BENNELONG CITY, SAPPORA VII — Markets sector-wide were up this week as the Federation Council bestowed the status of potential candidate on New Sydney, the first major success in that planet’s efforts to join the Federation.
New Sydney applied for Federation membership earlier this year in the hope that access to new trade markets and offworld investment would solve its ongoing economic woes. Fiscal mismanagement, corruption, and declining trade revenue have kept the planet in depression for over a decade, during which an estimated four million inhabitants have left seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
Today, Chief Minister Jola Nuziar addressed his planet’s Parliamentary Assembly with an optimistic update on their progress.
“Six months ago, I promised the people of New Sydney that Federation membership was the right path for our planet,” said Nuziar. “I am pleased to announce that the Federation believes there is a place for us at their table.”
Sources in the Chief Minister’s office revealed that Nuziar was, despite his positive message, deeply disappointed that New Sydney was not given the full candidate status his government expected.
“The Federation provides economic and legal assistance to candidate planets, so they can make the necessary reforms to fulfill our criteria for membership,” said Antasa Dros, Federation Councilor from Peliar Zel II and Chairperson of the Committee on Enlargement. “Potential candidates must demonstrate their willingness to work toward our criteria on their own first. Once they’ve made some progress, we will upgrade their status.”
Legislators opposed to the Chief Minister attempted to argue that he had broken his promise by failing to secure full candidate status, but Nuziar was prepared for the criticism.
“The exact style of our candidature is irrelevant,” he said. “The plain fact is the Federation is interested in granting membership to New Sydney.”
Both the Federation and New Sydney have appointed negotiating teams to oversee the candidature and report back with recommendations to their respective governments. The Federation’s lead negotiator will be Axanari Executive Governor Adellia Vor, who was close runner-up to Federation President Narala in last year’s presidential election.
“We will examine their economic situation very closely, of course,” said Vor. “I also expect major reform will be needed in the areas of governmental transparency, healthcare, and environmental protection.”
Representatives will meet next month to sign the Compact for Partnership, thereby formalizing both governments’ commitments to working toward bringing New Sydney into the Federation. The consensus among political analysts is that New Sydney will not be ready for membership until at least 2400.
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