New government installed following 22 February elections
16 March 2023 - Leader of the conservative party LKP Mr Tjebco C. Bomans has been installed as Kronenburg's new Prime Minister today, together with the rest of the Oostkamer (or 'Eastern Chamber', as the government of Kronenburg is called). The new government is a coalition of LKP and the Christian Democratic NCD of Mr Bas-Jan Holt, who will be the new Vice Prime Minister and Traffic Minister.

The new government is a result of early elections held on 22 February following the fall of the previous coalition government of Prime Minister Mariëtte van der Schaaf that consisted of the socialdemocrat PSV, the liberal PvG and the environmental KliPa. The latter two left the government after it emerged that several PSV prominent members had been payed by foreign agents to promote the Russian point of view in Kronenburg despite a boycot of Russian companies and individuals having been put in place by the government as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

In the subsequent early election, the voters wiped the floor with the PSV, which lost 23 of its 28 seats (Kronenburg's parliament has 101 seats in total). PvG benefited only marginally of having walked out of the Oostkamer and gained one seat to its 22 seats, while the KliPa more than doubled its seat number from 3 to 5, becoming larger than PSV.

The big winner however was Tjebco C. Bomans's LKP, which rose from 24 to 42 seats. Bomans was thus able to create a coaltion government with NCD and became the first Prime Minister of LKP signature in fifteen years. Furthermore, being only 31 years old, he became the youngest person ever to become Prime Minister of Kronenburg, breaking the record of former Prime Minister Hans Dankert (2011-2021).

Bomans unexpectedly became leader of the LKP during a party conference in September 2019 during which a leadership election was scheduled, which the then incumbent chairman Poul-Helge Espersen was certain to win. Bomans, then the secretary of the youth department of the LKP, stood in for the president of that department and was noticed for his eloquence and his criticism that the LKP leadership consisted of dinosaurs who had focused on giving each other top jobs instead of leading the LKP. Several members asked him to put himself forward as a candidate for the leadership, which he then won from a flabbergasted Espersen.

The new government consists of several familiar faces of both LKP and NCD; former Foreign Affairs Minister Carine Ely (LKP) returns as Defence Minister, while former Health Minister Samuel Noordhuijs (LKP) will be the new Education Minister. Domestic Affairs will be occupied by Bert Sprigg (LKP), and Foreign Affairs by Grahame Nauta (NCD). The Finance and Justice departments are also occupied by NCD Ministers: Max Loohus and Tom Eckringa respectively. The State Secretariate of BECS (Foreign Economic and Cultural Cooperation, which deals with Kronenburg's relationship with international organisations such as OAS, AGL, and FICT, will be occupied by Walter Ploger (LKP).

PvG and Climate Party leave Oostkamer following PSV bribes
16 December 2022 - The Oostkamer has lost its majority in the Noordkamer after PvG (liberals) and Climate Party (greens) decided to end their participation in the government coalition. This after it emerged last week that several prominent members of the largest coalition party PSV (socialdemocrats) maintained connections with prominent Russians even after the installment of a boycot against that country due to the war in Ukraine, and that some of them received large amounts of money to promote the Russian case in Kronenburg.

Vice Prime Minister and leader of the Climate Party, Hedwig Wuirgitt-Hijns, said that her party was left no other option than to leave the government. "In this year we have had the feeling that the PSV was working against the PvG and ourselves; it was very clear that our interests were not aligned at all." PvG leader and Minister of Domestic Affairs Michael Borst confirmed this feeling and said that this government's ending is in the best interests of Kronenburg.

The government will head to the King tomorrow to offer him its resignation. New elections will likely be held in 2023.

November 2022 elections in White Islands, Virgin Islands
1 December 2022 - Parliamentary elections took place in November 2022 in both the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. The ones in the White Islands didn't result in anything spectacular, with Prime Minister Douglas O'Keeffe's party "Witte Eilanden Groen" (White Islands Green) securing another victory, enabling it to continue its coalition government with the Progressive Socialist Union (PSV) and the Party for Diversity (PvD).

The result of the elections in the Virgin Islands proved a more complicated base to form a stable government, and critics claim that this is therefore not what happened, when Prime Minister Tom Hansen of the "Zelf / Selv" (Self) party, which lead the previous minority government with 11 of 23 seats, supported by the Constitutional Party and the Verbindingsparty (Connection Party), lost four seats and found itself battling with the leftist party Sociaal Voor Allen! (Social For All!), which also ended up with seven seats. Zelf / Selv entered into a centre-right coalition party with the Constitutional Party (2 seats), with the support of the Connection Party, the Democratic Party, and Better Choice (Betere Keus / Bedre Valg). Tom Hansen was sworn in for a second term as Prime Minister in December.

Anti-Covid measures lifted
1 June 2022 - The measures against the spread of the Covid-19 disease have officially been lifted as per today. With more than 85% of the population having received at least two vaccine doses and hospitalisation for Covid-related reasons falling to a minimum, the Noordkamer approved the most recent bill regarding the measures already in April.

Kronenburg supports Ukraine
25 April 2022 - The Noordkamer has approved an aid package of around 14 billion Kronenburg guilders to support war torn Ukraine. The package consists of humanitarian aid only as the largest government party PSV (socialdemocrats) was opposed to sending military help.

So far the war in Ukraine has put a lot of pressure on the stability of the coalition: initially, Prime Minister Van der Schaaf refused to call the war a war and claimed that the conflict was between Russia and Ukraine. Coalition partner PvG (liberals) made her however swallow her words by threatening to leave the coalition. Van der Schaaf and the PSV initially didn't want to put a boycot of Russia and certain Russians in place either, which lead to a motion of no-confidence in the Noordkamer at the end of March. This didn't reach the required majority as the coalition parties sided with the government. The government changed its opinion suddenly in the course of this month, probably under foreign pressure as most of the western countries had installed a boycot by then.

Popular opinion is generally in favour of Ukraine and the popularity of Van der Schaaf and the PSV has reached its lowest level in many decades.

7 confirmed fatalities and heavy damage after hurricane Henri hits Kronenburg hard
23 August 2021 - Hurricane Henri has hit our country hard on Sunday 22 August, producing copious amounts of rain, which flooded large parts of western Kronenburg. Although it soon weakened to a tropical storm, Henri proceeded only slowly, and its winds and storm surge caused heavy damage throughout the country. Most of the Wester Eiland was left without electricity after power lines were blown away, and trees were toppled on several locations. Seven people were killed because of the storm, with several more injured. Three people have been reported missing so far. The government declared the state of emergency in parts of the country to allow emergency services to do their jobs.

The city centre of Alexanderstad was flooded after the sewer system couldn't handle the amount of water coming through. Many houses, shops, and other ground floor businesses as well as several metro lines were hit by the water, and city spokespersons estimate that the damage could amount to dozens of millions of Kronenburg guilders. Firebrigades from adjacent municipalities are still assisting the local brigades to pump out the water of the worst hit buildings. Outside the cities, houses and cars were destroyed by falling trees; in a suburb of Denestad, a wooden church burnt down after a window was smashed by the wind and falling candles caused a fire.

Although Kronenburg has had its fair share of hurricanes in the past, parting Prime Minister Hans Dankert said that few storms caused so much havoc as Henri. "Our country should be better prepared to deal with this kind of natural violence, which we have seen, throughout the world earlier this year, comes in many forms", referring to record temperatures, forest fires, and extreme floodings having hit several parts of the world this year. "I therefore cannot emphasise enough the importance of the sustainable government programme that the new government will implement, but in addition I think it is obvious that we need to alter our way of life on a more radical basis now that we still have the choice, instead of waiting until nature makes that choice for us."

Difficult government talks after 19 May elections see Van der Schaaf emerge as PM
19 August 2021 - After several series of difficult government talks involving several groups of parties, the victorious socialdemocrat party PSV will end up in government after all. Former party leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf (63) will lead a three party coaltion of PSV (28 seats), the liberal PvG (22 seats), and the Climate Party (KliPa, 3 seats). A meeting of the three parties yesterday resulted in Van der Schaaf's confirmation as the official candidate for Prime Minister, while KliPa-leader Hedwig Wuirgitt-Hijns was named the candidate Vice Prime Minister.

The early elections of 19 May followed the vaccine hoarding scandal that caused the end of the previous government, lead by Prime Minister Hans Dankert: the leadership of his own party PvG were discovered to have been involved in hoarding large quantities of anti-Covid vaccines for themselves and their family and friends. When the news broke in March, junior coalition partner NCD announced their immediate departure from the coalition, and although the remaining government parties PvG and LKP kept a slim majority in the Noordkamer (Kronenburg's parliament), it wasn't certain that they would survive a no-confidence motion, as neither party couldn't be sure that all parliament members would vote with the government. Prime Minister Dankert thereupon offered the government's resignation to king Ernst Frederik and early elections were called on 19 May.

The path towards the elections was chaotic. After a tumultuous meeting with the interim PvG party leadership, Prime Minister Hans Dankert announced that he refused to come to his corrupt party fellows' rescue this time pending the official investigation of the hoarding scandal, and that he would keep his distance from the party leadership for a while, thereby turning down the leadership's request to run again as PvG leader. Justice minister Michael Borst was then put forward to run in Dankert's place in an election that would probably spell disaster for the liberal party.

In the socialdemocrat PSV in the meantime, long time leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf's leadership was challenged - quite unexpectedly - by younger party members Gea Torjussen and Harm-Jan Lesenfants. A party-wide vote in April resulted in victory for Torjussen, and Van der Schaaf accepted her defeat. The sudden leadership change wasn't received well by the voters; according to analysts, although the party ended up first, it would have done much better in the elections if it had still been lead by Van der Schaaf.

The 19 May elections saw a victory for PSV; the conservative LKP ended up second, and the liberal PvG third, with each party getting approximately one quarter of the 101 Noordkamer seats: PSV 28 (+2), LKP 24 (+5), PvG 22 (-11), NCD 14 (+4), green/republican ROOS! 4 (-3), green Climate Party 3 (+2), far right Veritas 3 (+3), pirates KPP 2 (+2), centrist PU 1 (-2), christian conservative KV 0 (-1), left liberal VLSP 0 (-1).

The elections saw a return of the Kronenburg Pirate Party after an absence of three+ years, and the entrance of Veritas, a populist party that polled high but ended up with only three seats due to the semi-district system that has been in place since 2016; because of the low number of Noodkamer seats attributed to some municipalities, Veritas (and other parties) didn't reach the threshold there. Veritas leader Manso Graham complained that this change was made to ‘silence the voice of the people' and demanded that it be changed back before the next elections.

Graham's complaint was backed up by Eddie Harkema, leader of the small christian conservative party Kerkelijk Verbond (KV), which didn't win any seats this election. "The big parties claim that the changes would reduce the need for coalition governments of more than two parties, but the election result is an obvious contradiction of this theory", Harkema said. Apart from the KV, the left liberal party VLSP also lost its seat and won't return in the new Noordkamer.

And the coalition negotiations proved indeed difficult. King Ernst Frederik appointed PSV leader Gea Torjussen as Advisor General on 20 May, but only less than a week later, she returned the assignment, claiming that both the PvG and LKP posed demands that were incompatible with the PSV party programme.

The King then named LKP leader Tjebco C. Bomans as Advisor General. He started to negotiate with PvG and NCD (the incumbent coalition partners), but he, too, encountered more obstacles than expected. Despite being the smallest negotiating party, the NCD considered itself a winner of the elections and made heavy policy demands, while it shot down any proposals introduced by the PvG. On 3 August, NCD leader Bas-Jan Holt announced that his party won't continue the negotiations and that it will remain in opposition. Bomans then unsuccessfully tried to find other parties to reach a parliamentary majority, and a few days later, he returned the assignment to the King.

After consulting the party leaders, the King appointed former PSV party leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf as Advisor General on 9 August, which caused some protest in PSV circles, but party leader Gea Torjussen publicly endorsed Ms Van der Schaaf's appointment, citing the urgency to form a government amid global problems that affect Kronenburg. Van der Schaaf summoned representatives of the PvG as well as the Climate Party to a negotiation marathon and after a week, the parties presented the foundation of a policy programme, which left a lot of subjects open for interpretation but which focused for a large part on the battle against Covid and climate change. "Kronenburg needs to become sustainable", Van der Schaaf said as an introdution to the programme on 16 August. Yesterday, she was confirmed as the candidate Prime Minister, with Climate Party leader Hedwig Wuirgitt-Hijns (whose husband is former football player and national coach Koide Wuirgitt) being confirmed as candidate Vice Prime Minister.

In the next couple of days, the new government will be finalised. As PSV and PvG are of similar size in the Noordkamer, they will probably appoint six ministers and three state secretaries each (the PSV will have the Prime Minister in addition); due to the small size of the Climate Party, it will get just one minister portfolio, which will however be occupied by Ms Wuirgitt, who will likely become Minister for Traffic, Communication, Regional Planning, and Transport.

Government steps down after vaccine hoarding scandal hits party top PvG
23 March 2021 - Prime Minister Hans Dankert has offered the resignation of the entire Oostkamer to the King this morning, after the news that prominent members of the ruling PvG party were involved in hoarding large quantities of vaccines for themselves and their family and friends caused one of the largest political crises Kronenburg has experienced in decades. Early elections are likely to be scheduled on 19 May and may very well see the new populist party Veritas enter the Noordkamer for the first time.

The news that several prominent PvG-members, including Defence Minister Norbert Lyon and long-time chairman of the PvG group in the Noordkamer Ewald de Haan de Cronenburg, had been hoarding anti-Covid 19 vaccines for themselves and their close vicinity and had secretly been vaccinated broke in the course of last week, with the Nieuwe Oosterlandsche Courant posting a large scathing article on Wednes-day. The scheme apparently took place already in December, when the first vaccines arrived and before our country's leading medical authority had given the green light to start with the vaccination procedure. Prime Minister Dankert nor any of the other PvG ministers in the government weren't named by the newspaper as participants in the activity.

The news caused a shockwave of angry reactions among the general public but also among the coalition partners of the PvG: the conservative LKP and the Christian democrat NCD. Several prominent members of those parties called for an immediate break-up of the coalition and new elections. On Thursday, Health Minister Samuel Noordhuijs (LKP) publicly condemned the PvG members' lack of responsibility in this time of crisis during a chaotic debate in the Noordkamer and in the evening an apparently violent debate took place between the three government partners. On Friday morning, the NCD announced their immediate departure from the coalition and Finance Minister Maria-Pia Lundqvist and State Secretary Tom Eckringa (Crime and Victim Assistance) offered their resignation to the King the same day. Defence Minister Lyon also resigned, while the PvG parliamentary group in the Noordkamer expelled all members who, according to the Nieuwe Oosterlandsche Courant, were involved in the scandal.

Although PvG and LKP together kept a very slim majority of 52 seats in the Noordkamer, the weekend saw continuing attacks addressed to the government and Prime Minister Dankert on social media, despite not having been involved, and talks about a motion of no-confidence to be tabled on Tuesday. As LKP-leader Tjebco C. Bosmans couldn't and wouldn't guarantee the support of the LKP members in the Noordkamer against this motion, and the remaining members of the PvG parliamentary group weren't entirely sure they'd vote against it either, it was decided on Monday that the government would resign and that early elections would be called on 19 May. The government, still consisting of PvG and LKP, will continue to rule in an acting capacity until the new government has been installed, with Dankert himself taking the Finance portfolio to replace NCD Minister Lundqvist.

Opposition parties mostly expressed their unbelief. "Who would have thought that a decent party such as the PvG turned out to harbour such vultures!", social democrat party PSV leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf said. "These persons betrayed the people of Kronenburg and went in against their own coalition's vaccination plan! If I were Noordhuijs (the Health Minister), I would be even more furious than he was last Thursday. Behaviour like this cannot be tolerated, certainly not from those who lead our country!"

Manso Graham, leader of the populist party Veritas that was founded last year, is glad that there will be elections. "I have been telling you for months now that this Corona situation is all a plot by the ruling elite to turn this country into a dictatorship! Now the people can vote them out and elect a government that cares for them and for their freedom."

Recent polls conducted before last week suggested a slow decline of the PvG's popularity in favour of the PSV and the LKP. Veritas may however benefit of these latest developments.

Anti-Covid measures maintained
8 March 2021 - The Oostkamer has confirmed that the current anti-Covid measures will be maintainted until after Easter. This means that citizens will continue to be obliged to keep a distance of 2 metres from each other whereever possible and wear masks when they need to come closer to other people. In public buildings masks need to be worn in any case. Bars remain closed; shops and restaurants operate with a reduced customer/guest capacity. Despite the number of infections per day slowly rising again since mid-February, a curfew or a full lockdown are still "not on the table", according to Prime Minister Hans Dankert. The vaccination process is developing less quickly than anticipated: only approximately half of the hospital staff and elderly home residents have received both doses so far.

Veritas leads anti-mask demo
6 March 2021 - Populist movement Veritas, which was founded last year by controversial psychologist Manso Graham and his Latvian wife Larissa as a platform to protest against the anti-Covid measures implemented by the government, is leading one of the largest anti-mask demonstrations in our country so far. Despite the fact that the protesters had been assigned a restricted area in Friescheburg, the crowd slowly moved to the Arena, which is one of the country's largest public transport hubs. Although traffic is limited in the current situation, mayor Wojciech Jędrzejewycz asked the police to protect the Arena's entrances. Some protesters tried to gain access anyway, upon which the police took counter measures. 14 people were arrested. Public transport routes via Friescheburg Centre were disrupted for several hours.

Sober celebration of 10th anniversary King Ernst Frederik
21 September 2020 - Alexanderstad is preparing for a sober celebration of the anniversary of Ernst Frederik as King of Kronenburg that will take place next Saturday. 24 September will mark ten years since the King succeeded his father Alexander IV Lodewijk as King of Kronenburg, after the latter wasn't able to fulfill his tasks as head of state anymore due to severe illness. The celebration will take place on Saturday 26 September and was supposed to present a lot of pump and circumstance, but due to the Corona crisis events have been cancelled or organised differently to prevent any additional infections. The open concert at the Vierbruggenmarkt has been replaced by a concert with ticket sale and fixed seats, much to the annoyance of many citizens who think that the celebration is now open to the nation's elite only. The funfair won't take place at one location but has been scattered all over the city.

Alexanderstad Mayor Maud Heirens thinks the measures are necessary. She called upon everybody to observe the festivities via the television at home and refrain from coming to the capital. On her orders, the police won't hesitate to intervene if the situation gets out of hand. Noordkamer member for the PSV Harm-Jan Lesenfants has called it irresponsible that the celebration hasn't been postponed or cancelled, like many other events. Apparently the festivities are maintained at the request of the conservative and christian democrat junior ruling parties LKP and NCD, which strongly value traditions to be upheld.

Dankert urges to maintain Corona measures; border with the USA remains closed for non-essential travels
15 September 2020 - Prime Minister Hans Dankert has urged the continuation of the measures against Covid-19, which have been in force since May. The strict measures imposed in March, immediately after the first cases were detected in Kronenburg, were relaxed in May in order to prevent the economy from collapsing, but the number of daily infections has been slowly increasing since August, while according to Dankert, many citizens are acting like the pandemic has reached its end.

"This is far from the case", Dankert said, "and it is perplexing how easily some people are placing their need of throwing a party above the safety of their fellow citizen." Fines for not complying to the measures have not been introduced yet, but according to Dankert, this is a possibility that can be considered if the behaviour of citizens won't improve significantly. The Prime Minister also urged citizens not to travel to the United States. The border with our neighbour has been closed for non-essential travels for some months now, and currently there are no flights or ferries to New York, which has seen a surge of infection cases. American citizens cannot travel to Kronenburg unless they can show proof that they were tested negative in the last 48 hours, but travelling to the USA from Kronenburg seems to be easier. The government is therefore considering to introduce a mandatory quarantine for Kronenburgers who return from the USA. Members of the Westkamer, which oversees the legality and compatibility of bills being tabled in the Noordkamer (Kronenburg's parliament), say however that such a measure would constitutionally be quite difficult to take.

Kronenburg counted its 70,000th infection earlier this month. The number of people who died from Corona has been stable at 1943 for several weeks. The number of active cases was 13,577 yesterday. Hospitals assured that they have the situation under control but as the summer holidays are over, a new increase of patients is to be expected.

Ripperda Prize to Ilyaroman composer Gavril Vauzé
12 September 2020 - This year's Ripperda Prize for Young Composers was won by the Ilyaroman composer Gavril Vauzé; for his tragic work "Les Malheurs Oubliés" for bariton and orchestra. "An emotionally striking and original work", as the jury called it. The audience award went to the "Symphony With Words" for choir and orchestra by the Channel Islands composer Didier Berridge. The humorous composition, in which the orchestra and the choir manifest themself in an absurd way as each other's rivals, was much appreciated by the listeners. Due to the Corona crisis, the concert took place without a live audience this year, but it was broadcast via internet instead.

Prime Minister Dankert congratulates new MAS president Haseena Begum
25 August 2020 - Prime Minister Hans Dankert called Haseena Begum to congratulate her after she won the second round of the presidential elections in the Republic of Maysoran, Algheran, and Shaoran (usually shortened to "MAS") against her opponent Rakesh Sengupta. Kronenburg has intensified relations with the MAS Republic after it joined the international organisation FICT, where Begum served as ambassador for her country until recently. The Prime Minister said that he hoped for a prosperous relationship between both countries.

714 infected, three dead after two weeks of Corona Virus
15 March 2020 - The last update by Health Minister Samuel Noordhuijs (LKP) regarding the expansion of the Corona infection in our nation mentions a total of 714 infected people. Three persons died of Covid-19 and five are said to have been declared cured. The situation of sixteen patients is critical.

On 6 March, the government took the decision to close the country's borders for passenger traffic as of 9 March, and yesterday the Health Minister, after consulting with the rest of the Oostkamer, decided to close our country's schools for a period of three weeks from 16 March to 3 April included. Further public establishments and events such as cinemas, sports halls, concert venues etc which are open or which have been scheduled in this period will also be closed, postponed or cancelled. Restaurants and bars are required to permit only a certain number of guests that equals one person per 4 square metres on average. The subway systems in the three largest cities have been suspended for the most part, and although the rest of public transport remains operational, they will maintain a Sunday schedule. Supermarkets are dealing with an elevated demand for pasta and toilet paper and for that reason the Minister called for calm and self-control.

The Kronenburg authorities increased border checks already since February so that persons returning from risk areas could be put in quarantine straight away. On 27 February the first person in Kronenburg was tested positive and put in temporary quarantine in a medical centre at the airport that was erected especially for that purpose, and transported to a hospital in Alexanderstad afterwards for further treatment. The number of infections grew however steadily; the epicentres are the three largest cities Alexanderstad, Friescheburg, and Noordeinde and the municipalities lying in between.

More bad news was reported on 10 March, when it emerged that six members of the Oostkamer had been in contact with a possible corona patient; Prime Minister Hans Dankert, Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Carine Ely as well as the Ministers of Domestic Affairs, Economic Affairs, Finance, and Traffic Bernadette Holttorp, Erik Waterbolk, Maria-Pia Lundqvist and Bert Sprigg have been in autoquarantine since that moment until at least 24 March. Health Minister Noordhuijs has taken charge of the government temporarily, although the isolated Ministers continue to be involved in decision procedures via Skype. None of them show any symptoms of the Covid-19 illness.

It is expected that our nation will experience an economic recession as a result of this corona crisis. Several companies already asked for government support in order to survive the next three weeks, while others will be forced to fire staff even with such support or applying other measures such as forced working time reduction. The casinos haven't welcomed any foreign guests anymore since 9 March and will close their doors temporarily as of Monday. The amount of tax income that the government won't receive because of this is estimated to be substantial.

"This is the most severe disaster to have hit our nation and the rest of the world since the Second World War", King Ernst Frederik said in a televised speech yesterday evening. "We will need to overcome this together and I have the utmost confidence that we will suceed. Stay at home as far as this is possible, follow the instructions issued by the government and medical staff, and call the alarm number if you suspect to show symptoms of Covid-19. Consider your fellow citizens and share with each other."

The situation in the other Elements of the Kingdom varies. The White Isles in the Bay of Fundy remain free of Corona for now, but in the Kronenburg Virgin Islands a single was registered case so far. West-Cod has fourteen confirmed cases and the island has therefore suspended all ferries to Boston (United States) and announced complete isolation.

Ísðor Treaty ratified
4 February 2020 - The Noordkamer ratified the Ísðor Treaty today, the main treaty of the international organisation FICT. This means that our country is now a full member of this organisation, after having been admitted by the other member states on 10 November last year.

Dentists on strike
22 November 2019 - The national alliance of dentists has announced that they will go on strike in the week of 1 December. The measure is a protest against plans of the Oostkamer to halve the automatic reimbursement of dental costs in the basic insurance. They fear that the higher costs will cause patients to have their teeth checked less regularly, due to which dentists will lose patients and the dental health of less wealthy Kronenburgers will deteriorate. Health Minister Samuel Noordhuijs (LKP) says that the measure is needed to keep the basic insurance affordable for everyone.

King Ernst Frederik celebrates 40th birthday
16 November 2019 - King Ernst Frederik is celebrating his 40th birthday today with several concerts and other events taking place throughout the country. His Majesty, his wife Queen Isabel and their three children Crown Prince Ernst Michaël and the Princesses Sofie Charlotte and Carolina Hedwig attended a military parade in the capital. The King was born on 16 November 1979 as Prince Johan Ernst, second son of then Crown Prince Alexander Lodewijk (from 1991 King Alexander IV Lodewijk) and Crown Princess Livia. In 1999 he became the heir apparent after his older brother Alexander Casimir lost his succession rights after marrying without parliamentary approval. When King Alexander IV became severely ill in 2009, Prince Johan Ernst succeeded him in September 2010 as King Ernst Frederik.

Kronenburg joins FICT
10 November 2019 - During the fourteenth summit of government leaders of the member states of the international organisation FICT in Kercei in Adzhatia today, our country was admitted as the fourteenth member state of that organisation.

Already in 2011, when FICT was founded, Kronenburg was mentioned as a potential member state, but successive centre left governments refrained from applying for membership. The current christian liberal government of PvG, LKP, and NCD was ready to consider membership and after a year of research and having attended the thirteenth summit in Purikali, Kaupelan, last May, the governing parties took the decision and had Kronenburg apply. Lawyer and diplomat Johannes Oberlinga has been appointed as Kronenburg's ambassador to FICT.

Despite not having been a member of FICT, Kronenburg has had bilateral relations with several FICT member states for years, especially with the Northern European countries Yukland and Adzhatia, with which was tried to put an air connection into place, and with the Asian kingdom of Kaupelan, which manifested itself as a strong proponent of Kronenburg FICT membership.

Plastics to be banned?
7 November 2019 - The Oostkamer wants to explore the possibility of reducing plastic packaging to a minimum to contribute to the improvement of the environment. Proposals to ban plastic bags in supermarkets are investigated as well but according to Environment Minister Luppo Haaksma (PvG) such a measure wouldn't contribute much and would lead to incomprehension among the public if products continue to be wrapped in plastic.

Casualties after police raid in the capital
21 October 2019 - During a police raid in Alexanderstad during which the police visited several night clubs to look for illegal weapons on Saturday night, a number of people were injured, both among the police and persons who resisted arrest by the police. A passer-by was hit by glass falling from a building. All were brought to hospitals for treatment. The police have acknowledged that the operation went less smoothly than planned but announced that they found dozens of illegal weapons nevertheless. 43 individuals have been arrested.

Nuclear facility Westerland officially opened
4 October 2019 - In Westerland the country's first nuclear power plant was officially opened today. Construction had started already in 2007 but experienced delay because of large scale protests and the pause that was ordered after the tsunami and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011. Due to the latter, Kronenburg authorities wanted to do some additional safety checks of the facility. The construction was supported by EnerGeo, the energy institution of the AGL.

Minister of Environment and Energy Luppo Haaksma (PvG) ephasised during the opening that our country's power plant is one of the most modern in the world and that Kronenburg doesn't have to worry about energy crises in years to come.

Espersen loses LKP leadership election from 'inexperienced' Bomans
30 September 2019 - Poul-Helge Espersen, leader of the conservative party LKP, lost a leadership election today that he was expected to win easily. His five opponents were not considered to have any chance, with foreign minister Carine Ely even having admitted only to stand to give the election a more democratic character. At the annual congress of the LKP however, the somewhat disorganised looking secretary of the youth department Tjebco C. Bomans was one of the speakers. He was replacing department chairman Anders Thorpenius, who was absent for medical reasons, and impressed with his eloquence, which he convincingly used to point out that the party leadership had been giving out jobs to each other since former PM Brahms headed the party, and that the party needed to rejuvenate to be ready for the next elections. Upon request, Bomans presented himself as an LKP leadership candidate.

Espersen felt that his reelection was in jeopardy and emphasised Bomans' inexperience and depicted the young man as a starship captain on a 16th century galleon: he would not yet be able to lead the country's oldest political party. Many members probably felt that Espersen proved Bomans's point with these arguments and after the first round of voting, Espersen had not won with the expected absolute majority but gained only 37% of the votes, followed by Bomans with 33%. The second round of voting then saw a victory for Bomans, who gathered 58% of the votes against 42% for Espersen.

The rest of political Alexanderstad responded with apprehension to this sudden course change in the LKP. The LKP is part of the government coalition with the liberal party PvG and the christian democrat party NCD and the latter two hurried to emphasise the governing agreements that exist between the three of them and urged the LKP to continue to support these agreements.

Kronenburg athletes saluted after AGL Games
21 September 2019 - From 5 to 15 September the AGL Games took place in Divis, the capital of Voskia. Kronenburg athletes performed well during this edition of the Games and managed to secure five gold, five silver, and two bronze medals. Last Monday they were welcomed at the international airport of Alexanderstad by Prime Minister Hans Dankert; today they were driven through the capital and were saluted at the Vierbruggenmarkt, the square in front of the City Hall and the Parliament building. Although Kronenburg won the most gold medals after Palana, our country ended in fourth place, behind Cilogia, Insulantis, and Palana, regarding the total number of medals.

Both the sport unions and the government hailed Voskia for its decent organisation of this edition of the Games, which saw its confirmation as a serious AGL partner. Kronenburg hosted the AGL Games in Friescheburg in 2003; due to the fact that it wasn't very noteworthy and left the organisation with a huge financial loss, Kronenburg doesn't recall the event very fondly.

20th anniversary Kronenburg AGL membership
31 July 2019 - Modest celebrations in Alexanderstad as our country marks the 20th anniversary of its membership of the AGL. In the '90s, consecutive governments lead by then Prime Minister Sander Opland Falting (LKP) tried to make Kronenburg play a more active role internationally without becoming an extension of the foreign policy of the USA. The AGL posed an interesting and modest choice. Although the LKP is not been a leading political party in Kronenburg at the moment, incumbent foreign minister Carine Ely thinks that our country still has a lot to benefit of the AGL both economically and culturally.

Kronenburg wants to join FICT
31 May 2019 - The Noordkamer has given the government permission to have our country apply for membership of the international organisation FICT, it has been confirmed. The parliament of Kronenburg gave the green light following the FICT summit of 9 May, which was attended by a delegation lead by prime minister Hans Dankert and minister of foreign affairs Carine Ely who gave a positive review of FICT and its current state of affairs. It is expected that the membership application will be sent to the organisation's incumbent Secretary General, Ms Haseena Begum, in the course of June or July and that a decision about Kronenburg's membership may already be taken during the next summit in Adzhatia in November.

Kronenburg delegation at FICT summit
9 May 2019 - Prime minister Hans Dankert and minister of foreign affairs Carine Ely will attend the thirteenth summit of the international organisation FICT in Purikali (Kaupelan) this Saturday. The discussion about a possible Kronenburg membership of FICT has flared up again recently; Kronenburg has been mentioned as a potential member state of FICT since moment the organisation was founded in 2011 but consecutive Kronenburg governments have declined so far.

Queen Isabel pregnant
1 May 2019 - Queen Isabel is pregnant with her fourth child. This was announced by the Royal Palace today. Its birth is expected in December. King Ernst Frederik and queen Isabel already have two daughters: the princesses Sofie Charlotte and Carolina Hedwig, and one son: crown prince Ernst Michaël. The queen is in excellent health, the Palace reports.

Revision Treaty of Corille on schedule, says Bouma
22 March 2019 - The revision of the Treaty of Corille, the free trade agreement of the AGL, is right on schedule, according to Thomas Bouma, the Secretary General of the AEGU, the economical suborganisation of the AGL. Before the end of the year a draft text could be presented to the governments of the member states.

The Treaty of Corille is the third AGL treaty that has been examined in recent years. The free trade agreement was concluded between the then member states on 4 April 1987 and the original text hasn't been changed since. '30 years have passed in the meantime and the world and the AGL are different places with different challenges', explains Bouma. 'The revised Treaty of Corille should better manage trade between the signing member states.'

Changing AGL treaties is however not an easy task. The revision of the Treaties of Aralethe (the founding treaty) and Jarjana (the human rights treaty) took years and hasn't been completed yet in case of the Treaty of Jarjana. 'We are having a small army of lawyers and other experts in international law and trade look at the text; we won't take any risk this time!' says Bouma.

'Don't worry about the AGL', says new minister Carine Ely
28 February 2019 - The member states of the AGL are once more behaving in a lethargical manner regarding the international organisation but is this really a problem? Asks Carine Ely (LKP), the new minister of foreign affairs of Kronenburg who was appointed earlier this month.

'The AGL is functioning perfectly; we shouldn't look for more behind the league than there is: a small international organisation of countries scattered over the face of the earth. We shouldn't worry about the fact that most member states barely know that the AGL exists, and the pompous drama that some of my predecessors showed in this matter was unnecessary and uncalled for', says Ely, who apart from minister of foreign affairs is the vice prime minister in prime minister Hans Dankert's third Oostkamer that was installed on the 1st of February.

'Criticism has been expressed lately as to the apparent difference between my opinion and my actions', the minister continues. 'Yes: one of my first international visits earlier this month was to the AGL headquarters in Cilogia, where I had a meeting with Secretary General Not Curschellas. One needs however to see the difference: I think the AGL is important, as does the rest of the government, but we don't mind very much that the other member states deal with the AGL in a different manner. As long as they uphold their legal obligations towards the AGL, there is no problem as far as I am concerned.'

Also the fact that there hasn't been an AGL summit since March 2018 is not an issue of importance according to the minister. 'As long as there are no urgent matters that need to be discussed, a physical meeting is not necessecary. In any case this Oostkamer thinks it is a good idea to organise the meetings via conference calls more often instead of flying from one remote corner of the world to another. The environment will be grateful! The only matters that need attention soon is the appointment of a new director of the AGL Investment Bank, as the current director Susanne Öst's term has expired two months ago, and there has been a membership request of the Caribbean nation Bonito that we will have to treat at some point.'

Minister Ely's opinion isn't however shared by everyone in the AGL and in the Marquessate of the Channel Islands politicians have called the AGL's inactivity a "policy of extinction". Planning an AGL summit has proven difficult lately: a scheduled summit in the Pannonian capital Stola in July 2018 was postponed and a new date hasn't been determined yet.

PSV win Noordkamer elections; PvG remains largest party
1 November 2018 - Yesterday's parliamentary election in Kronenburg was won by the socialdemocratic PSV, which won around a quarter of the now 101 seats. Most of these came from junior government party ROOS!, which lost significantly and ended up with a mere seven seats, and several parties that didn't manage to return to the Noordkamer.

These were the first elections after the constitutional change of 2016 that saw the number of Noordkamer seats reduced from 175 to 101. Because of this, the parties OL (Elderly League), ANTS (a far left protest party that had a steady number of two or three seats since 2005), KPP (Kronenburg Pirate Party) didn't manage to reach the new threshold, whereas the populist party Normaal desintegrated already before the elections and didn't participate at all.

The largest government party PvG (liberals) lost as well, although with 33 seats it remains the largest party overall, which means that after eight years the PvG-ROOS! coalition has lost its majority and that PvG will have to look out for a new partner or new partners. It seems unlikely that PSV will be able to enter government; the differences with PvG are too big and there aren't any other large parties left on the left side of the political spectrum to construct a left leaning majority.

The rightleaning liberal party LKP (19 seats) seems to be the most logical choice for the PvG, although there are some differences to overcome. PvG doesn't like LKP plans to drastically reform and enlarge the Kronenburg military or to reduce subsidies on cultural events, whereas LKP opposes PvG cuts in the education system and in public administration; the PvG's plan to have a maximum number of ten government ministers (at the moment there are fourteen) is called 'impossible' and 'unwanted' by the LKP.

Prime minister and PvG leader Hans Dankert will probably meet with king Ernst Frederik at some point in the next couple of days to be appointed Advisor General, tasked with the formation of a new government coalition. The new government is traditionally sworn in during the Promulgation (opening of the parliamentary year) on the first Friday of February.

PvG to consider FICT membership, if reelected
20 October 2018 - The largest government coalition party PvG (the progressive liberals) is said to consider proposing a membership of the Forum for International Cooperation and Trade (FICT) if it stays in power after the Noordkamer elections that will take place on the 31st of October, it has emerged. The rumours were denied nor confirmed by party prominents including State Secretary for Foreign Economic and Cultural Cooperation, Mrs Jolanda Keimpema-Keizer.

A Kronenburg FICT membership has been discussed since the international organisation was founded seven years ago, but most parties in the Noordkamer have been reluctant to join, mostly due to its initial 'start up problems' (just one year after FICT was founded, a huge difference of opinion between the member states saw the organisation split up, with four members leaving and founding the Exumbra Convention) as well as the fact that if Kronenburg joins FICT, it will be the organisation's richest member state; fear existed (and still exists) that FICT will be paid mostly with money from Kronenburg.

The PvG however has always promoted international cooperation on whatever scale it might be and several PvG members would consider a FICT membership an asset for Kronenburg. Whether Kronenburg will indeed join FICT also depends on the future coalition partners: traditionally, the left wing parties of Kronenburg favour strong regional alliances whereas the right wing parties favour anything that doesn't include the USA, because of historical reasons.

In the last twenty years these allegiances have shifted however, with right wing parties such as the LKP (which was pivotal in organising the Kronenburg membership of another international organisation, the AGL, in 1998-1999) focusing more on relations with the USA and Canada, and left wing parties such as the PvG's fellow government party ROOS! and the oppositional PSV being somewhat adrift.

Socialdemocrats poised to leap forward in Noordkamer elections
10 October 2018 - Parliamentary elections will take place in Kronenburg on the 31st of October. They will be the first 'new style' elections that take place after the constitution was changed two years ago. This change resulted the abolishment of the Zuidkamer as the 'senate' of the Kronenburg parliament as well as a reduction of the number of seats of the remaining Noordkamer (the 'house of representatives') from 175 to 101. In addition, the 101 seats will be elected using a semi-district system: the sixteen municipalities each form a district that represents a part of the parliament based on population.

Opinion polls suggest a small loss for the largest government party PvG (the left leaning liberal Party for Equality) and a bigger loss for its coalition party, the leftist-green party ROOS!; after two governments made up of these two parties it seems that this combination will lose its majority. Insiders claim that Prime Minister Hans Dankert's PvG is already negotiating a future coalition with the right leaning liberal party LKP, although they may need a third party to reach a majority in the Noordkamer.

The socialdemocratic PSV (Progressive Socialist Alliance) are set to recover from their dramatic losses in 2011 and 2014; its controversial leader Ms Mariëtte van der Schaaf is hoping to benefit from some impopular measures taken by the current government that resulted in some net salary disadvantages for employees who earn between 30,000 and 60,000 KBG a month, the government's decision to join CETA that has not met with general approval by all Kronenburgers, as well as a general "PvG-ROOS! fatigue" that is emerging after seven years. Whether or not PSV will manage to become the largest party again however remains to be seen.

First 'casino for everyone' to be built in Kronenburg
30 September 2018 - Minister of economic affairs Johannes Oberlinga announced today that our country will open its doors for the first Las Vegas style casino. Until now, casinos in Kronenburg were rather exclusive establishments where only the rich and famous were accepted, but that will change. On the island of Katerland, which is part of the municipality of Hinte, the first large scale glamourous casino will be built as of next year. The government granted permission to a Kronenburg company called Ubbingh Diversion, which plans to build a large Colosseum shaped casino called "Little Rome", which will incorporate a hotel. The establishment is supposed to attract several millions of visitors each year.

Thomas Bouma starts as AEGU Secretary General
1 July 2018 - The former Kronenburg minister of economic affairs Mr Thomas Bouma has started his new job as Secretary General of the AEGU today, the economic sub-organisation of the AGL. He takes over from Mr Dawyd Kone, from Issel, who had the AEGU top job since 2014. The AEGU is located in It Ton, a town in Issel, and although Bouma confessed to have never visited Issel before his election as Secretary General, he has moved between Kronenburg and Issel frequently in the past couple of months in order to find suitable living accomodations.

Bouma said to look forward to his new job. Apparently he has some big tasks ahead, including the preparation of the revision of the Treaty of Corille, the free trade agreement of the AGL. He will hold the position until 2022; theoretically he can be reappointed, but that has happened only once since the AEGU was founded in 1987.

Frosty temperatures in Kronenburg
5 January 2018 - After a period in which extreme cold and the heaviest snow storm in probably half a century hit Kronenburg, temperatures are expected to fall again this weekend. "Strong winds following yesterday's storm will hit Kronenburg and Southern New England today and tonight", the Royal Meteorological Institute warned. "Arctic air will arrive in the area and produce dangerously cold wind blasts. Wind chills throughout the country could vary between -23 and -29°C".

The snow storm left the country covered under several decimeters of snow, and many schools and companies remained closed both yesterday and today. The government urged citizens not to leave their houses unless absolutely necessary. The army has been deployed to assist the emergency services to free both the main roads and citizens trapped in their cars. According to the ministry of domestic affairs, no direct casualties have been reported so far, although one person died of appendicitis because she couldn't be brought to hospital in time.

The recent forecasts are bad news for many home owners, as the number of reports of cracked water pipes and broken heatings continues to grow. The ministry of domestic affairs mentioned that there are a few dozens of people on average in each municipality whose houses have essentially become uninhabitable for the time being and for whom the municipal governments have organised shelter.

Temperatures will drop to approximately -10°C tonight in Oosterland and to -18°C in Alexanderstad. The maximum values on Saturday will lie between -7°C and -12°C with mostly sunny skies and wind chill temperatures of -25°C. On Sunday, temperatures will slightly rise to -6°C/-10°C; as of Monday, warmer air is expected to arrive.

Hurricane Jose threatens Kronenburg
18 September 2017 - Kronenburg is preparing for the possibility that Hurricane Jose will make landfall next week. Life-threatening rip currents are expected along the beaches and tropical storm watches are posted throughout the country and in the coastal areas of the neighbouring US states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Continuing its path from the Caribbean, Hurricane Jose took a northern direction and currently follows a path directly towards our country, although experts say that it may make another turn to the north-northeast on Tuesday and that it may weaken to a tropical storm by then. If landfall were to occur, the easternmost part of the country will be hit directly.

Authorities in the municipalities of Oosterland, Dietzland, Oranjewijk, and Waterland have urged their citizens to be extremely careful and to take the necessary measures to protect themselves and their belongings.

Surprise over San Escobar assumption
11 January 2017 - Minister of foreign affairs Mathias Schydtz has said that he is surprised by the reactions on social media about the assumption of his Polish colleague Witold Waszczykowski that the South American nation of San Escobar is supporting the Polish bid to get a seat in the Security Council of the United Nations.

"Poland would have had our support as well, if Kronenburg hadn't been a candidate ifself", the minister said, emphasising our country's good relationship with both Poland and San Escobar.

Kronenburg closely watching USA exit polls
9 November 2016 - Kronenburgers are anxiously awaiting the election results in neighbouring USA, with most recent polls suggesting that most Kronenburgers are in favour of Clinton, but expect Trump to win. According to Mariëtte van der Schaaf, leader of the oppositional socialdemocratic party PSV, relations between Kronenburg and the US may become 'interesting' in the next four years, based on the most recent exit polls, which indeed suggest a victory for the Republican candidate.

Cautious reaction Kronenburg to Brexit
25 June 2016 - The Kronenburg government has responded with caution to the news of the Brexit, the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. "The ministry of economic affairs is in contact with the Kronenburg companies with representation in the United Kingdom and the situation is closely monitored", economic affairs minister Thomas Bouma said.

Companies with a large interest in the European market may consider moving to continental Europe if the UK's exit from the EU creates additional economic barriers between the two areas. The minister called the uncertainty that has now been created "annoying", but urged the companies' boards not to make any hasty decisions.

Noordkamer ratifies revised AGL treaties
21 May 2016 - The Noordkamer, the main chamber of the parliament of Kronenburg, ratified the changed AGL treaties ('Aralethe' (the founding treaty) and 'Jarjana' (the human rights treaty)) this week. Both treaties were finally changed during the last AGL summit on 19 March after years of discussion between the member states.

Shortly after the summit however, member state Île de Romanhe announced that it doesn't accept the outcome of the elections of the new AGL secretary general and the new headquarters location of the environment institute MIE and will postpone ratification of the treaties pending an investigation of racism during the AGL summit by the AGL High Court.

Both the secretary general and the MIE headquarters location were 'won' by member state Voskia, whose SG candidate, diplomat Not Curschellas, and capital proved more attractive for the AGL delegations than the Ilyaroman candidate Guimarc Bonamy and the Ilyaroman capital Port de Boiguehenneuc.

Although annoyed by the Ilyaroman government's actions, the Kronenburg government decided to continue with the ratification procedure, hoping that the government of Île de Romanhe will change its mind before the next summit on 2 July.

First part The Lord of the Rings trilogy translated in Kronenburgish
13 May 2016 - "Frodo gong wekker en entdekke dat hi in bed ligge. Feorst teout hi dat hi pas let der was en seouwe, eouten ean lange, onprettege dreem dom nou op de rand fan haas enthald swei. Of faks was hi der en siik? Mar det plafon sei der raar ut; it was plat en it haadt riklik korren meorke balken. Hi ligge nou lits langer, leokke ta de sinleoutplakken op de weg en harke ta det loud fan ean wettefal."

As of tomorrow, citizens of Kronenburg can read the first part of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings in Kronenburgish. Translators Heleen Dykstra and Oene Gyerstam will present the first copy of De Ringenheer 1: Det Selskyp fan de Ring in bookshop Tebbens in Alexanderstad tomorrow around 11 AM, after which bookshops all over the country will be allowed to sell the books.

It is uncertain however if the availability of the translation will cause the circus that the editor is expecting. Since Kronenburgish was made the country's official language three years ago its written form has engaged in an unequal 'war' against Dutch, which used to be the only and still is an administrative official language; many people simply don't dare to write in Kronenburgish yet.

Gyerstam thinks however that exposing the people to written Kronenburgish will help them get familiar with its appearance. "Translating popular novels into Kronenburgish is an essential part of this process", he says. "Readers will be given the opportunity to get acquainted with written Kronenburgish in a familiar environment."

The Harry Potter series is nearing its completion in its Kronenburgish version: the 7th book, Harry Potter en de Dalike Hillegheid, is expected around Christmas this year.

Kronenburg celebrates Women's Day
8 March 2016 - With several demonstrations and celebrations, Women's Day was celebrated in Kronenburg today. Since the day was declared an official public holiday several years ago, both men and women have used their day off to organise public events, many of which address the gender inequality that still exists around the world, and possible solutions for it, whereas others just party.

In Friescheburg vice prime minister and finance minister Geraldine Németh broke a glass ceiling for a gathered (and protective clothing wearing) crowd, still symbol for the unseen barrier that female workers don't seem to be able to cross.

In the capital city of Alexanderstad a demonstration was held at the statue of queen Marianne (1879 - 1953) who appointed women as minister as early as 1895 in the overall extremely conservative society that Kronenburg used to be at the time.

AGL celebrates 30th year of its existence
2 March 2016 - Today the international organisation AGL celebrates its 30th birthday. It was founded in 1986 by Cilogia, Marckonia, Vixatia, Palmyra, and Yamba and despite a somewhat volatile history the organisation now has twelve member states, including Kronenburg, which joined in 1998/1999, and plays a modest role in international politics.

In the Centre for Cultural Cooperation "Jan Ylieen", the cultural organisation of the AGL, which has its headquarters in the Kronenburg city of Waterburg, celebrations are underway lead by foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz, Ylieen-director Jannes Toxopeus and former directors of the AGL energy institute EnerGeo Rudolph Lanooij and Harma van der Aa-Roorda.

At the same time, a small protest demonstration against the AGL is held in Alexanderstad; the participants consider the organisation unuseful, especially regarding its opportunity to introduce more democracy and less bureaucracy in some of its member states that have dubious governments. By doing hardly anything in this matter, the AGL is effectively condoning these governments, the protesters say.

First son for prince Willem Lodewijk and princess Anna
1 March 2016 - Prime minister Hans Dankert has congratulated prince Willem Lodewijk and his wife princess Anna with the birth of their first child, yesterday morning in Vienna (Austria), where the couple is living part-time. Despite the fact that the boy, who will be known as prince Lodewijk Alois, was born two weeks early, both he and his mother are in excellent health, according to a spokeswoman of the Kronenburg royal family.

Prince Lodewijk Alois will be fifth in line of succession to the Kronenburg throne after the three children of king Ernst Frederik, and prince Lodewijk Alois's father prince Willem Lodewijk, who is the king's younger brother.

Changes in Kronenburg as of 2016
31 December 2015 - New Year's Eve in Kronenburg; at midnight KST ( = UTC -4.30) the year 2016 will start here as well, with some important changes: the Kingdom will henceforward consist of four equal "Elements": Kronenburg proper, the former municipality of West-Cod (which will gain a near-independent status), and the two former autonomous overseas provinces of the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands.

A second important change in Kronenburg proper is a municipal redivision that will take effect tonight after years of preparation. Especially the fact that the municipality of Alexanderstad will be split up in several smaller (and hopefully better governable) entities did not go well with the inhabitants of Alexanderstad, who felt that their identities as citizens of the capital are taken away.

But, as king Ernst Frederik said in his Christmas speech last week: every change needs time to settle down and the future will teach us if it's bad or good.

2015 elections in Kronenburg
25 October 2015 - Next Wednesday 28 October there are elections in Kronenburg for two legislative institutions: 1) the (as of 2016) sixteen municipalities, and 2) the new Zuidkamer.

As of 1 January 2016 there will be a new municipal division, with the number of municipalities going from the current 12 to 16. The current municipality of West-Cod will become an autonomous Element in a restructured Kingdom of Kronenburg, which will then have four equal Elements: Kronenburg proper, West-Cod, the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. The Zuidkamer, which is currently comparable to institutions like the Senate or the House of Lords, will become a 25 member parliament for the entire Kingdom. West-Cod, the Virgin Island and the White Islands already elected their shares of the Zuidkamer members earlier this month.

Opinion polls for the municipal elections suggest that the ruling government parties PvG (left-liberal) and ROOS! (leftist/green/republican) may suffer the consequences of splitting up the capital Alexanderstad in several smaller municipalities, to which there has been a lot of discontent, especially in the areas affected by the changes. Despite the fact that the PvG is predicted to remain the largest party overall, it may loose ground to the conservative-liberal party LKP.

Kaupelanese state visit to Kronenburg
15 October 2015 - From 6 to 9 October, king Kira II of the Asian kingdom of Kaupelan and his entourage visited Kronenburg. They were welcomed by king Ernst Frederik and queen Isabel. During the visit, the party visited the new Museum of Oriental Art in Alexanderstad-Westerpoort that opened its doors in April and has one of the largest collections of Kaupelanese art in North America on display.

The Kaupelanese government expected a lot from the visit, as it hoped that it would lead to new Kronenburg investments in the suffering Kaupelanese economy, and indeed some deals were struck to improve trade and tourism between Kaupelan and Kronenburg. King Kira also thanked the Kronenburg people for their support after last year's earthquake.

A possible Kronenburg membership of the Forum for International Cooperation and Trade (FICT) was briefly discussed as well, although such a move is still too controversial in Kronenburg to be seriously considered at the moment, as Kronenburg membership of similar international organisations is constantly criticised - currently, leaving such organisations seems therefore more likely than joining a new one.

Bilateral ties between Kronenburg and Kaupelan will however be improved by the opening of mutual embassies in 2016, which lead to some criticism among Kronenburg opposition parties, as the budget of the diplomatic service was reduced only two years ago, leading to the closure of several Kronenburg embassies throughout the world. Currently the embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia is responsible for the Kronenburg affairs in Kaupelan.

State reform approved by all parties
12 May 2015 - Today the Zuidkamer (senate) of Kronenburg has approved the state reform at the second reading. It is the last legislative body throught the Kingdom that has done so, the Noordkamer and the respective parliaments of the Kronenburg Virgin Islands and the White Islands having approved the bill in the last months. In the municipality of West-Cod (which is to receive near-independence according to the proposals) the population approved the bill by means of a referendum, although turn-out was extremely low. This means that as of 1 January 2016, the Kingdom of Kronenburg will consist of four equal "Elements": Kronenburg proper, West-Cod, the Virgin Islands and teh White Islands.

One of the big changes will be a review of the tasks of the Zuidkamer itself: as of 2016, it will become the parliament for the entire kingdom, whereas the senate tasks will be partly transferred to the Westkamer and partly abolished. Elections for the members of the new Zuidkamer will take place in October, in Kronenburg proper on the 28th, together with early municipal elections, as 1 January 2016 will also mark a municipal redivision. A transitional arrangement will prevent that the Noordkamer will have to have its bills checked by the Zuidkamer after 1 January - as the Zuidkamer in its current form won't exist anymore as of that moment.

An international matter is the AGL membership of the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. Since 2010 they have been part of the Kronenburg membership, but as of 2016 the islands can decide for themselves which international organisations they would like to join. It has to be discussed if the Virgin Islands will be admitted as the 13th member state of the AGL without much ado, or that they have to go through the normal accession procedure. The fact that the Virgin Islands' capital of Frederiksbaai is the Cultural Capital of the AGL this year, increases the pressure to find a solution.

Van der Meer Verzekeringen files for bankruptcy
27 April 2015 - Van der Meer Verzekeringen, one of the largest insurance companies in Kronenburg, has filed for bankruptcy earlier today. This news has caused a big stir in the country, as tens of thousands of citizens are insured through Van der meer for reasons varying from simple travel insurances to health and life insurance. According to the worst case scenario, these people have lost all of their investments. News about the alarming financial situation of Van der Meer, originally a family company founded in 1897, emerged last week. A number of wrong investment choices and a lack of control, mostly the result of the fact that many employees were fired a few years ago to survive the financial crisis, seem to have lead to the current situtation. CEO Fred Hax, who received a large bonus only last December, told the press that everything will be done to compensate the clients' losses, but experts fear that these words will have no meaning whatsoever. The social affairs ministry is searching for a solution to this crisis. Opposition party PSV advises people to spread their insurances over several companies.

Marquessate of the Channel Islands join AGL as associated member
7 February 2015 - The 55th AGL Summit in Ostia, Insulantis, saw the Marquessate of the Channel Islands obtain associated membership of the AGL. The director of the AGL Investment Bank, Ms Susanne Öst from Karstonia, was reappointed for a second four year term, and the AGL football/soccer championships of 2017 will be organised on the Channel Islands. Most discussion took however place about the possible return of the Karstonian based Mård-Insitute to the AGL.

The institute used to be an AGL Institute between 1990 and 2004, but when Karstonia left the AGL in that year, the Mård-Institute effectively stopped acting as an AGL organisation. When Karstonia rejoined in 2009, replacement institutions had already been founded, except for the scientific branch of Mård. AGL members Voskia and Île de Romanhe saw the possible reintegration of Mård into the AGL as an opportunity to discuss the relocation of organisations from countries that host more than one, but as this discussion mainly focused on the relocation of the Karstonia based AGL Investment Bank, the Karstonian government took insult and cancelled the proposal, only to resubmit it with three demands: to end the discussion about relocating whichever AGL suborganisation, the reintegration of the environment institute MIE in the Mård Institute, and the current director of the Mård Institute should be allowed to remain in office until his retirement in 2017.

Although many member states favoured a possible return of Mård to the AGL, mainly Cilogia thought that the Karstonian demands went too far. Furthermore, as the fusion of MIE and Mård was a new proposal that hadn't been added to the approved agenda, it could not be treated during this summit. Karstonia finally withdrew the proposal permanently.

"This is bad luck", foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz commented. "Because of the greed of some of the newer member states, the AGL has missed the opportunity to regain the Mård Institute. Apart from its nostalgic value, the Institute could have contributed a lot to the AGL thanks to its scientific database."

New government inaugurated
6 February 2015 - The second Oostkamer (government) lead by prime minister Hans Dankert was installed today during teh annual Promulgation, the opening of the parliamentary year in Kronenburg. King Ernst Frederik pronounced the new government's plans with his well-known bright voice. The text treated among other things the dangers of a less strong Euro for the Kronenburg economy (Kronenburg products are getting increasingly expensive for the European market), the upcoming constitutional change that has to be approved by all legislative bodies in the realm, house market reforms, and increased security against violent extremism.

In other news, the ministry of foreign affairs announced that as of 1 March, Kronenburg will be represented in Peru and Chimor by Bruno Sahm Rosting who will replace Michaela Reedtz-hommes Roorda as ambassador. She will become the Kronenburg ambassador to the United Kingdom and will also be responsible for Kronenburg affairs in the Marquessate of teh Channel Islands, although Mr Eiwind Wolken will represent our country as consul in Port Meryton. The current ambassador in Jakarta, Ms Ildiko Lassirde-Varjassy will move to the Karstonian capital Marckfontänn as of 1 September, where she will be responsible for Kronenburg affairs in Karstonia, Sweden, Finland, the Baltics and Adzhatia.

Mård Institute will not return to the AGL
1 February 2015 - Less than a week before the AGL Summit in Insulantis, Karstonia cancelled its proposition to reintroduce the Mård Institute into the AGL. The Karstonian government argues that it doesn't matter whether the institute is part of the AGL or not in order to be beneficial for it. The Karstonians are also annoyed by a Voskian proposal to relocate the AGL Investment Bank to another member state, should the Mård-Institute once more become an AGL suborganisation; as both organisations would be located in Karstonia, Voskia argued that one of them could move elsewhere, in order to create a better division of suborganisations among the member states. For the Kronenburg government, such a move would only be acceptable if it doesn't cost too much.
Relations with the Marquessate of the Channel Islands intensified
29 January 2015 - The ministry of foreign affairs has announced to intensify the relationship between Kronenburg and the Marquessate of teh Channel Islands. The reason for this is the latter's request for AGL membership which will be treated during the AGL Summit on 7 February in the Insulantian city of Ostia. The move is welcomed by political parties ROOS! (the junior government party) and LKP (opposition), who think that the small but relatively rich country can be an asset to the AGL. PSV (also opposition) however thinks that the AGL is still not functioning properly and that it should first see that it is able to keep its internal order before accepting new member states.
Panic about snow storm 'unnecessary'
28 January 2015 - The biggest snow storm in the last 50 years was announced for today, but despite heavy snowfall in the northwestern part of the country, no records were broken, according to meteorologists. In the southeastern town of Engelbert most streets are even still partly visible. Some parties in the Noordkamer criticised the panic that was caused by the authorities, as supermarkets were emptied by worried customers, and companies were advised to give their employees emergency days off in order to reduce the amount of traffic, causing unnecessary economic damage. Gert Griffioen, director of the Royal Institute for Meteorology (KIM) admitted that it was possible that he and his colleagues got carried away listening to their American colleagues, but added that weather forecasts, however precise, can always deviate from reality.

Steen Ryssdal Institute applies to become an EIDI
13 November 2014 - The Steen Ryssdal Institute, an organisation founded by the Waterburg based Kornelis Frankema Technical University to investigate how the influence of the United States on the Kronenburg environment can be reduced, has formally applied to become and EIDI (Exumbran Institute of Development and Industry). This was announced by the institute's director, professor Thorsten Drenth. As an EIDI, the institute will be elegible for funding and it can share its knowledge with other EIDIs. The institute was named after the well-known Kronenburg climatologist Steen Ryssdal (1897 - 1987).

Advisor General announces possibility of a new coalition between PvG and ROOS!
10 November 2014 - Prime minister Hans Dankert, who was appointed Advisor General by the king last week, has announced that a new coalition between PvG and ROOS! could be 'fruitful'. The two parties will engage in negotiations in order to determine the conditions; the current government consists of the same parties. ROOS! leader Geraldine Németh said that her party would enter the negotiations 'humble, but firm'; ROOS! lost eight seats in the elections that were held in October, while the PvG gained nine, so the balance has shifted in favour of the PvG.

Right-wing liberal party LKP was generally expected to be more favourable as a new partner for the PvG, as the party was one of the winners of the elections and its liberal character could provide more common grounds with the PvG. In several meetings that were held between Dankert and LKP leader Poul-Helge Espersen last week, it was however established that some of the LKP's demands, including a large scale income tax reduction to compensate the introduction of higher duties on tobacco, were insurmountable for the PvG. "I'm sorry to say that it just didn't work out between us", Espersen commented after the last meeting.

Kingdom of Kaupelan hit by earthquake
4 November 2014 - The small Asian kingdom of Kaupelan has been hit by a large earthquake, local and Indonesian media announced. The southern coast of the island of Wisanyo was hit most severely, resulting in heavy damage and more than 200 deaths. The Kronenburg government offered their condolences to the victims and their families and promised help to the Kaupelanese government.

PvG wins parliamentary elections
30 October 2014 - The liberal party PvG has won yesterday's parliamentary elections. The party of prime minister Dankert gained nine seats and will have 64 seats in the new parliament, which will have its first meeting in February 2015. Coalition partner ROOS! (a combined party of communists, republicans and democratic greens) lost eight seats however, and although both parties still have a majority in the new parliament, it may be possible for the PvG to choose the LKP as its new partner, the latter being a right wing liberal party that has much more in common with the PvG than ROOS!. The LKP leader Poul-Helge Espersen already invited prime minister Dankert to discuss a new coalition of PvG and LKP, but ROOS! leader Geraldine Németh emphasised the stable and reliable partner that her party has been in the last three or four years and asked Dankert not to make any hasty decisions.

Marckonian composer Grizelda Kivi wins 42nd Ripperda Prize
25 October 2014 - The 42nd edition of the Ripperda Prize for young composers was won by the Marckonian composer Grizelda Kivi (1994) who managed to impress both the jury and the audience with her solemn Livonian song cycle "Sigž" (Autumn). The jury praised the work for its simplicity and its power to provoke powerful emotions.

Prince Willem Lodewijk to marry in March 2015
25 October 2014 - Prince Willem Lodewijk, king Ernst Frederik's younger brother, will marry his current partner Anna Rauhofer on 27 and 28 March 2015, the Royal Household confirmed. The prince and Anna haven't visited Kronenburg yet since their relationship was announced earlier this year. They are currently living in Linz, Austria.

Trade visit to eastern African countries
22 October 2014 - State secretary Max Bos of Foreign Economic and Cultural Cooperation (BECS) announced that he will visit four countries in eastern Africa in order to discuss the concrete implementation of investments that Kronenburg promised in the past. Especially Harrawi, Kpwahele & Nɣurumba and Île de Romanhe could use some investments. Mr Bos will also visit Insulantis, which could have a favourable climate for Kronenburg businesses. 

Patient who visited Guinea doesn't have ebola
16 October 2014 - A patient who entered a hospital in Friescheburg last week with signs of ebola, doesn't have the disease, the hospital director confirmed. The man became ill after a visit to the African country of Guinea. The hospital didn't elaborate much on the man's illness, but said that there has been no sign that it was contagious.

Mass exam fraud may render thousands of secondary school diplomas invalid
22 September 2014 - The director of the Arjen Alfons Lyceum (AAL) in Denestad was arrested by the police this morning, following the discovery last week of a large scale exam fraud that took place under his leadership in the past ten years; the official exam questions were given to the students before the final exams. Despite the fact that some of the students may have made the exams without having read the questions on forehand, the National Education Council said that these students should have told someone about the fraud. "Now we don't know which results are real and which aren't", a spokesman said. "As far as the council is concerned, no diploma issued by this school during the last ten years can be considered valid."

This statement may have consequences for all former AAL students who attend the national universities or colleges; their inscriptions may be cancelled, whereas those who already finished their studies may loose their degrees.

Treaty changes AGL to be reviewed
31 August 2014 - During yesterday's AGL Conference in the Voskian city of Turitg the results of the votes on the changes of the Treaties of Aralethe and Jarjana that took place during the 50th and 51st AGL summits in 2012 and 2013, were declared invalid. As it seemed improbable that the changes will be ratified by all national parliaments, the Kronenburg delegation proposed to stop the ratification process and to review the changes again.

Arthur, this year's first hurricane, hits Kronenburg
6 July 2014 - The hurricane season finally began a few days ago with hurricane Arthur, which moved in northern direction and arrived above Kronenburg yesterday evening. Torrential rain flooded several streets, power was cut in several towns and in Madaket an abandoned house collapsed under the violence of the hurricane. According to minister Hein Swabedissen, the emergency plans of most municipalities were implemented without many problems and there was only material damage.

Former king Alexander IV Lodewijk dies
20 April 2014 - The Grand Duke of Alexanderstad (i.e. former king Alexander IV Lodewijk) died in his home, the Royal Castle near Friescheburg, yesterday evening. This was announced to the press by prime minister Hans Dankert shortly after 11 PM local time. The funeral will likely take place next Saturday. Until that time a period of mourning is designated. The prime minister praised the former king as a symbol of political stability in a turbulent world.

Alexander IV Lodewijk (2 September 1948 - 19 April 2014) succeeded his father Alexander III Ernst in 1991. In 2009 he had a stroke which rendered him in a coma for several weeks. In 2010, it was decided that the king was incapacitated and that the crown prince would succeed him as king, which happened in September that year.

Noordkamer approves change of constitution
26 March 2014 - The Noordkamer (the Kronenburg house of representatives) has approved the proposed changes to the constitution, which will enable a new division of the Kingdom of Kronenburg in four realms. Apart from Kronenburg itself these are the current autonomous overseas provinces of the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands, as well as the current municipality of West-Cod. The Noordkamer is the first parliament that approved the changes; the Zuidkamer (the Kronenburg senate) has to confirm the Noordkamer's approval, and the provincial parliaments of the White Islands and the Virgin Islands have to approve the changes as well. As soon as all institutions have approved the changes, elections will be called in Kronenburg and the two autonomous provinces, after which the newly elected parliaments have to confirm the approval of the previous parliaments. In West-Cod, which doesn't have a legislative body of the same authority yet, a referendum about the changes will be held. The new situation should enter into force on 1 January 2016.

Former minister Dawyd Kone (Issel) new AEGU secretary general
1 March 2014 - During the AGL summit held in the Mii Islands today, Mr Dawyd Kone from Issel was named the successor of AEGU secretary general Ms Kiela A. Taherw, who will step down in July after three terms in office. Prime minister Hans Dankert said that he was very satisfied with the nomination. "I know him as a decent minister of foreign affairs of Issel and I have every faith that he will be able to lead the economic organisation of the AGL expertly." Kone was preferred above the other candidate, the Voskian former minister of economic affairs Mr Perikli Hajadragi.

During the same summit, the former consul to Kronenburg of Île de Romanhe, Ms Hélène Sarche-Kezt, was named the new director of the Monoghan Institute for the Environment. The Kronenburg delegation favoured the Marckonian candidate Ms Astrid Jörns, but she didn't receive enough votes in favour.

Traffic chaos expected due to closed bridge
28 February 2014 - A large traffic chaos is expected when the Ir. Eisso Kruze-bridge will be closed for large scale maintenance as of tomorrow. Despite well indicated alternative routes and the deployment of additional ferry services, it is feared that it will be extremely more difficult to get to Alexanderstad and Friescheburg from the Oostereiland. The bridge is the most central one in the country and connects the three main islands. According to the traffic ministry, initial problems are to be expected, but the government has done everything to limit the inconvenience as much as possible. The delivery of some of the additional ferries has however been delayed to April. Several organisations have registered official complaints with the government.

Prince Willem Lodewijk in a new relationship
19 February 2014 - Prince Willem Lodewijk is in a new relationship. He confirmed this himself today. After his engagement to the Marckonian princess Lovisa was ended last year, nobody expected that he would have a serious relationship again so soon after, but according the royal household confirmed that the announcement is honest. The prince's new partner is a journalist called Anna Rauhofer. They haven't been sighted together in public yet; the Italian villa of Willem Lodewijk's older brother prince Alexander Casimir, where the couple is currently on holiday, was besieged by paparazzi shortly after the announcement.

Many marriages on Valentine's Day
14 February 2014 - A record number of persons married today in Kronenburg. A mass-marriage was organised in the capital, Alexanderstad, in order to process the many people. Many atheists and homosexuals were among those who were married; since the law on civil marriage became effective on 1 February, it has become much easier for these groups to get married. In the old situation, marriages could only be concluded by religious organisations who generally excluded atheists and same-sex couples.

It was mayor Maud Heirens herself who conducted the ceremony during which 93 couples said "I do" to each other. "We had to adapt the texts that are normally used for marriages", she said. "At first I considered to call all names after one another, but that would have taken a long time and mistakes could have been made easily. This may have been less romantic, but whoever accepts getting married in a mass-ceremony probably didn't want an intimate ceremony anyway."

In West-Cod and Oosterland marriages of same-sex couples attracted angry religious protesters, who tried to prevent the ceremonies. In Noordeinde there were protests by the action group "My relation is private" against registration of marriages. According to this group, the fact that the government registers the kind of relationship people have and encourages certain forms of union above others by means of tax advantages, is too much an infraction of privacy. "Love is private; the government should stay out of that", according to spokeswoman Erna van Tassel.

King: "I'm not a hexenbiest"
7 February 2014 - In a rare personal gesture, king Ernst Frederik told the press this morning that he is "not a hexenbiest". The king made his comment after the annual Promulgation (the opening of parliament), referring to the American fantasy series "Grimm", in which the main character has the gift to see certain dark features of a select group of persons known as "wesen", which are invisible for normal people. Part of the story is set in Europe and focuses on an evil royal family known as "Kronenberg". Some fans associates the name of our country with the fictitious family and the royal household confirmed recently that it had been receiving some strange letters in recent weeks. Kronenburg fans of the series were elated by the king's remark and his picture has been added to their internet forum.

Car-park attendants attacked after 'parking ticket shower'
15 January 2014 - In Alexanderstad, the local police have asked that the parking policy that was introduced as of 2014, will be abolished again, after an increasing number of verbal and sometimes even physical attacks on car-park attendants by car drivers. The latter already complained to the car driver's association about the harsh and unclear regulation on parking in the city. One driver severely wounded an attendant last Monday, after having received his tenth parking ticket since 1 January. The city council of Alexanderstad doesn't want to change the new policy however, and says that the system just requires some time to get used to. The alderman responsible for traffic, Hoite Buiter, refers to the municipality's website, which clearly lists the new rules and also shows an interactive map that drivers can use to determine where they will be able to park for how long and with what kind of car. The car driver's association says that the new rules are evil and purely intended to bully people using cars, its spokesman calling the new rules a 'witch hunt' on car drivers.

Kronenburg third in AGL soccer tournament
23 December 2013 - The seventh edition of the AGL soccer tournament took place in Île de Romanhe this year, with Kronenburg ending in third place. The team of trainer Koide Wuirgitt had a difficult start: after a draw against Chimor and a lost match against Insulantis, the chances of Kronenburg to make it to the semi-finals seemed small, but two wins against Voskia and Marckonia got Kronenburg enough points. In the semi-finals, Kronenburg lost against Norland, like it did four years ago, when the tournament was held in Kronenburg. The match to decide the third and fourth place was played against Cilogia. Marckonia won the tournament, Norland became second.

Princely engagement broken off
26 November 2013 - The engagement of the Kronenburg prince Willem Lodewijk (30) and the Marckonian princess Lovisa has been officially ended. This was announced by spokesmen of both royal houses. The two were engaged two years ago, but agreed to marry when princess Lovisa had finished her studies in Boston. In the last two years, the relationship between the two deteriorated however and they were seen fighting publicly increasingly often, like last year in a Luxembourgish pub, after having attended the marriage of the Luxembourgish hereditary grand-duke Guillaume. In the last couple of months the prince and the princess were rarely seen together in public. The prince is currently staying in his villa on the White Islands and is avoiding the press. Prince Willem Lodewijk is the youngest brother of king Ernst Frederik and the former crown prince Alexander Casimir, as well as the youngest son of former king Alexander IV Lodewijk and queen Livia.

'Gay marriage' possible as of 2014
20 November 2013 - The government will be completely responsible for the registration of marriages and other forms of partnerships as of 1 February 2014. A bill that was introduced by the junior coalition party ROOS! was approved this morning by the Noordkamer with a comfortable majority. Under the current system, only religious institutions are allowed to register marriages, which isn't problematic only for homosexuals who wish to marry - apart from the fact that there aren't many church communities that are willing to marry two persons of the same gender, homosexuals would have to register as members of a church that would allow homosexual marriages, but which could be of a different orientation than the personal beliefs of the couple concerned - but also for atheists, who don't want to register as members of a religious community in the first place. The new system makes it possible for every couple, regardless their gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, to be married. Religious organisations and conservative parties in the Noordkamer are disappointed with the result of the parliamentary vote.

'New banknotes will be vertical'
19 November 2013 - The new banknotes that are currently being designed will have a vertical orientation rather than the horizontal that is used by most countries. Rumours about this were heard at least around the design company of Pothuijs & Devere, which was asked by the ministry of finance last year to design the new banknotes. Only few countries have vertically oriented banknotes; among others Israel, Colombia and Switzerland use 'standing' banknotes. The first new Kronenburg banknotes are expected in 2016. Like the old series, the new series will depict well known Kronenburg citizens.

Final proposal for administrative redivision of Kronenburg
5 November 2013 - Bjorn de Gaaij Hoijtema (PvG), the state secretary of administrative reform, together with the responsible ministers of the overseas provinces of the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands, presented the final proposal for a administrative redivision that is planned for the next couple of years. A surprise element in this proposal is a drastic revision of the Zuidkamer tasks.

Changes will be made on two levels. The first level, the one of the Kingdom, foresees the abolishment of the overseas provinces in their current forms. The White Islands and the Virgin Islands were already autonomous, but still depended on the final say of the government in Alexanderstad. In the future, this won't be the case anymore: the Kingdom of Kronenburg will consist of four equal elements that form the Kingdom of Kronenburg together by means of association. These four elements will be Kronenburg proper, West-Cod, the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. Formally, the four elements will be independent, but are able to assist and support each other when one element can't manage something on its own. In practise, this means that Kronenburg proper will assist and support the rest on the area of e.g. defence, but the three smaller elements didn't want such tasks to be formally attributed to Kronenburg proper, to avoid the appearance of subordination. All elements will be able to conclude treaties with foreign powers and they will be considered sovereign nations without the intervention of Alexanderstad. Each element in the Kingdom will also be allowed to have its own currency.

On the level of the Kingdom a new parliament will be created. On the second level, the level of Kronenburg proper, the tasks of the Zuidkamer will be partly abolished and partly moved to the Westkamer. The Zuidkamer will become the parliament of the entire Kingdom, consisting of 25 seats, eleven of which will be occupied by representatives of Kronenburg proper, six by West-Cod, and four each by the White Islands and the Virgin Islands. This parliaments will treat bills of the four elements that concern the Kingdom as a whole. The creation of this parliament was a demand of Kronenburg proper, which found that all elements should be able to exercise influence on the acts of each separate element, so that the acts of no element can be harmful to the rest. The new Zuidkamer can only block bills, but cannot amend them.

On the level of Kronenburg proper, the number of municipalities will change from twelve to sixteen. As said, West-Cod won't be among the new municipalities, but the current overseas municipality of New-Stavoren will be included in the normal municipality division. Because of its remote location, New-Stavoren will keep some special arrangements, but apart from that, it will be involved more in the national politics of Kronenburg proper.  Alexanderstad will be split, creating the new municipalities of Bredenburg, Hinte, Jaltadaburg and Westerpoort. The city of Friescheburg will be separated from the municipality of Westerland to form a municipality of its own; the rest of Westerland will be joined with Zuiderland to form a new municipality of Westerland, the capital of which will be Aalburg. Elsewhere, some borders will be changed.

Each of the new sixteen municipalities will form an electoral district, based on which the 101 members of a smaller Noordkamer will be elected. Voters will be able to vote for municipal candidates instead of national candidates. Each municipality will have a fixed number of seats in the Noordkamer, which will be reviewed every ten years, based on the population.

Although some criticism has been voiced regarding the proposal (especially the division of Alexanderstad is rather controversial), the general public doesn't seem unwilling to accept it. The government hopes that the present parliaments of the Kingdom will be able to vote on the plans in 2014. As the proposal involves a change of constitution, it must be approved for a second time after parliamentary elections, before the changes can take effect.

Exumbran Convention: Dhram Phá request to exchange full membership for observer status
5 November 2013 - The Asian communist country of Dhram Phá has requested a change in its membership status of the Exumbran Convention yesterday, as was confirmed by the Office of the Convention, which is located in Kronenburg. According to the independent newspaper The Dhram Phá Observer, the government of Dhram Phá feels 'tricked and deceived' after a regulation was adopted by the Exumbran Council last summer, imposing democratic requirements to member states when applying for scientific subsidies. Dhram Phá feels strongly affected by these requirements, and it claims that the Convention doesn't have the right to interfere in the member states' internal affairs.

'One good turn deserves another', Max Bos, the state secretary of Foreign Economic and Cultural Cooperation says. 'It is only reasonable that if the Exumbran Convention grants subsidies, it is allowed to impose some conditions. Dhram Phá will be able to benefit from the Convention, but the Convention has never been a one way road and Dhram Phá should have realised that when it signed the treaty. The delay requested by Kronenburg for current member states to make the necessary changes to be eligible for Exumbran scientific funding is sufficient; I don't think the Dhramphanese government would have a lot of trouble implementing them, if it wants to. It would be a loss for the Convention however, as it would be for Dhram Phá itself, if the country would carry on with its request and cease to be a full member. I hope that someone will be able to convince them to withdraw it.'

In the mean time, right wing opposition parties in the Noordkamer such as the LKP have called upon the Exumbran Convention to honour the Dhramphanese request. 'I say: good riddance to that one', LKP leader Poul-Helge Espersen commented. 'The LKP has always wondered why Dhram Phá was in the Exumbran Convention in the first place; we never believed the pink hearted dreams of the government that the country would change immediately once the Convention would be fully operational and Dhram Phá would see the benefits of adopting a more democratic system. Its people should figure that out for themselves. For now, I'd say: no membership, no observer status. When the country is sufficiently democratic to try again, we will welcome it with open arms.'

Less people watch national television
30 October 2013 - Increasingly less people are watching Kronenburgish television channels. This was revealed by a five year inquiry among 5000 citizens of 16 years and older by the Association for National Broadcasting Organisations (Vereniging voor Nationale Omroeporganisaties, VNO). The importance of the internet, but also deteriorating quality of the programs that were broadcast by national television in recent years are mentioned as the biggest reasons why Kronenburgers don't watch Kronenburgish programs as often as they used to. US channels benefit only slightly from this development though, as most people appear to be wanting to decide for themselves when they watch which program, for which they use the internet or watch DVD's. The channels and programs of media tycoon Oscar A. Ottendorf Okrilla as well as the former public channels RTK1 and RTK3 (which were bought last year by the Iljaroman company RagnaRrökk) received the worst ratings by the interviewed people.

Westkamer gets new chairman
24 October 2013 - Ivo Casseboom has been elected chairman of the Westkamer today. He will succeed Elias Nothomb on 1 November, who had been chairman since 2009, but didn't apply for a second term. Casseboom (53) has been a member of the Westkamer since 2008. Before that, he worked among other things as judge at the Court of Appeal. The Westkamer in Kronenburg can be compared somewhat to a Constitutional Court, although it isn't exactly the same.

House of Finance nominated as AGL heritage
13 September 2013 - The House of Finance, which is located in the city of Friescheburg, has been nominated for the list of AGL heritage. This was announced yesterday by the ministry of culture. The national Audit Office, the offices of which are located in the House of Finance, have reacted with some astonishment; a possible inclusion on the list almost certainly means that a much needed renovation of the old building will have to comply with additional rules, resulting in an extra bill of several millions of guilders. According to a spokesperson of the Audit Office, the ministry didn't inform it about the plans to nominate the building for the AGL heritage list, 'although the building does deserve to be included in any such list.' The ministry however says that it wasn't informed about the renovation plans, although the building is included on a national list that requires the owners of buildings on this list to inform the ministry of any plans for significant changes to these buildings. Culture minister Baltus Kostrikken said that the nomination has already been sent to the Ylieen Centre, the cultural institute of the AGL. According to him, the current situation doesn't have to be very problematic; the renovation plans could easily be reviewed, he said.

Foreign affairs minister has visited Voskia
10 September 2013 - Mathias Schydtz, the minister of foreign affairs, has visited the South-European Republic of the Vosks and the Gurds (Voskia for short) yesterday and today. The minister's main goal was to improve the relations with this country, after they suffered a blow by the suggestion made by Kronenburg earlier this year that Voskia should not yet become a full member of the AGL during the AGL summit that was held in July. The fact that the Voskian government was considering postponing the request for full membership itself (as is possible according to the AGL treaties), couldn't prevent the fact that people in Voskia are now of the opinion that Kronenburg meddled in Voskian affairs too deeply. The country did become a full member of the AGL during the aforementioned summit after being convinced to do so by several other member states.

Aarrestad wins Waterland mayoral elections
8 September 2013 - The elections for the successor of Aletta Haaijer as the mayor of Waterland were won by local businessman Ed Aarrestad. His opponents, including Jan-Albert Ühler and Fabiana Muntinga-Lombardo, admitted defeat when the results became known and congratulated Aarrestad with his victory. The new mayor will take office on 1 October. Aletta Haaijer is voluntarily stepping down as mayor of Waterland after seven years. In Kronenburg, mayoral terms of office are rather loose: mayors aren't elected for a fixed term, although their performances are evaluated every five years by a special committee.

Former king celebrates 65th birthday
2 September 2013 - Former king Alexander IV Lodewijk, the current grand duke of Alexanderstad, has celebrated his 65th birthday today with his family. According to the palace, Alexander IV's health is still fragile, although currently stable, and he has been able to communicate with other people for some time now. In December 2009, Alexander IV, who had been king since 1991, had a stroke which rendered him in a coma for several weeks. In 2010, it was decided that the king was incapacitated and that the crown prince would succeed him as king, which happened in September that year.

Waterland mayor will step down
31 July 2013 - Aletta Haaijer, the mayor of Waterland, will step down later this year. She became the mayor of Waterland in 2006 and is currently the longest serving mayor in our country. Elections will be held in September. Possible candidates to succeed her include local businessmen Ed Aarrestad (54) and Jan-Albert Ühler (38); the latter is a nephew of the former secretary general of the AGL.

KG 98 million for Île de Romanhe after volcano eruption
29 July 2013 - A charity fundraising campaign for Île de Romanhe, which was severely hit by an eruption of the local volcano Piton des Grands Feux, has produced slightly more than KG 98 million. This was announced by a spokesman of the organisation. The result was less than expected, but the organisation says that this is due to the summer holidays and the fact that Île de Romanhe is quite unknown among many Kronenburgers. The existence of Île de Romanhe has increased a little because of the coming AGL soccer championship, which will be held on the Indian Ocean island later this year. The minister for development, Frans Toppinga, called the extra money for Île de Romanhe more than welcome; it will be added to financial support by the Kronenburg government that had already been promised during the last AGL summit, he said.

Exumbran Council: 'Not being democratic will cost you money!'
26 July 2013 - From Norland, the Kronenburg delegation, headed by prime minister Hans Dankert, travelled to Chimor, where the second meeting of the Exumbran Council took place yesterday. The meeting was a success: the five proposals on the agenda were all adopted, although there was some concern whether the Chimorese request for funding by the Exumbran Development Commission fitted in the EDC's purposes.

A proposal originally made by the government of Huenan, but amended by Kronenburg, to limit Exumbran subsidies to member states that sufficiently guarantee the freedom of press, speech and academic research, was also accepted. Although already strict in its first version, the Kronenburg amendment increased the required quality of those freedoms even further, so that not only Dhram Phá, but almost certainly also Harrawi will be feeling the impact of this regulation in the future. The amendment proposed by Kronenburg included however a time schedule to give existing member states the opportunity to adapt the situation in their countries. The representative of Dhram Phá, secretary of foreign affairs Nuâ Lau, left the meeting in anger after the result of the vote was announced. The Harrawi delegation wasn't pleased either, as it found the time schedule of three years too short to adapt to the new regulation.

"The Huenanese proposal, especially with our amendment, will give all the member states an insight in the democratic standards that the Exumbran Convention will try to uphold", foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz said. "A court will be established in the Exumbran Convention that will create a framework of reference to determine and monitor the level of freedom in the member states. As soon as the framework has been established, every member state will know what has to be done to ensure that it will be able to claim Exumbran fundings in the future. This Council's message is clear: if you're not democratic, it will cost you money in the future."

The Kronenburg delegation also negotiated with prime minister Ashon Pary of Harrawi and president Muhanda-Ngene Kɣamu of Kpwahele & Nɣurumba, two Exumbran member states on the eastern coast of Africa, to invest in those countries' economies. Especially Kpwahele & Nɣurumba is one of the poorer countries of the Exumbran Conventions.

Chimor and Issel buy Voskia in the AGL
24 July 2013 - At the 52nd AGL summit that was held yesterday in the town of Hy, Norland, the Republic of the Vosks and the Gurds joined the AGL after all. The Kronenburg delegation had asked for an extension of the associated membership period. This turned out to be unacceptable for some other member states however, who convinced the Voskian prime minister, ms. Luçia Apavia, to request full membership.

"There have been poorer countries that joined the AGL in the past, especially the Mii Isles and Île de Romanhe, but the first did request an extension of its associated membership period and the latter is too small to have a discernible impact on the AGL's budget. Voskia however could be a more serious burden for e.g. the AGL Investment
Bank when the republic would run out of money due to the ongoing economic crisis. If the Bank doesn't get the money back that it could lend Voskia, the AGL could suffer from that", explains foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz. "We think that it would have been wiser if the prolongation - which was initially requested by Voskia itself as well - would have been honoured."

Some member states found the request unacceptable however and they used investment deals and other promises to convince prime minister Apavia to go for full membership immediately. And with success: Issel promised to invest in the Voskian infrastructure and Chimor made some promises as well, although those weren't made public. "Ms. Apavia has struck gold", prof. dr. Didier Sharp of the University of Law and Arts says. "For her government, the AGL was of little interest, so if she would have accepted full membership like that, she would have had a lot of explaining to do at home. It would have been okay if Voskia wouldn't have become a full member, but the current solution, that Voskia has become a member and has got a few advantages in the process, is perfect as well."

Deranged man drives car into Oostkamer
14 July 2013 - A deranged man survived an accident this morning in which he drove through the glass wall of a wing of the parliament building where the Oostkamer (the government) is located. Because of the early time of the accident, nobody else was injured. The man was arrested by the police. The reinforced glass of the Oostkamer wall turned out not strong enough to stop cars that move against it at relatively high speed; the car was halted only after it created a path of demolition in the Oostkamer ground floor, where a reception is located. The meeting table where the Oostkamer members normally meet, is located on a 'floating' first floor in the same room. Although this part was undamaged and it's still summer recess, a spokesman of the government said that alternative meeting facilities will be found until the damage has been repaired.

Kronenburg wants Voskian associated AGL membership to be prolonged
28 June 2013 - The Kronenburg delegation wishes the associated membership of the Republic of Vosks and Gurds to be prolonged and will vote accordingly during the AGL summit that will be held next month in Norland. The government things that dubious new member states were able to join too easily in the past and it wants the AGL to focus on internal quality again. Doubts about the financial policy of Voskia were mentioned as the reason that our country doesn't want Voskia to become a full-fledged member at this point.

Possible extremism in the army
19 June 2013 - The minister of defence, ms. Evelien Popma de Burch (PvG), is going to investigate the existence of possible religious extremism in the army, after a film appeared on the internet in which five masked men in Kronenburg army uniforms quoted the Koran and claimed that the western infidels will soon be destroyed. The minister has taken the case very seriously, although she doesn't rule out the possibility that it's just a very ill-placed joke. 'Very few Muslims live in Kronenburg and there are even less people in the Kronenburg army who have connections with the Middle East through e.g. family', she said.

In general, it is very difficult to stay in Kronenburg longer than three months without a residence permit, which is rather complicated to obtain. Especially after 11 September 2001 the rules have become more stringent. The minister thinks that if there are Muslims in the Kronenburg army, these are almost certainly children of immigrants, or children of indigenous Kronenburgers who have converted to Islam. 'The latter would be even more concerning and would require a more thorough investigation among the Kronenburg youth', the minister said.

Political parties concerned about US surveillance
10 June 2013 - Spokespersons of several political parties have asked the minister of justice, Jan Føre, about the possibility that emails and phone calls of Kronenburg citizens were surveyed by the US organisation NSA. It was revealed last week that the organisation maintains a surveillance network known as PRISM that is much more influential than previously thought. 'Even conspiracy theorists are probably baffled by this most recent evidence of American arrogance', Climate Party leader Hedwig Wuirgitt-Hijns told the Noordkamer. 'But the most disturbing thing is the fact that we, the people, help them observe us ourselves by buying and using the equipment that they can use to spy on us.' She referred to several brands of computers and mobile telephones that are said to participate in the programme.

'I must admit that I myself haven't disposed of neither my computer nor my cell phone since I heard the news', Wuirgitt told the press after the Noordkamer meeting. 'Apparently for most people, the thought of being watched is less disturbing than the idea of living without these machines; it's an addiction. That's the society we currently live in!'

Minister Føre told the Noordkamer that he was as surprised as the members and that he invited the US ambassador to clarify the matter. He was also willing to consider an investigation if too many questions remain unanswered.

Expert claim by the way that Mrs. Wuirgitt's statement about conspiracy theorists is probably wrong. 'There are some in our own country at least who have much further going beliefs', according to dr. James Hiebner, professor in modern Kronenburg history at the Royal University of Alexanderstad. 'Remember that many think that the US have infiltrated our country in such a manner that even our elections are easily triggered by them. Some even go as far to claim that Kronenburg doesn't exist as an independent nation and that we are an inferior state that doesn't even have the right to participate in the US presidential elections. Far fetched as these theories may be, on the other side it is equally preposterous to think that US infiltration in Kronenburg doesn't exist at all.'

Buddhist temple to be built near Friescheburg
6 June 2013 - Today, the construction has begun of what will become the largest Buddhist temple in Kronenburg. The council of Westerland already gave permission to build it, but neighbours complained that the building wouldn't fit in the style of the city quarter's architecture and as a result, the construction was postponed by several years. Only few Buddhists live in Kronenburg, although there are Buddhist centres in each municipality, according to the Yellow Pages.

Sigurd Jörgensen dies
15 May 2013 - Former politician and diplomat Sigurd Jörgensen died yesterday in Noordeinde at the age of 63, his family announced. During his career, Jörgensen was mayor of that city for some time, but he also worked as the director of the AGL culture centre 'Jan Ylieen' and he was involved in the foundation of the left-wing political party ROOS!. His last job was as minister of foreign affairs from 2011 to 2012.

State visit by the president of Yukland
26 April 2013 - President Ýlf Haucssœn of Yukland will visit Kronenburg, probably at the end of next month. This was announced by the prime minister's office this morning. The visit will be a return visit to the visit the Kronenburg royal couple paid to Yukland in February 2012 and will most likely contain discussions on the recent increase of diplomatic and economic ties between the two countries, a recent project of which is a planned airline which is funded by Kronenburg and Yukkish investors and in which Adzhatian entrepreneurs are involved as well.

The possible Kronenburg membership of the international organisation FICT could come up again as well, as hinted by the Yukkish newspaper Daclec Tiðændjar, but the government hasn't released recent statements that its opinion on joining FICT changed. The possible accession of the kingdom of Guelphia to FICT may influence this discussion: with this relatively rich country in FICT - it will have the second highest GDP rate of the FICT member states and the highest GDP rate per capita - it might be more attractive for Kronenburg to join, as it wouldn't face the prospect of funding a significant part of FICT. If Kronenburg joins FICT, it will however still have the highest GDP rates, both nominal and per capita. Alternatively, Kronenburg could opt for Observer Status only.

Update: The state visit by the president of Yukland to Kronenburg that took place from 27 to 30 May confirmed the growing ties between the two countries. During the state banquet on Wednesday evening, prime minister Hans Dankert called the increased cooperation between Kronenburg and Yukland an 'opening to new possibilities'. Further economic cooperation between the two nations was discussed during the visit, and the new airline that will connect Alexanderstad with the Yukkish and Adzhatian capitals of Ísðor and Ashtinok was cited as the main example of that cooperation. Apart from forming a bridge between the three countries, this airline will also have a lot of holiday destinations, as that side of the company is estimated to be the most lucrative.

Waterburg University to found new institute for the national environment
19 April 2013 - The University of Technology 'Kornelis Frankema' in Waterburg will found a new institute that aims to do research to improve the national environment. This was announced by a university spokesperson this morning. The environment of Kronenburg is strongly influenced by the surrounding areas of the United States and the institute will increase the possibilities of providing and using greener energy sources to e.g. reduce general pollution and enhance the air quality in our country. It is the university's intention to make use of international expertise and funding, and the possibility of being recognised within the Exumbran Convention as an EIDI (Exumbran Institute of Development and Industry) will be discussed. According to the spokesman, preliminary preparations have been underway  for several weeks, and if everything goes as planned, the institute (which hasn't been named yet) should become operational in September or perhaps January 2014.

LKP questions lack of reforms in Dhram Phá and lack of pressure by the foreign ministry on the same subject
19 April 2013 - Poul-Helge Espersen, leader of the right-wing liberal party LKP, has questioned foreign minister Mathias Schydtz about the lack of pressure from Kronenburg regarding Dhram Phá. This communist country in Asia managed to join the Exumbran Convention last year after promising to implement reforms to enhance its democratic values, but nothing significant has changed yet, which Mr Espersen questioned as well.

The debate in the Noordkamer became somewhat tense when Mr Arsen Barchoedarjan of the smaller government party ROOS! criticised Mr. Espersen however, claiming that the liberal party leader had forgotten all about the existence of Dhram Phá until the foreign minister of Huenan, Mr.
E Rən-fu, expressed similar criticism yesterday. Espersen, who served as foreign minister himself from 2004 to 2006, took this as a personal insult, and after a few harsh words, the Noordkamer chairwoman Pia Godeken-Möländer suspended the session, so that the minister will probably present his answer to Mr. Espersen's questions next week.

Traffic between Kronenburg and the United States suspended following Boston Marathon explosions
15 April 2013 - Kronenburg has suspended international traffic to and from the United States after the Boston Marathon was hit by what appeared to be bomb explosions, probably killing at least two people and injuring dozens more. The Kronenburg coastguard has increased patrolling. Flights to other countries than the US have not been cancelled yet, although security at the international airport of Alexanderstad has been increased significantly, causing massive delays. According to the state secretariat for national security, there is no clear evidence yet of a terrorist attack, and it is awaiting further information of the US government about the nature of the explosions.

(Update 17 April 2013) - Traffic between Kronenburg and the US has resumed, although security measures remain high. This was announced by a spokeswoman of the state secretariat for national security.

Kronenburgish official language of Kronenburg
1 April 2013 - The Kronenburgish language is now officially an official language of Kronenburg, next to Dutch. As a first visible change, all the entrance signs of cities and villages, except those in West-Cod, were replaced with ones indicating the names in the two official languages; the Kronenburgish name is written above the Dutch name, the latter of which is slightly smaller than the first. Originally, the signs in West-Cod would have been replaced, but various citizen's groups threatened to prevent that, so the municipal council advised strongly against it. The status of West-Cod is currently under discussion, partly because of the language problem.

In the next few years, the language transition will be shown more prominently. As of September, Kronenburgish is a mandatory subject on primary and secondary schools and the government encourages other subjects to be taught in Kronenburgish as well, although schools are relatively free to organise this themselves. The official country name of Kronenburg in Kronenburgish is Kroneborg, or in full Det Kynkriik fan Kroneborg.

Noordkamer ratifies alterations Treaty of Jarjana
26 March 2013 - This morning, the Kronenburg house of representatives (the Noordkamer), approved ratification of the human rights treaty of the AGL, the Treaty of Jarjana. Government parties PvG and ROOS!, as well as the mostly leftist opposition parties PSV, PU, OL, ANTS, the Climate Party and the VLSP voted in favour. The proposal will be sent to the senate (Zuidkamer), which will almost certainly confirm the approval somewhere next month.

The Jarjana Treaty was altered during the last AGL summit: a sentence was removed which allowed the member states to have the death penalty as their highest form of punishment. Although the vote today was welcomed by human right activists, it is uncertain whether the revised treaty will ever enter into force, as some of the member states still remain against the changes.

Queen Isabel gives birth to son
7 March 2013 - King Ernst Frederik visited the Alexanderstad city hall today to notify the municipality of the birth of his first son and third child, who is named Ernst Michaël Alexander Jozef Oscar Ferdinand. The boy was born last Sunday, 3 March, at 17:34 hours in the Royal Castle west of Friescheburg. Tradition however dictates that members of the royal family are registered at the municipality of Alexanderstad, the capital of Kronenburg.

The birth of a male heir to the king has raised again the question whether the laws of succession should be changed. Under the current, semi-salic law, the newborn child is first in line to inherit the throne, surpassing his two older sisters, the princesses Sofie Charlotte (born 2008) and Carolina Hedwig (born 2010), making Ernst Michaël the new crown prince. Most leftist political parties, including the junior government party ROOS!, favour changing the law in favour of making the first born the first in line, regardless of their gender. The small Christian parties as well as the rightwing liberal party LKP are against it. The senior government party PvG hasn't voiced an official opinion on the matter.

"Proposition for municipal redivision before 1 July"
28 February 2013 - The state secretary of political reforms Bjorn de Gaaij Hoijtema (PvG) wants a final proposal on the possible redivision of the Kronenburg municipalities and overseas territories before 1 July. If there is any more delay, certain plans cannot go into force before the end of 2016. Some other plans that apply for Kronenburg-proper only, such as the reduction of members of the respective chambers of parliament, have been finalised almost completely and can be put to the vote soon. The communication between Alexanderstad and the overseas provinces proceeds very slowly, partly because the local governments of the provinces are internally at odds about what changes they want.

When both the Noordkamer and the Zuidkamer approve the proposed changes, the changes have to be approved again by newly elected chambers. The elections for both chambers are planned for the autumn of 2014, and they will be installed in February 2015.  If the new parliaments approve the changes as well, the reduced numbers of seats will take effect after the first elections thereafter.

Snow storm hits Kronenburg and surrounding areas
12 February 2013 - A powerful winter storm hit Kronenburg and parts of the North-eastern United States and Canada on 8 and 9 February, causing major disturbances throughout the country. Although everyone had been advised to stay inside and to avoid travelling, rescue workers had to free several people from the snow. Electricity failed in multiple cities and in Friescheburg the Arena (the city's main transport hub) was evacuated after cracks were discovered in the glass dome, which had obvious difficulty carrying the weight of so much snow. Although no fatalities were reported, at least two people are still unaccounted for.

Wuirgitt coach of Kronenburg national soccer team
2 February 2013 - Former SV Engelbert midfielder Koide Wuirgitt has succeeded Peter Hobbema as coach of the national soccer team as from today. This was revealed in a press conference. Disappointing results made the national soccer association take this decision. Wuirgitt, of Cilogian ancestry, will lead the team during the AGL soccer championships later this year; he will have a hard task making Kronenburg perform as good as, let alone better than four years ago, when the event was successfully hosted by Kronenburg.

New proposal to change marriage legislation
1 February 2013 - ROOS!, the junior government party, is planning a new bill to change the marriage legislation, so that citizens who aren't affiliated to any religion or citizens who want to marry someone of their own gender are allowed to marry as well. Four years ago, a similar proposition didn't make it through parliament. The parties that voted against the bill at that time, saw their influence however reduced during the last elections. According to ROOS!, the current situation is rather unjust: marriage is currently organised only by religious communities, but tax advantages are regulated by the government and currently only favour couples who are married in one of those communities. For atheists, it is practically impossible to marry, and homosexuals could marry theoretically if there were a religious community allowing this, but there are no such communities, as communities that have a favourable opinion about homosexual marriages fear to be flooded with 'strategically believing' homosexuals if they officially allow gays to be married; people would then believe to get tax advantages, which is not what most religious communities want. ROOS! wants to make a quick end to this odd situation.

New Christian Democrat chairwoman Margriet de Wilde is against the proposal, also because the idea that a rejected proposal can be put forward again so soon, is undesirable. 'If each proposal is resubmitted or cancelled every time after a four year term of parliament, things may become very obscure for most citizens', she says.

According to recent surveys, a majority of 57% of the Kronenburgers don't have an opinion on the matter. 24% favours a change of the legislation and 19% is against any such proposal. The amount of proponents and opponents of creating clearer possibilities for homosexuals to marry each other is tied at 43%

Foreign minister to visit Chimor, Issel
31 January 2013 - Foreign minister Mathias Schydtz will travel to Chimor and Issel, and possibly to Palana as well, in February. Although no details were revealed, it is suspected that the treaty deadlock created on the last AGL summit will be an important theme during the visits.

Suggestions that AGL environment institute M.I.E. be closed, causes anger among environmental organisations
21 January 2013 - During the last AGL summit, it was suggested by some delegations that the Monoghan Institute for the Environment (M.I.E.) better be closed, causing uproar among several environmental organisations. Continuing delays in the institute's management were named as one of the most important reason for this. The M.I.E. was founded in 2006 as a replacement for the environmental part of the Marckonian Mård-Institute, which stopped servicing the AGL after Marckonia left the AGL. The two directors that have lead M.I.E. since, Mr. William Bower from the Mii Isles, who was succeeded by ms. Thea Eldorat from Insulantis, didn't manage to create working policies; only one report on the environmental situations was published in recent years. Those who favour M.I.E. to be closed down, argue that its current value is practically non-existent, as it continues to cost money without leading to concrete results. Kronenburg organisation the "Groene Ridders" (Green Knights) says however that this is proof again that the environment is always of less importance than money, and it has announced protest if the AGL does indeed want to close M.I.E.

AGL Summit changes Jarjana Treaty; ratification however problematic in several member states
21 January 2013 - Delegations of the member states of the AGL met in the Palanan capital of Yolka yesterday to discuss, among other things, the Kronenburg proposal to change the so called Treaty of Jarjana, to disinclude the possibility of member states issuing the death penalty as their highest form of punishment.

Although the treaty changes were adopted, some member states announced that the chances that their current parliaments would approve ratifications of the changes, were very small. Issel, Chimor and Palana didn't think it wise to tell other member states how to organise their judicial system. Currently the death penalty isn't part of the judicial system of any member state of the AGL (apart from Île de Romanhe, but the death penalty hasn't been given for many years there), and the changes would therefore only affect future applicant nations that do have the death penalty. Not being allowed to have the death penalty shouldn't however be a hurdle for prospective member states, according to the member states that were against the proposal. A difference of opinion on the importance of certain values between AGL nations became evident once more: whereas Kronenburg and e.g. Marckonia placed the discouragement of the death penalty above national sovereignty, Issel, Chimor and Palana thought the other way around.

A majority voted in favour of the proposal however and this result was accepted by the delegations who voted against. The revised treaty will now be sent to the national parliaments for ratification, but without much hope of success. If ratification doesn't occur in all parliaments, the old version of the treaty will remain valid. Several political parties in Kronenburg have connected ratification of the Jarjana Treaty to the ratification of the Aralethe Treaty, the founding treaty of the AGL, which was altered last summer to include the obligation for member states to sign and ratify the Jarjana Treaty: if Jarjana isn't ratified, the Kronenburg parliament (Noordkamer) won't ratify Aralethe. The AGL seems therefore to be stuck in a "treaty deadlock" with the old versions of both treaties remaining valid for the time being. Some politicians ask how this situations could arise in the first place, and called for a more drastic change of AGL regulations, so that changes of the organisation's treaties can either be approved or not.

Confused and flustered by the outcome of this point on the agenda, the delegations didn't manage to elect a new director of the Ylieen Centre, the cultural organisation of the AGL. The first candidate that gained sufficient votes, Achilles Trento (Insulantis), only won by a narrow majority that was created by reluctant member states some of which only voted in favour because there was no other candidate. Trento expressed his disappointment and withdrew his candidacy. A second round of voting brought two new candidates: the former crown prince Hirn-Jan af Wirren Borg of Issel, and the current director of the Waterburg theatre, Jannes Toxopeus. Toxopeus was elected and will succeed the current Cilogian Ylieen Centre director Kander Weeleig on 1 May. The Voskian city of Majmál was chosen to be the AGL Cultural Capital of 2014.

West-Cod parties disagree on future status within Kronenburg
16 January 2013 - The political parties of West-Cod are disagreeing on the future status of the municipality. As of April 1st, Kronenburg will give the Kronenburgish language official status. As most of the inhabitants of West-Cod don't speak or understand Kronenburgish, and would have preferred if Dutch remained the country's only official language, many opt for a looser relationship with Alexanderstad. There are several possibilities for West-Cod, which at this moment is still the smallest of twelve municipalities.

The first would be that the inhabitants of West-Cod will all learn Kronenburgish. The second option is that West-Cod's status will change to that of an overseas municipality, like the small Caribbean archipelago of New-Stavoren, which is part of the Kingdom of Kronenburg as well. A third possibility would be that West-Cod changes to an autonomous overseas province, like the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. The fourth possibility of West-Cod and the White Islands joining into some kind of autonomous federative overseas province met reluctance in both West-Cod and the White Islands. The latter being much smaller, it is feared that West-Cod politics will soon dominate the much different foreign interests of the White Islands. A spokesperson of chief minister Margreet Rietdekker of the White Islands went but as far as to dismiss the whole idea.

Uncertainty about chances that the next AGL summit will change the Jarjana Treaty
4 January 2013 - Opposition parties remain sceptical about the chances that the next AGL summit, which is to be held in Jolka, the capital of Palana, will change the AGL human rights treaty (Treaty of Jarjana). At the last summit, the Kronenburg delegation proposed to alter the treaty in such a manner that AGL member states may no longer have the death penalty as their most drastic form of punishment, but the proposal was postponed to the next summit in a move that came as a big surprise for Kronenburg.

Foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz fears that diplomatic problems may arise between Kronenburg and the AGL if the Jarjana treaty isn't changed soon. At the last summit, a Marckonian proposal was accepted to change the AGL basic treaty ("The Treaty of Aralethe") to included the obligation for AGL member states to sign the Treaty of Jarjana as well to make sure that the member states maintain some sort of human-rights-ensured policy with respect to their citizens. A majority in the Noordkamer thought that this change of the Treaty of Aralethe would have little value if the Treaty of Jarjana didn't object to the existence of the death penalty in member states. Now that "Jarjana" hasn't been accepted, the Noordkamer has been unwilling to ratify the changed Treaty of Aralethe and will continue to refuse ratification if "Jarjana" remains unchanged.

On top of that, some opposition parties fear that the next summit's host, the government of the People's Republic of Palana, won't put the proposal on the agenda, creating another six months or so of delay. The old (and current) version of the Treaty of Aralethe will continue to be valid until all member states have ratified the changes.

Margreet Rietdekker new chairwoman of the council of ministers of the White Islands
4 January 2013 - After a lengthy period of negotiations, a new council of ministers was approved today by the local parliament of the White Islands, an autonomous overseas province of Kronenburg. The council is chaired by Margreet Rietdekker (LWE, Liberals of the White Islands); she is the first ever female head of government of the White Islands. The former government, composed of NLP (New Liberal Party) and LWE and headed by Walter MacDowell (NLP), fell in July after disagreement on the exact wishes of the government parties regarding the revision of the treaty that deals with the islands' status within the Kingdom of Kronenburg. Elections in September saw a significant loss for the NLP and the LWE became the largest party instead. The other winning party (PvG, Party for Equality) was willing to join a coalition government with LWE, but NLP refused to join due to disagreement with the PvG and the fact that it wished to become an opposition party after having lost the elections. The slightly centre left green party WEG (White Islands Green) was then asked to join the coalition, but only after long negotiations, agreement was reached about the new government policy. The LWE-PvG-WEG coalition has 16 of 29 seats in the local parliament.

Former prime minister Ernst-Piter Strikwerda joins leftist party ROOS!
27 December 2012 - Former prime minister Ernst-Piter Strikwerda has left the social democratic party PSV and joined ROOS! instead. This was confirmed by ROOS!; the PSV didn't want to comment on the matter. Strikwerda was leader of the PSV from 2005 to 2010, when he was deposed by a faction lead by the current PSV leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf. His government remained in office until early 2011 because the parliamentary faction of the PSV continued to support Strikwerda. It was expected that Strikwerda would leave the PSV, but his switch to ROOS! has come as a surprise. At the moment, Mr. Strikwerda isn't politically active; it remains therefore to be seen whether he will become a prominent member of ROOS! in the future.

World doesn't end; disappointed Dead End Walkers wreak havoc
22 December 2012 - Members of a group called the Dead End Walkers (Wandelaars van het Doodlopend Pad in Dutch), who were convinced that the world would end yesterday, have wroken havoc in Alexanderstad, Friescheburg and - on a smaller scale - Denestad after the end of the world as predicted by a Maya calendar, didn't occur. The group had gathered on several central locations in these cities and while most of them were just sitting there dancing and chanting and continued to do that after the 21st of December smoothly became the 22nd, some of them decided to express their disappointment by causing damage to shop windows, bus stops and street lights. The police arrested 67 people in Alexanderstad, 74 in Friescheburg and 12 in Denestad.

The gatherings had been permitted by the respective city councils after the organisation had promised to keep it calm and orderly. They were joined by others who were also curious as to what would happen on the 21st or if anything would happen at all. In Marianne, Waterburg, Noordeinde and Oosterland, similar gatherings were forbidden by their councils.

Democrat faction (PvG, VLSP, Exumbra Centraal) wins elections for the Exumbran Parliament
19 December 2012 - The elections for the sixteen Kronenburg seats of the Exumbran Parliament were held yesterday. The largest Kronenburg faction (according to the Exumbran party division) became the democrats, which consist of PvG, VLSP, and Exumbra Centraal, a party combination created especially for this occasion out of PU, Elderly League and Denestad Party. They got six seats, four of which went to the PvG, while the other two were divided over VLSP and Exumbra Centraal. The rainbow coalition  became second with four seats, all of which went to ROOS!. The social-democrats (PSV), the liberal-democrats (LKP) and the conservatives (NCD and KV) each got two seats.

It was the first time that these elections were held. In Kronenburg, its sixteen members were elected by the combined chambers of parliament (Noordkamer and Zuidkamer). As the Kronenburg results were made public almost simultaneously with those of Adzhatia and all the other member states already held elections earlier, there is a good indication that the democrat faction (EDF) has won the overall elections with 18 of 74 seats, the Rainbow Alliance coming second with 11 seats and the Communist Bloc coming third with 10 seats.

Entrepreneurs investigate 'North-Atlantic Airline' between Kronenburg, Yukland and Adzhatia
6 December 2012 - A combination of Adzhatian, Yukkish and Kronenburg entrepreneurs is willing to investigate the possibilities of founding a private airline that has to fill up the gaps in the air connections between the three countries and other locations in North-America and Northern-Europe. This was announced after the Adzhatian government unilaterally ended negotiations on a government supported airline last month.

Ever since the Adzhatian airline ACB went bankrupt last Summer, negotiations between Yukland and Adzhatia about a possible cooperation between Air Yukland and a new ACB had been going on. The Kronenburg investment company O3 Investments was also involved in the talks. The Adzhatian government and O3 had however doubts whether such cooperation would work (mainly because of mutual distrust) and the talks ended without a deal on 27 November.

A partly new combination of entrepreneurs - the director of the Kronenburg tour operator HoliDeal, Maersk Knippenborg Onnes, is said to be involved now - wishes to create a private airline that has to gain a stronghold in Adzhatia 'before the Russians take over the place'. Apart from regular connections between the three capitals of Alexanderstad, Ísðor and Ashtinok, a large part of the company's revenue should come from holiday flights.

Former ACB warrant-manager Iĺic Kaĺĺek is positive about the plans; 03 Investments hasn't reacted yet.

Small ceremony and party mark official start of Exumbran Convention
15 November 2012 - This afternoon, transitional secretary general Oliver B. Murtogg hosted a small party and ceremony marking the official start of the
Exumbran Convention. He pronounced the hope that the cooperation between its nine member states may be a fruitful one. After his speech, he hit a traditional Khusqaian gong which was followed by applause. Apart from Mr. Murtogg and a few journalists, representatives of the nine member states were present, including the Permanent Representatives, on behalf of our country Mrs. Twaelfterpen. Several other Kronenburg government officials also witnessed the ceremony. Foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz was unable to attend. The membership of two member states, including Kronenburg, won't officially start but for another few weeks.

Prime minister congratulates president Obama
7 November 2012 - Prime minister Dankert has send a telegram to US president Barack Obama to congratulate him with his re-election as president of the United States. With only the results of Florida remaining to be announced, Obama had secured 303 of the electoral votes, far more than were needed to be elected. The prime minister expressed his hope that the stable cooperation of the last few years between the US and Kronenburg will continue in the next four years to the benefit of both countries.

Exumbran Convention to start on 15 November; 29 November for Kronenburg
6 November 2012 - Following announcements made by the office of both the prime minister of New Courland and the transitional secretary general of the Exumbran Convention, the treaty of that organisation will officially enter into force next week, on 15 November. The organisation itself will start to be operational as a result. Since Kronenburg ratified the treaty however after the required amount of ratifications had taken place, Kronenburg won't be a full member until the 29th. According to the ministry of foreign affairs there won't be many side effects of this situations, as a series of transitional procedures will start on 15 November which will last several weeks; our country will have sufficient time to catch up.

One of the main events to come is the election of the Kronenburg members of the Exumbran Parliament, which will be done by the combined Noordkamer and Zuidkamer. Although no date has been confirmed yet, the most likely day for the elections is Tuesday 18 December, according to spokespersons of the larger political parties.

Extra transport to the US on Monday and Tuesday
2 November 2012 - According to the ministry of traffic, there will be additional transport connections with the US on Monday and Tuesday to allow US Americans who temporarily live in Kronenburg to go to their home town to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections on 6 November. It is the second time that this is organised; in 2004 and before that, the sudden exodus of Americans from Kronenburg caused problems at airports and ferry harbours.

Engaged princely couple causes scene in Luxembourg
21 October 2012 - Prince Willem Lodewijk and the Marckonian princess Lovisa drew a lot of attention to themselves when they engaged in a fight outside of a Scandinavia oriented bar in the railway station quarter, south of the city centre. Princess Lovisa had been sitting there for a while on her own when prince Willem Lodewijk found her, apparently thanks to the fact that the princess had forgotten to deactivate the gps on her cell phone. Once outside the bar, she began yelling at him in Marckonian and throwing things from her purse at him. Some other people then chose sides, although none of them actually knew what the argument was about. The police had to intervene to restore order.

The princely couple has been engaged since last year. They were in Luxembourg to attend the marriage between hereditary grand duc Guillaume and the Belgian countess Stéphanie de Lannoy.

Noordkamer ratifies Exumbran Convention treaty
5 October 2012 - The Noordkamer (house of representatives) has ratified the Treaty of the
Exumbran Convention this morning. Apart from the PvG and ROOS! government coalition parties, the Pragmatist Union and the League of Elderly voted in favour of the bill, as well as the liberal VLSP. Surprisingly, the treaty was supported too by the Christian democrats (NCD). The conservative liberal LKP and the right wing Christian KV voted against and the other parties, including the social democratic PSV, abstained.

Although the result is good news for foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz and for the entire Exumbran Convention, the procedure is not done yet: the Zuidkamer (senate) still has to approve the ratification bill, although problems are not expected there, despite the fact that the parties supporting the government have less seats in the Zuidkamer. Minister Schydtz has asked the Zuidkamer to vote as soon as possible; he'd like to finalise the procedure before 1 November.

(Update 23 October 2012) - Yesterday, the Zuidkamer approved the ratification of the Treaty of the Exumbran Convention and it will therefore enter into force for Kronenburg at the end of November. For the majority of the other member states, the treaty will already be valid in the beginning of next month, as the sufficient amount of ratifying members was already reached on 8 October. The State of
Adzhatia now remains the only member state that still has to ratify.

Foreign affairs minister 'deplores' Palanan reaction to the boycott call by Populus
25 September 2012 - Foreign affairs minister Mathias Schydtz has said that he deplores the harsh reaction of his Palanan colleague to the boycott that was asked for last week by the human rights organisation Populus. The Palanan minister Pyotr Soka had reacted irritably, saying that Palana doesn't require any interference in domestic affairs and expressed the hope that the Kronenburg flag wouldn't have to be removed from the Friendship Square. Although Kronenburgish, Populus is however not linked to the Kronenburg government, and minister Schydtz emphasised that the latter has very little responsibility for the actions of Populus.

A spokeswoman of the oppositional right wing political party LKP called upon the minister to question the behaviour of Palana within the AGL. 'Palana wanted to join the AGL; how can they fully function as a member state if they don't allow such interaction with other member states? This whole situation is outrageous!' she said and reminded of a similar affair that took place last year, when the government of Insulantis held the government of Île de Romanhe responsible for criticism by an impartial Ilyaroman newspaper.

Government wants new airport
24 September 2012 - The government has issued plans to build an entirely new international airport. The present airport of Alexanderstad will be too small for the increasing annual amount of passengers in the near future, and very soon won't be able to comply with national and international regulations for air traffic that are currently valid.

In relation to this, the government wants to investigate the possibilities of creating better connections between our country and the American mainland. A bridge between the city of Marianne and Long Island would be the easiest and least expensive to build, and has been considered for a while, although not very seriously, but a bridge to the north is also on the list, according to a government spokeswoman.

Investors have responded to the plans with caution; according to some, an entirely new airport would only be profitable if all the connection plans to the US will be carried out as well.

Populus wants boycott of Jolka Cultural Capital of the AGL 2012
18 September 2012 - The Kronenburg human rights organisation Populus has asked for a boycott of the AGL Cultural Capital of 2012, which is held in Jolka, the capital of the newest AGL member state Palana. Last Friday, the Palanan government issued a statement saying that flash mobs will be forbidden in Palana, after the country's first flash mob event was organised on one of Jolka's large squares. According to several sources, the get together had no political or otherwise anti-government intention whatsoever. Populus thinks the Palanan government's measures are an infraction of the human freedom of assembly.

Worries about Exumbran time table
17 September 2012 - Increased worrying has been reported in the ministry of foreign affairs about the time table of the
Exumbran Convention, after the elections in Huenan revealed a majority against ratification of the Exumbran treaty; the Huenanese president Mou, who is in favour of joining the organisation, is now trying to carefully rearrange the political allegiances in his country, but it is not certain whether or not he will succeed. If Huenan doesn't join the Convention, Kronenburg will become the sole largest net contributor to the organisation when it joins. Currently, four countries have already ratified the treaty, with the chairwoman of the Adzhatian parliament claiming Adzhatia will follow before the end of September. The Treaty will become operational 30 days after two thirds of the member states have ratified it.

Foreign affairs minister Schydtz called upon the governments of the other member states not to take any hastened decision and let the ratification process unfold itself as it is supposed to. He also mentioned that, as the government has already found a suitable location for the Exumbran Office, the Exumbran Convention will be welcome to use it even if the Treaty enters into force without Kronenburg having it ratified yet. The minister gave his assurance that, with the current political situation, a majority in favour of ratification
exists and that it may be put on the Noordkamer agenda for 'somewhere in October'.

(addition, 19 September) - The (transitional) Secretary General of the Exumbran Convention, Oliver B. Murtogg, has visited the offices today that have been proposed by the Kronenburg government as the Exumbran headquarters. The large complex is located on the north-eastern coast of the Westereiland, in the Alexanderstad municipality, but near the Westerland municipality border and the Handelstoren subway station. Murtogg made a brief statement to the press, saying that it was expected that small problems could arise during the ratification process, with each prospective member state applying its own rules and time table regarding the ratification of the Exumbran Convention treaties.

'The most pressing matter indeed is the treaty entering into force at a moment that Kronenburg, which is the country that is hosting these offices, hasn't ratified it yet', Mr. Murtogg said. 'The Kronenburg foreign minister, Mr. Schydtz, has assured me however that the Exumbran Convention is welcome to use the office in the mean time anyway and that his country will remain on its track towards ratification and full membership of the Convention.' The Secretary General wouldn't comment on the political situation in Huenan, where the first ratification attempt failed yesterday, but expressed his confidence that all prospective member states would in due time honour their intentions as declared on 23 August.

Twaelfterpen to become Exumbran Permanent Representative of Kronenburg
31 August 2012 - While our country has yet to ratify the Treaty of the Exumbran Convention, a name has been put forward by the ministry of foreign affairs for the job of Kronenburg Permanent Representative in the Permanent Preparational Council of the Convention: Mrs. Ina Twaelfterpen-Nieboer, the current Kronenburg ambassador for New Zealand will likely assume the job once all legal procedures have been fulfilled. Twaelfterpen (55) has been working in the diplomatic service for 30 years, both as ambassador and diplomat. Among others, she represented Kronenburg in Guatemala, Austria and, since 2007, in New Zealand and she has worked for the OAS and the United Nations.

Kronenburg and eight other countries found Exumbran Convention
24 August 2012 - In the small Caribbean nation of New Courland, the new international organisation of the Exumbran Convention was founded yesterday. The delegations of nine prospective member states signed the treaties and the former foreign affairs minister of New Courland, Oliver B. Murtogg, was appointed transitional Secretary General. Our country is to play host for the organisation's main Office. A government spokesman said that buildings will be provided in Alexanderstad or Friescheburg, depending on the available space in both cities.

The main office will also host the Executive Committee of the Exumbran Integration Commission;
the main purpose of EIC is the promotion of (cultural) exchange, cooperation, and communication between member states and their citizens, in accordance with the fourth objective, and in support of the first and second objective of the Exumbran Convention as mentioned in article 2 of its founding treaty.

The Convention will focus on international cooperation between the member states on scientific, industrial and social levels. According to the ministry of foreign affairs, it can be considered an addition to the existing foreign relationships that have been established by means of the Kronenburg memberships of the Commonwealth, the OAS and the AGL, which all focus on different matters and/or are limited to a certain region in the world. The autonomous overseas provinces of the White Island and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands haven't signed the treaty and therefore they remain outside of the Exumbran Convention.

Issel ambassador involved in tram accident
13 July 2012 - Biem-Jan af Leiborg, the Issel ambassador to Kronenburg, was involved in an accident this afternoon, which was caused by the ambassador's car hitting a tram in the Kronenburgerstraatweg in Alexanderstad. The tram derailed and fell upon some parked cars. Some people, including the ambassador's driver, were injured and taken to the hospital.

Queen Isabel expects third child
12 July 2012 - Queen Isabel, the wife of king Ernst of Kronenburg, is expecting her third child. This was announced today by the Royal House. The birth will probably occur somewhere at the end of February or the beginning of March 2013. The king and queen already have two daughters: princess Sofie Charlotte, born in 2008, and princess Carolina Hedwig, born in 2010. If the new child will be a boy, the current law of succession states that he will become the future king of Kronenburg; political parties have been arguing about changing the law for some years now, but an official proposal hasn't been submitted yet.

O3-Infra wants to invest in AGL-Soccer Championships 2013 in Île de Romanhe
12 July 2012 - The investment company O3-Infra, part of the larger O3 Investments of known Kronenburg billionaire Oscar A. Ottendorf Okrilla, will support the AGL-Soccer Championships of 2013 in Île de Romanhe financially. Negotiations with the Ilyaroman government are underway. Île de Romanhe is rather small and poor and unlikely to organise the entire event all by itself.

Government temporarily subsidises travelling to Palana
10 July 2012 - The Kronenburg government has decided to temporarily subsidise flights that will lead to the Palanan capital of Jolka, the current Cultural Capital of the AGL. Although some Kronenburgers did already find their ways to the communist country in north-eastern Asia, the government considered that more could be done to stimulate people to go there for a holiday.

Disappointment in Kronenburg after the postponed vote on the proposed changes in "Jarjana"
9 July 2012 - The 50th AGL-Conference that was held yesterday in Portus Regius, approved the proposed changes of the Treaty of Aralethe, the AGL founding treaty. When the treaty changes enter into force, AGL member states will be obliged to sign the AGL human rights treaty (the Treaty of Jarjana) when they wish to become or remain a member of the AGL. A change of the Treaty of Jarjana itself however, proposed by Kronenburg, was postponed to the next summit, of course much to the dismay of Kronenburg.

In the current version of the Treaty of Jarjana, the death penalty is allowed in member states as a possible juridical sentence, if a country wishes so. The Kronenburg government had proposed to change that, so that the death penalty wouldn't be allowed anymore in whichever country wants to join the AGL. The moment for the change seemed right, in combination with the proposed change of the Aralethe Treaty to make the signing of Jarjana mandatory. If "Aralethe" hadn't been changed, there remained the possibility that member states simply wouldn't sign "Jarjana", but according to many Kronenburg political parties, making "Jarjana" mandatory doesn't really add a lot to the membership obligations if that treaty continues to allow the death penalty.

Several parties already announced before the Conference that they wouldn't ratify the changes to "Aralethe" if the proposed changes to "Jarjana" weren't approved as well; that situation has happened now, and apparently the Oostkamer (the government of Kronenburg) doesn't expect to achieve a majority for an "Aralethe" ratification proposal, which will probably lead to the decision of not submitting the proposal at all.

Otherwise the Conference went sufficiently well, from the government's point of view at least. The People's Republic of Palana narrowly obtained full membership, and the Republic of the Vosks and the Gurds was admitted as associated member; especially the oppositional LKP wondered what both countries, the first communist, the second rather poor, will be doing in the AGL. The Marckonian former prime minister Heidi Ankerskjöld was elected to become the next Secretary General on 6 September, and Glória San Martín (from Chimor) will succeed Harma van der Aa-Roorda as director of EnerGeo on 26 July. Île de Romanhe will organise the 7th AGL soccer championships next year.

White Islands Government collapses again
2 July 2012 - Shortly before Summer recess, the White Islands government collapsed after disagreement in the province's autonomous government on its exact wishes regarding the revision of the treaty that deals with the islands' status within the Kingdom of Kronenburg. The chief minister, Walter MacDowell (NLP) called for elections somewhere in September or October, which will be the second elections this year. Polls indicate that the NLP has to fear especially its current coalition partner, the LWE of minister of Affairs of the Realm, Margreet Rietdekker, but also the oppositional PSV, who lead the White Island government from 1996 to early 2012, could make a surprising come-back.

Insulting opera criticised
30 June 2012 - The last concert of the 2011-2012 classical music season in Kronenburg contained the world premiere of Johannes Dekker's latest opera, "The Audience Haters". The experimental one act work introduced six people in various clothing who insulted the audience in various manners and in various musical styles. Although people should be accustomed by now to the weirdness Dekker has shown in the last ten years or so, there were some listeners nevertheless who left the concert already after the first scene. It turned out however that this wasn't because of the insults, but because of the quality of the work as a whole. 'Even Dekker can do better', was a much heard comment.

White Islands and Kronenburg Virgin Islands 'not sure' about Exumbran Convention membership
28 June 2012 - The governments of both autonomous overseas provinces of Kronenburg, the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands, have announced that they are intently watching the intention of the Kronenburg government's intention to join the Exumbran Convention. The White Islands minister of Affairs of the Realm, Margreet Rietdekker, has said that the liberal government that has been in office since April, is 'not sure' about joining the Exumbran Convention jointly with Kronenburg. The Virgin Islands government said that the Caribbean province is not unwilling to join the Convention, if thorough investigations reveal that a Kronenburg membership will be beneficial for the Islands as well. The fact that at least one other Caribbean nation (New Courland) intends to join, could make a possible membership already somewhat 'attractive'.

Under the current treaty with Kronenburg, the autonomous overseas provinces may not conclude treaties on their own that are as far going as joining international organisations such as the Exumbran Convention, but if Kronenburg chooses to do so, the autonomous provinces are allowed to refuse to become part of the Kronenburg membership.

Kronenburg to attend first summit of 'Exumbran Convention'
27 June 2012 - Prime minister Hans Dankert and foreign minister Mathias Schydtz will attend a summit in New Courland on 23 August. This was announced jointly by the prime minister's office and the ministry of foreign affairs today, after a press conference in the Asian republic of Huenan revealed that informal talks about a new international organisation that had been going on since May, ended in some kind of agreement between the participating countries.

The new organisation, the name of which will most likely be 'Exumbran Convention', to emphasise the character of its intended member states as less significant countries in the world, is initiated by some former member states of another international organisation, FICT, who wished more intensive cooperation that the rest of the FICT member states couldn't - or wouldn't - offer. Last year, our country was among the nine countries present at the founding of FICT, but chose to not become a member. Kronenburg remains however interested in some kind of observer status, if such a status would be provided by the rules of FICT.

'It is true that Kronenburg will have to contribute the larger part to the Exumbran Convention if our country joins this organisation, but we estimate that it will bring our country much good in terms of economic and scientific progress', a spokeswoman of the prime minister's office said. She confirmed in this context that Kronenburg has sent an envoy to the small communist country of Dhram Phá, which is also named as a possible member state of the Convention. There are no diplomatic relations yet with Dhram Phá, but that is to change.

Along with some smaller opposition parties, the social-democratic PSV has condemned the government's plans to join the Exumbran Convention and repeated its pet topic that Kronenburg has much more to gain from regional cooperation and should increase its participation in the OAS as well as join the NAFTA.

Kronenburg considers opening relations with communist state of Dhram Phá
3 June 2012 - The Kronenburg goverment is considering starting official relations with the small communist state of Dhram Phá. State secretary Max Bos of Foreign Economic and Cultural Cooperation (FECC) told this in an interview on television this morning. Although the interview was mainly about the government's expectations of the next AGL-summit, the state secretary elaborated briefly on other current international endeavours.

'Kronenburg is participating in talks in the republic of Huenan about a new international organisation', mr. Bos said. 'And we already have relations with most of the other participants, but our country has never done business with Dhram Phá directly. It is true that Dhram Phá has a government system, many aspects of which are criticised by western civilisations, but as an international organisation is meant to act as a platform of exchange of ideas, I'm confident that this will influence Dhram Phá, too, in a positive manner. The fact alone that a country like Dhram Phá is willing to participate in talks about this kind of international cooperation is promising.'

New mayor of Zuiderland dissolves municipal council
1 June 2012 - Emiel Lattanzio, newly elected mayor of Zuiderland, dissolved the municipal council today, shortly after his official inauguration, and called for early elections on 5 September. Although newly elected mayors have the right to do so in order to facilitate at least their first term in office, it hasn't been done for several decades. The move lead to outrage within Zuiderland itself, but also among national politicians.

Especially the social democratic PSV (currently the biggest party in Zuiderland, although it isn't part of the local government) are furious: 'A municipal council isn't a television the channels of which you can change randomly', says PSV-leader Mariëtte van der Schaaf; 'We would have elections all the time if mayors dissolve their councils if they don't like the challenge of government.'

Parties like the liberal PvG and LKP however justify Lattanzio's move. 'If a mayor thinks that he will be unable to work with his municipal council at one point, he may dissolve it, just as the law clearly states', says LKP-leader Poul-Helge Espersen. 'If the mayor doesn't like the new council either, he'll have to conclude that it will be best for the people and for himself to step down as mayor.' In all, I think it is better to have the people represented by institutions that are able to work together smoothly, than a mayor and a council hating each other and not making any decisions at all during four years.'

Political parties argue about death penalty clause in the Jarjana human rights treaty
19 / 21 May 2012 - In the last few weeks, several political parties have asked the government to propose a change of the Treaty of Jarjana, the AGL human rights treaty, in order to abolish a part by which the death penalty is recognised as a lawful way to take a person's life. According to these parties, the death penalty is an easy barbaric verdict that is equally gruesome as the crime of murder itself, and they think that the Kronenburg government should voice this opinion within the AGL more persistently.

The next AGL-Conference, which is to be held soon in the Kronenburg city of Portus Regius, will discuss a proposal to change the AGL founding treaty (the Treaty of Aralethe), so that countries will only be allowed as member states if they sign and ratify the Jarjana treaty as well. 'The present version of the treaty of Jarjana doesn't really have an added value', says Geraldine Németh of the party ROOS!. 'For a large part, it repeats things that are already mentioned in other treaties, so most AGL countries simply sign it out of habit and to make their AGL membership complete. In the past, I think only former member state Engary didn't sign the treaty. But now there is this proposal to make Jarjana mandatory for all countries that want to be a member of the AGL; with the current version of the Jarjana treaty, the proposal to change the AGL founding treaty has no value at all, in the opinion of my party, so we are strongly considering to vote against its ratification if nothing is done about the death penalty clause in the Jarjana treaty.'

ROOS! is the smaller of the two government parties. The ministry of foreign affairs has announced
that it will issue a reaction next Monday. In recent weeks, minister Mathias Schydtz has been heard voicing approval of the idea of removing the death penalty clause from the treaty of Jarjana. The question is whether or not the government will want to create a diplomatic crisis in the AGL if Jarjana isn't changed and a majority of the Noordkamer subsequently refuses to ratify the changed Treaty of Aralethe.

At this moment however it is not clear at all whether or not there would be a majority in the Noordkamer that would ratify any changes; many parties have indicated that they will wait how things will develop. The opposition right wing liberal party LKP, itself in favour of the death penalty, issued a declaration that it considers the current version of the Jarjana treaty 'sufficient' and that it will oppose the removal of the death penalty clause.

(Update 21 May) - The ministry of foreign affairs announced that it intends to propose to change the Treaty of Jarjana in order to remove the part about the death penalty on the next AGL-Conference. The ministry spokesman used more or less the same arguments as several political parties did last weekend.

End Of World believers removed from Alexanderstad square
14 May 2012 - The police have removed the so called Dead End Walkers (Wandelaars van het Doodlopend Pad in Dutch) from the square near the parliamentary buildings in Alexanderstad. They had been camping there since January in order to wait together for the End of the World, which they believe will take place at the end of this year, as predicted by the Mayans. Although many bystanders thought that the group of strangely dressed people, who performed mysterious dances and rituals, was rather amusing, the police justified their action by announcing that the Dead End Walkers were sitting "in the way". The group was given an ultimatum last weak, but it didn't respond to that, so the police removed them by force today. A Dead End spokeswoman told the press that the group will be looking for other methods to make its believe known to the world.

Government presents state reform plans
20 April 2012 - The ministry of domestic affairs has presented its plans to reform the national institutes in order to make the country more efficient and less expensive. Minister Jędrzejewicz calls the reforms 'necessary' to end decades of 'exuberant spending'. The most drastic measures involve the redivision of ministries and state secretariats and the redivision of the municipalities.

The number of ministries will be reduced to fourteen, including the office of the prime minister and a new office of the vice prime minister, who will also be minister for state secretariats. The number of those will be reduced from thirteen to six. The new division should create a larger amount of financial efficiency, as the number of institutes involved in e.g. granting subsidies will be minimised.

The number of municipalities will be increased from the twelve current ones to fifteen; the largest change will be that the current two municipalities of Alexanderstad and Friescheburg will be split in six smaller municipalities. On the other hand, the municipality of West-Cod will receive the status of autonomous overseas municipality, similar to New-Stavoren. West-Cod will then be able to keep Dutch as its official language, whereas the rest of Kronenburg excluding the autonomous areas will adopt the Kronenburgish language somewhere in 2013. The overseas autonomous provinces of the White Island and the Virgin Islands will remain just that, but the treaties determining their competences will be renegotiated.

For some measures a constitution change is required, so these changes will only be effective if the current Noordkamer and Zuidkamer approve them, after which
a new Noordkamer has to re-approve the changes. Then a date can be set in which the changes will take effect. If all goes well, the redivision of municipalities is likely to take effect in 2016. For the redivision of the ministries no constitution change is required (according to the 2006 constitution), but in theory the current government can already make the changes during its term. The minister wouldn't say however if this is going to be the case, nor whether or not there will be early elections to speed up the process.

State secretary wants women quote in Kronenburg
9 March 2012 - The state secretary of equal rights, mrs. Emma Tjallingha-Vikkens (ROOS!), has proposed a minimum percentage of women serving in top jobs, both in business as in our country's politics. She did so during a speech that she gave on the occasion of International Women's Day, yesterday. According to the state secretary, men are still favoured above women and a quote would be an excellent way of changing that. An increasing number of countries world wide has similar quotes and the overall reactions are favourable.

Carla Pinciotti, of the christian-democratic opposition party NCD, is against a quote. 'A quote will nothing but cause positive discrimination, causing women who aren't sufficiently capable or willing to end up on top jobs,' Pinciotti says. 'Moreover, they will serve as bad examples if they fail in their tasks. I completely agree with the argument that there currently are many men as well who are incapable of doing the job they are doing, but I think a quote will lead to women proving that they, too, can be incapable of doing top jobs, and not to women proving that they can do jobs as good as (or better than) men; after all, people tend to notice first the things that go wrong.'

Kronenburg celebrates Women's Day
8 March 2012 - Most Kronenburgers enjoy a day off today for the first time on the occasion of Women's Day, which is an official holiday in our country as of this year.  Due to government measures resulting in the reduction of the minimum amount of additional holidays for employees, the number of official holidays has been expanded slightly. Apart from Women's Day, these are Labour Day (1 May), Saint Lucia (13 December) and the day after the National Holiday (2 June). Labour Day and the 2 June were already observed by many companies; 2 June is unofficially called 'Hangover Day', because of the festivities on 1 June as a result of which many people called in sick the day after.

Kronenburg is the first western country officialising Women's Day; especially (former) communist countries like Russia and Cuba have a tradition of celebrating Women's Day with a day off. The government tried not to appoint particularly religous days as new holidays. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (which has some followers in our country) launched a protest however against the refusal to make 19 September (International Talk Like A Pirate Day) an official holiday.

State visit to Yukland successful
17 February 2012 - In the last few days, king Ernst Frederik and queen Isabel payed an official state visit to the Northern European republic of Yukland. The purpose of the visit was to improve and intensify the relationship between Yukland and Kronenburg, especially on the economic level. Our foreign affairs ministry revealed afterwarts that the Kronenburg government is 'satisfied' with the deals achieved during the visit. Some minor treaties were concluded in order to improve trade between our countries and it was announced that Kronenburg will start participating in the funding of the Minmál Institute for minority languages in Ísðor. A spokesperson of the royal house said that the royal couple thanked their host, the Yukkish president mr. Ylf Haukssœn, for a splendid reception, and that the king, who is a painter himself, particularly enjoyed the visit to the art museum in Vítgarð. No remarks were made about the small group of anarchists who protested outside the museum against the lack of foreign aid of both Yukland and Kronenburg to poorer countries, and who were quickly removed by the Yukkish police. The Yukkish president has been invited for a countervisit to Kronenburg.

Yukland is a member of the international organisation FICT. Although our country has been asked to join, an invitation which was repeated by the Yukkish foreign affairs minister, mrs. Brjenhild Franklendi, the Kronenburg position remains the same, that although it is watching FICT with great interest, it will not join any time soon.

Sigurd Jörgensen to retire from politics
28 January 2012 - This morning, foreign affairs minister and vice prime minister Sigurd Jörgensen has announced his retirement from active politics, due to health reasons. According to Jörgensen, the prime minister, mr. Dankert, as well as the ROOS! party leadership has been informed of his decision already two weeks ago, so that a successor has already been found: Mathias Schydtz, who has served as the deputy director of the emerging economy department of the state secretariate of Foreign Economical and Cultural Cooperation since 2008. Jörgensen will step down on 3 February after the Promulgation ceremony (the annual opening of the Kronenburg parliamentary year); Schydtz will take the oath shortly thereafter. As vice prime minister, he will be succeeded by Hein Swabedissen, the minister of regional planning.

Sigurd Jörgensen (62) has had an active career: among other jobs, he served as the mayor of Oud-kronenburg (1999 - 2003) and as director of the Ylieen-Centre, the cultural institute of the AGL (2006 - 2009). He had to step down from the latter job before the end of his term due to health problems and in the Summer of 2009 he spent some time in the hospital after a difficult operation. He recovered however quickly, and in 2010 he contributed a lot to the new party combination ROOS!, for which party he was appointed foreign affairs minister and vice prime minister only last year.

End Of World believers gather in Alexanderstad
26 January 2012 - With the Occupy demonstrators removed from city squares in Kronenburg, a new group has settled on the central square near the city hall and the parliament buildings consisting of people who believe that the world will end on 21 December this year, as predicted by the Mayan calender. The Dead End Walkers or in Dutch Wandelaars van het Doodlopend Pad, as they call themselves, put some tents on the square and drew a circle between them around which they perform mysterious dances, dressed in red woollen robes. Bystanders seem to find the whole thing rather amusing until now, and the city council told the press that it sees no reason yet to remove the Walkers from the square.

Khusqaikama angered by Kronenburg economist's remarks
14 January 2012 - Henk Eminga, a professor of economic history at the University of Denestad, has shocked the society of the country of Khusqaikama a week ago by suggesting in an interview that they should stimulate sex tourism and the export of porn in order to make their larger neighbouring countries such as Russia invest in the Khusqaian economy. He claimed that a similar situation applies for our country as well: Kronenburg offers a lucrative gambling scene in the northeastern part of North America that attracts United States Americans from neighbouring states as well as some Canadians. Eminga claimed that Asian women are forming an attractive aspect of the Khusqaian economy and he advised the country to boost this industry.

Although considered a brilliant economist, Henk Eminga is known for his peculiar and sometimes controversial way of formulating his opinions. Colleagues called Eminga's remarks 'typical' and 'clumsy' but admitted that the Khusqaians, who do not have had much first hand experience with Eminga's personality yet, were right to be annoyed by them.

Several municipalities will choose new mayors in early 2012
13 January 2012 - Four municipalities will get new mayors early this year. Already on 21 December last year, business woman Lena Ewen was elected to succeed Oud-Kronenburg mayor Alfred Dopper on 1 February, but today the mayors of Dietzland, Alexanderstad and Zuiderland also announced that they will be stepping down soon.

The announcement of the mayor of Alexanderstad, Bert-Jan Sibranda, came as a surprise. He has been mayor of the capital since 2005, but he was widely expected to remain in office for several more years (mayors in Kronenburg are elected only once, and then evaluated every four or five years; they can step down themselves or be sent away if such an evaluation has a negative result). He said however that he has received some money from an inheritance and he and his wife decided to buy a house on the Kronenburg Virgin Islands.

Dietzland has called for elections on Saturday 3 March. The other two municipalities haven't decided on dates yet.

Prime minister announces changes in the diplomatic service
1 January 2012 - Our country's diplomatic service will be drastically reformed as of 1 January 2013. This was mentioned yesterday evenening in the New Year's Speech by the prime minister. The reforms are part of austerity measures that should make the Kronenburg budget more healthy. The most drastic change will be the halving of the number of embassies, but more details will be announced in February.

Government announces possible redivision of local governments
20 December 2011 - The ministry of domestic affairs announced today that it will conduct an investigation next year whether or not a redivision of local governments is useful and, if so, how it can be implemented the best way. Several political parties had already mentioned the possibility of a redivision and recently, the autonomous overseas provinces of the White Islands and the Kronenburg Virgin Islands have requested a change of status: both entities wish to expand their autonomy.

In addition, the municipality of West-Cod has said that the possibility should be investigated that it will get an autonomous status similar to that of the overseas municipality of New-Stavoren. The West-Cod people fear problems when the Kronenburgish language is made an official language of Kronenburg; the inhabitants of West-Cod only speak Dutch and English as mother tongues.

Meanwhile, the larger municipalities of Oud-Kronenburg, Friescheburg and Alexanderstad, people are discussing the possibility of splitting in multiple smaller population clusters, although a majority of the inhabitants are said to be opposed to such a change.

Prince Willem Lodewijk engaged to Marckonian princess Lovisa
15 December 2011 - Prince Willem Lodewijk, the younger brother of king Ernst Frederik, will marry the Marckonian princess Lovisa on a still undecided moment in the future. Although the royal houses of both countries have yet to make it official, several Marckonian and Kronenburg newspapers put the news on their front covers today (the Marckonians were first because of the time difference). The princess, a daughter of the Marckonian king Henrik-Otkar II, first wants to finish her studies before she will marry.

The 28 year old prince was seen in company of the 22 year old princess on several occasions in the last months. Although
according to some the couple became romantically involved during the Marckonian state visit to Kronenburg in 2009, others claim that they were seeing each other already before that. Until September last year, prince Willem Lodewijk still had an official relationship with a Kronenburg woman, miss Cecilia Reijtemaker.

The fact that the news has spread today before any official announcement is made, has caused some commotion. Some suspect members of the royal household to have leaked the news to the media, but others are convinced that it was the couple themselves that spilled the beans: especially the prince is known for making very lucrative but often controversial deals. Earlier this year, he signed a contract with broadcasting organisation O3 for a reality soap around his person, but the royal house and the government prevented this from happening.

"Stear Wirdbook" most popular St. Nicolas gift of 2011
8 December 2011 - The "Stear Wirdbook fan de Kroneborgske Sprake" (Large Dictionary of the Kronenburg Language) has proven a popular gift for the St. Nicolas festivities this year; the dictionary, which came out half way November, was the second best sold book at the end of the month, after "De Luwte" (The Shelter), the newest novel by Kronenburg writer Saskia van Harlingen.

The Stear Wirdbook is not the first dictionary in the Kronenburg language, but earlier versions were mainly Dutch to Kronenburg pocket dictionaries that introduced mainly special and funny words; the Stear Wirdbook is a work of more than 2000 pages and more than 100,000 entries, and it could be purchased with a discount in the weeks around St. Nicolas (5 and 6 December).

The dictionary was finished a year before the Kronenburg language will be introduced as an official language in the country. At the moment only Dutch is the official language; it won't be replaced entirely by Kronenburgish as of 1 January 2013 as some issues still have to be resolved, such as whether or not to introduce Kronenburgish in the municipality of West-Cod, where people don't speak the language, but use Dutch and English instead.

Kronenburg professor co-founds ISCOSELN
8 December 2011 - The Kronenburg economist Harold Wijnsma (from the Technical University of Waterburg) has founded the International Society for the study of the Challenges and Opportunities of Small Economies with Large Neighbours (ISCOSELN) today, together with his Khusqaian colleague Siimeŋ Ŭeixiitär, who became the society's first president. ISCOSELN is an international scientific society that aims to further the scientific study of the economic problems of countries with small economies that are overshadowed by much larger and better known neighbours, and how to overcome these problems. The organisation pursues its aims by means of organising scientific conferences, and will in the future possibly publish a journal. Despite the scientific focus, ISCOSELN also welcomes government officials as members and as attendees to the organisation's conferences.

Harold Wijnsma (*1957) is known in Kronenburg for his research and articles about the power and the lack of it of the Kronenburg economy in the shadow of the much larger economy of the United States.

LKP wants Kronenburg to remain out of FICT and has serious doubts with continuing the AGL membership
The liberal opposition party LKP doesn't want Kronenburg to join the international organisation FICT, not even in a more remote future, according to a party spokesman. In addition, the party has 'serious doubts' whether our country should continue the AGL membership. The reason for this is the increasing number of what the LKP calls 'dubious countries' that are members of FICT and the AGL. These countries don't value democracy as much as it should be, the party claims. Among the founding member states of FICT are such countries, such as Dhram Phá and Harrawi, but the LKP has also great doubts about the proper functioning of Adzhatia. Within the AGL there are Chimor, Île de Romanhe and Insulantis as well as the associated member state Palana; the LKP would have preferred them outside of the AGL instead of in it. Recently, Chimor applied for the membership of FICT.

The LKP will revise its party programme next year in order to remake the party appealing to the Kronenburg voters. The above stance is to be included in it.

Former PM of Île de Romanhe makes a bid for the public broadcasting channels
22 November 2011 - RagnaRrökk, a company from the Indian Ocean island nation of Île de Romanhe lead by a former prime minister of that country, Pascal Rrokk, has made a bid for the Kronenburg public broadcasting channels RTK1 and RTK3. RagnaRrökk is hoping to use these channels to better broadcast its own programmes, some of which will be produced at the Kronenburg Virgin Islands. Although the communication minister Marianne Fraeijlema has said to seriously take the bid into consideration, an action committee aiming to preserve the quality of Kronenburg television has reacted to the news with concern: they fear that RagnaRrökk will cause the catagenesis of programme variety on these channels.

King will visit Yukland in 2012
21 November 2011 - King Ernst Frederik and his wife queen Isabel will visit the republic of Yukland early next year. They will be received by president Ylf Haukssœn. The aim of the visit is to improve the ties with a country from where many emigrants reached Kronenburg in the past. Apart from that, the Northern European country is economically attractive and could be more of a partner to our country. During the visit, the king will be accompanied by prime minister Hans Dankert, foreign affairs minister Sigurd Jörgensen and economical affairs minister Thomas Bouma.

Pirate Party chairman arrested for violence
15 November 2011 - During the continuing removal of the Occupy camp in Alexanderstad, the police arrested 26 people this morning. Among them the chairman of the recently founded Pirate Party, Sven Haisma. Bystanders filmed with their phones how Haisma knocked a police officer to the ground and kicked him in the face. Haisma and many of his party members participated in the Occupy protests from the first hour and they were extremely upset when the minister gave the order last week to remove the protesters. Depending on the injuries Haisma has inflicted upon the policeman, he can get a maximum of nine years imprisonment.

Occupy-Kronenburg protesters to be removed from square
11 November 2011 - The police in Alexanderstad have begun to remove all Occupy-Kronenburg protesters from the square near the stock exchange building, where the largest variant of the Occupy Wall Street movement in our country has been camping since September in order to protest against the continuing greed in the financial sector. Domestic affairs minister Wojciech Jędrzejewicz had given the protesters an ultimatum last week, after a small group of protesters had begun to throw bricks and other objects towards the stock exchange building, although the protest had been generally peaceful until then. The police made some arrests. The minister, who said to agree with many of the protesters' points of vue (he is a member of the left wing party ROOS!), argued that there are other ways of protesting without harming innocent people; in the last month and a half, crime figures in the areas around the three Occupy locations in our country have risen. The protesters have announced that they intend to stay where they are, despite the police and the government.

State secretary to Chimor to talk about extradition request
8 November 2011 - Mrs. Barbara Taffijn-åsby, the state secretary for American Affairs, has travelled to the Chimorese capital of Lindavista to talk about the extradition request made by the Chimorese government last summer. The Chimorese drug dealer Nestor Garda, who was arrested in the Kronenburg village of Treurgat and who is now awaiting a trial for involvement in drugs dealing and for being in Kronenburg illegally, is wanted by Chimor as well. There are however no extradition agreements between our countries, as Kronenburg has a very hesitant policy of concluding such treaties with any country, in order to protect its own citizens. The fact that mr. Garda doesn't have the Kronenburg nationality could however make things easier, but if he is extradited to Chimor, this will only occur after his trial, the first hearing of which will take place no sooner than January 2012.

The public broadcasting channels are for sale
2 November 2011 - The government is to sell all public broadcasting channels in 2012 and 2013. This was announced today by traffic and communication minister Marianne Fraeijlema. The public broadcasters have been unprofitable for years, especially after a media schandal in 2006 in which all three public channels, RTK1, RTK3 and RTK-Kunst (the art channel) were involved. The selling of the public channels means the effective end to government subsidised media in our country. Among the parties interessed in buying one or more channels is the Kronenburg media tycoon Oscar A. Ottendorf Okrilla, who already has his own television channels. Many fear that he will disband the public channels if he buys them and the labour unions have already announced protests against the government's decision.

Kronenburg gets its own Pirate Party
19 October 2011 - As of today, Kronenburg too has its own Pirate Party. The Kronenburgse Piratenpartij (KPP) was officially founded today by a group of sympathisers of Pirate Parties in other countries and plans to fight in our country too for the so called 'digital rights' of the people: most importantly freedom of information and privacy protection, among other issues. According to the party's first leader, Sven Haisma, Kronenburg is falling behind in this digital era. 'Many of the old rules can't be applied on internet environments, and in the last ten years, our government has done too little to adapt itself and our society to the increasing problems, dangers but also benefits of the internet. The world is changing, but the political establishment doesn't seem to notice', mr. Haisma said.

A spokeswoman of the liberal opposition party LKP has called the founding of the KPP an outrage and says her party thinks the pirate party should be forbidden. According to the LKP, the mere existence of the KPP in its current form is a violation of several existing laws. Other parties have not given any reaction yet.

Insulantian proposed media law leads to anger and a discussion at AGL level about press freedom
8 September 2011 - A proposed media law discussed in the parliament of the Indian Ocean nation of Insulantis has triggered some angry reactions from press organisations in several AGL countries. The first severe criticism originated in an Île de Romanhe newspaper, claiming that the Insulantian law would mean the end of press freedom in Insulantis. In a surprise move, the Insulantian government reacted by recalling all its diplomats from Île de Romanhe, a move that was criticised by many other AGL countries. The conflict was commented by the AGL secretary general, mrs. Karen Damgaard, who stated that she hoped that both countries managed to solve the conflict by themselves, but that AGL mediation would be given if asked for. Although some political parties and individual members of parliament as well as officials of media organisations in our country issued official reactions mostly condemning the Insulantian diplomatical behaviour, the Kronenburg ministry of foreign affairs has yet to give an official reaction.

The conflict has created a discussion between the AGL member states whether press freedom is just a western liberal democratic pet topic or that it is a more profound human freedom. In the European and American member states as well as in most of the member states formerly colonised by western European countries, there is astonishment that this discussion is even brought up in the first place, but some of the other member states claim that their cultures differ too much from the leading western civilisations for some of the human rights to apply in the same manner.

Among others, Joost Wubs, the editor-in-chief of the Kronenburger Bode, one of our country's leading newspapers, has called upon the AGL Supreme Court to check whether the proposed media law of Insulantis meet the requirements of the Treaty of Jarjana, the AGL human rights treaty, which Insulantis has signed.

Foreign minister starts Asia trip
7 September 2011 - The Kronenburg foreign affairs minister Sigurd Jörgensen has started his Asia tour today. Among other countries, he will visit China, Japan, the AGL associated member state, the people's republic of Palana, as well as the kingdom of Kaupelan and the republic of Khusqaikama. Diplomatic relations with the two latter countries will probably be expanded during the trip; it is understood that Kronenburg will establish consulates or perhaps even embassies in both countries. The tour will be concluded in Indonesia on 22 September.

Insulantis plans to legalise soft drugs; astonishment in Kronenburg parliament
1 September 2011 - The Kronenburg foreign affairs minister Sigurd Jörgensen has asked the Insulantian ambassador, mr. Saromiglus, for an explanation regarding plans of the Insulantian government to legalise soft drugs. These plans could have big consequences for the drug trade to fellow AGL countries. Although only people of Insulantian nationality would be able to buy drugs, the foreign affairs ministry has called it 'naive' to think that Insulantians can't get involved in the illegal trade of drugs. In the mean time the Noordkamer has responed with astonishment to the Insulantian plans. Some parties believe the AGL free trade Treaty of Corille is misused by illegal organisations to facilitate smuggling, e.g. of drugs, between AGL countries and they believe it would be better for Kronenburg if it would revoke the treaty. The foreign ministry didn't want to comment on these suggestions. Insulantis is a country in the Indian Ocean, which joined the AGL in 2009.

Irene causes around 85% power loss throughout the country
28 August 2011 - As the tropical storm Irene travels further to the north east, it becomes clear that not much has been damaged by it, apart from some flooding, especially in the western part of Kronenburg. Some streets in Alexanderstad but particularly in Friescheburg and Marianne, were flooded; in Friescheburg the Arena square, the city's central hub between all different kinds of public transport to almost each corner of Kronenburg, will be closed for several days, as the water is standing at a high level in several subway stations. Two people in the village of Iefte were reportedly killed by waves, as they tried to watch the storm from the coast but couldn't get away in time.

Throughout the country, people suffered from major power losses. Some 85% of the Kronenburg homes are hit by what is now called the most severe power outage in the recent history of our country. Public facilities such as hospitals rely on emergency power units until main power will be restored; this could however take more than a week. Although Kronenburg is seldomly hit by a hurricane of this size, the energy minister, ms. Albeda-Hann, has already promised an investigation as to how the power outage could have reached such large proportions.

Kronenburg prepares for Irene
26 August 2011 - As it is becoming more likely every hour that Kronenburg will be hit by the tropical storm or even hurricane Irene during the following weekend, the government has declared a state of emergency  and adviced all citizens to secure their houses and search for shelter. As Kronenburg is too small a country to organise large scale evacuations, the government has advised people living in houses that may be considered 'unstable' to temporarily move to friends or family who live in houses that are more likely to withstand the severe weather conditions. Some citizens have however chosen to leave the country and visit relatives in Canada or the United States; for the last two days, the international airport of Alexanderstad has been crowded with twice the amount of passengers as normally would be the case in this time of year.

Ministry of foreign affairs investigating membership of new organisation FICT
29 June 2011 - Last Saturday a new international organisation was created in Purikali, the capital of the kingdom of Kaupelan: the Forum of International Cooperation and Trade is said to be a more serious successor of the organisation FICTS, which has existed since 2004, but which will be terminated once FICT is fully operational. Apparently Kronenburg was represented during the events in Purikali, although no decision about a FICT membership of our country was made at that moment.

'Although certain countries that have become members of FICT, have tried to persuade Kronenburg to join as well, we won't make such a decision very hastily,' says a foreign ministry spokeswoman. 'Although the government certainly is interested in FICT, it is not its objective to make our country a full member at this time. In the following months, we will closely monitor the development of the organisation and at a moment in the future, a more official stand may be taken.'

If Kronenburg would join FICT now, it would be the most populated country in the organisation and probably have the highest GDP rate, and opponents of Kronenburg becoming a FICT member say that we have to make our own economy as healthy as it used to be before the crisis, before we put money in an unknown organisation that has been existing for four days now. Mr. Sigurd Jörgensen, the minister of foreign affairs, is however said to be changing his original Asia tour that is scheduled for September to include Kaupelan and possibly the republic of Khusqaikama.

Currency reform plans could lead to 2000 and 5000 Guilders banknotes
23 May 2011 - The government is considering a currency reform. According to spokesmen of the finance ministry, the devaluation of the Kronenburg Guilder in the last three years has created the need for 2000 Guilder and perhaps even 5000 Guilder banknotes, whereas the 5 and 10 cents coins could be easily abolished. The ministry sais that the worst part of the financial crisis is over and that the Guilder has been more or less stable around € 0.10 / $ 0.13 for more than a year now. Although critics say new banknotes are far from necessary in these times, as people don't pay large sums of money in cash anymore, the news has led on the other hand to feminists proposing famous Kronenburgish women to be put on the new notes; on the current banknotes, which were issued between 1994 and 2002, only men appear.

Hans Dankert prime minister in new government
4 May 2011 - Exactly one month after Hans Dankert was appointed Advisor General by the king, the newly elected Noordkamer installed him as prime minister and leader of a coalition of the progressive liberal PvG and the leftist/green party ROOS!. Vice prime minister will be ROOS!-leader Sigurd J�rgensen; he will also be minister of foreign affairs. Etto Reer (PvG/independant) remains finance minister. Evelien Popma-de Burch (PvG) will be the new defense minister. Domestic affairs will be led by Wojciech Jędrzejewicz (ROOS!) and Arnout Carstens (PvG) will be the new state secretary of domestic security. A complete list of the new government can be found under government.

The members of the Noordkamer elected Pia Godeken-Möländer as their chairwoman.

Prince Willem Lodewijk in reality series
20 April 2011 - Prince Willem Lodewijk, the youngest brother of king Ernst I Frederik, has made a deal with broadcasting company O3 about a reality series about the prince. How much the company of billionaire Oscar A. Ottendorf Okrilla has payed the prince for his participation, is not clear. The prince's initiative has been met with surprise and outrage. An investigation will be conducted after possible political, institutional and diplomatic consequences that may ensue if both parties go through with their plan. Although not officially confirmed, the prince is in a relationship with the Marckonian princess Lovisa; if she will be part of the series as well, this might have consequences even outside Kronenburg.

In March the society magazine Public was forced by court to hand over pictures that were secretly made of the couple during their holiday in Elysion. What prompted the prince's present actions, remains a mystery.

Hans Dankert appointed Advisor General
4 April 2011 - In a surprise move, the economist Hans Dankert has been appointed Advisor General by the king. In the next few weeks, he will be responsible for finding parties that are able to form a suitable coalition government with each other, after the parliamentary elections of 23 March. Dankert, a member of the liberal Party for Equality (PvG), was chosen by the king instead of the political leader of that party, Ewald de Haan de Cronenburg. De Haan de Cronenburg made himself impossible as a candidate for the function of Advisor General, after expressing severe criticism at two countries Kronenburg has friendly relations with: Chimor and Palana. He implied that that those countries could not fit in the AGL because of their leftist forms of government.

Being appointed Advisor General, mr. Dankert is almost certain to succeed the current prime minister, Ernst-Piter Strikwerda, whose social-democratic party PSV lost half of its seats in the last election.

Nucleair facility construction paused
28 March 2011 - Today, the government has decided to put the construction of a new nucleair facility, south west of Friescheburg, on hold, after ongoing protests against the facility. Reason for these protests is the situation in Japan, where an earthquake and a tsunami dangerously damaged a nuclear facility in Fukushima. Reassuring words by energy minister Erwin Ruwaard or by Harma van der Aa, the director of the AGL energy institution EnerGeo, weren't enough to convince the general public that the facility in Kronenburg is built with modern techniques and safety measures in order to protect it against natural violence.

Most political parties were disappointed by the government's decision. They fear that the construction pause will make the facility more expensive. The PvG (liberals) and ROOS! (communists, greens, republicans), the two largest parties since last week's elections have opposite opinions on how to proceed: ROOS! wishes to completely cease building the powerplant, but the PvG likes to continue construction as soon as possible.