems to have hit a pattern of bad luck in recent months.
One thing is certain, family dinner at the Imperial Palace will surely have a new guest of honour tonight.