UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Month 99, 301 AP.

Pres. Okarvits' military expansion cost triples!!

It broke on Wednesday afternoon - the story of a lifetime for the tiny Utan Krysaror Reporter newspaper. And by Thursday morning, every newspaper in the country was filled with the news: President Okarvits was about to blow the military expansion budget by over Û15 billion (Utanian punds) according to a memo from the office of the President.

The tiny newspaper has remained silent on who leaked the news, but the memo appears genuine: marked with the header "Secret" in bold what would have been red ink, it is the copy of a memo from the Minister for Defence to the President, a secret announcement that the estimates from suppliers of costs for the entire project was going to be between Û22 and 27 billion, for everything from the "Scorpions" to the lease of "one hundred fighter jets".

The news was flashed to the front page of every newspaper in the country, citing the President's statement that the military rearming was a "ten billion pund project". With costs sky-rocketing to almost triple that amount, the opposition became even more fervent to the plan, raising further fears that a parliamentary rebellion was imminent.

The "Peace Bloc", a twenty-two member government faction opposed to the extraordinary expenditure have been bolstered by the revelation, a further reason why the project should be scrapped. "Utania can defend herself with the help of allies and friends", declared John Seltzen MP, defacto leader of the bloc. "We must not allow ourselves to become the same repressive, militarist power that forces her neighbours to be "just like us" because we have the military strength to do so, just as our former-overlords did!"

The bloc may be bolstered in number, too, as other government MPs oppose the action. Most, however, have been more conciliatory: two-dozen have, one-by-one been noted to "privately approach" the President in a desperate attempt to convince him to back down. Nystonia-state Peoples Party MPs are also turning on the President, fearful that he has "done a deal" with the Liberal Nationalists not to oppose that state's Death Penalty law who will, in turn, support the President's military expansion.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)