UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: May 22nd, 301 AP.

Utania celebrates one year since the historic UNV vote

It was a year ago today that the UNV voted to grant Utania her independence from UNVCOCN administration, and the celebrations have been somewhat repeated albeit in somewhat muted tone.

A year ago, the junior speaker for the UNV General Assembly, Joachim Daal, opened the doors of the General Assembly room to announce to reporters the decision of the UNV General Assembly. Speaking with heavily-accented speech, the junior speaker announced that UNV Resolution 277/300 had been passed unanimously, and the almost fifty million Utanians simultaneously roared in celebratory approval.

Utania was only the third nation to gain full independence from the former Guwimith Empire (Guwimith itself is technically an autonomous region). Furthermore, it took a great deal of campaigning by UNVCOCN Director Gordon Davidz to convince the UNV that the new country could suceed when both South Bay and Begral had both largely collapsed as democratic nations.

Yet, while celebrations have been seen across the country, many are asking what has changed. The people remain poor, there continues to be worker exploitation and divisive wealth differences between the east coast and rest of the country, and the government is haphazardly addressing such matters.

"Perhaps it would be better to still be under the Empire", said one Utani man in Shecker who claimed there was little to be celebrated. He earns 25 a day working in a car parts factory and knows he is one of the better paid Utani men. Yet, he struggles to pay the Û50 rent and feed his family. "Where is this benefit of independence?"

Others are less pessimistic. "Better poor under my own government than poor under the whip of the Tsar", said a toothless aging Utani man in the forestry-city of Letherington. "We now have a chance at prosperity", offers his more toothy friend. "That is more than we had before."

©UPA, 301 AP.

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