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Original | Scanlation: orzeski, madhatterarashi, minako85
LJ Post 1, 2

■In just 2 minutes you can grasp the exterior of the European economy■

In this manga, a nation having a cold = something like a recession.
By the way, when they're physically unwell,
the nation's politics or economy is having problems.

At the beginning of the 1990s, Spain was so poor
that the only way he could get food was to work in America.
However, he is now the most best-performing country in the EU.

He is a king who is trapped in poverty due to heavy debts.
He has lost his international standing after getting beaten up by America.
Shake off your pitiful past and work hard!

■The Flower-making Family■

For some reason, the people of German ancestry have the spirit of a true artisan.
However, the Austrians (especially those in Vienna) have the spirit of a
true artisan + a carefree personality + a fixation on achieving perfection,
so they tend to not get things done.

Due to these traits, the economy of Austria seldom has drastic changes.
In these current times, Spain's method of doing
a reasonably well job of things might be better.

People from Germany have the spirit of a true artisan but it seems like
a lot of them are also of the 'must meet the deadline' type.

■Switzerland and the Banks■

It is because they love strikes.
In France, strikes are like a daily occurrence that happens everywhere.

When you want to go to an art gallery, you can't enter because there is a strike.
Then, when you want to go to another place, the buses and trains are all on strike.
You are all tired out and you want to go back, but the hotel is on strike.
Finally, you found a cheap hostel but the electricity is on strike.
Even the government workers go on strike when they are angry!

By the way, even the gas and water industries go on strike as they like.
They just start a strike without thinking of the people!

So, in the Kingdom of Strikes, France, there is such a thing called a 'Strike Schedule'.
If you don't refer to it when you are planning a trip there, a situation like ? will really happen.
However, strikes sometimes happen without warning so you can't let your guard down.

Apparently there was even once when the national railway did not run for a month...
I wonder how the French got around during that time?

Everyone, if you want to visit the France, the nation that does not want to work because of whatever reason, please take care.

When you put it in order in a simple way, Europe is like this.

■Central Europe■

■North Europe/Baltic area■

Even though he's quietly pestered by Russia, Estonia shows a high growth rate. He's a clever and honourable baltic student.

Then, also Finland, that has friendly relationships with that Estonia, is promising and in a good shape. He's his most important partner in reciprocal exchanges.

Also Sweden is in a good shape but the more he earns, the more he withers because of taxes and so the feelings towards the country doesn't seems good.

Latvia's economy too, thanks to the EU, is growing bit by bit. Because of this, inflation got up and for the average citizen the price of things just got higher and higher.

Besides this, the things Latvia owns are owned also by the neighbouring countries (mainly farming and, for example, potato). So, when you compare him with the others two baltic countries, it seems like his growth rate is slow.

■Turkey, Greece■

Although Greece managed to get into the EU for a number of reasons, he barely manages to fill completely the trade deficit with tourism. But, by becoming a member of the EU, since his growth rate after the introduction of Euro is great, it seems like sooner or later he will be able to recover.

It's been a while since Turkey wanted to enter the EU, but since there are a lot of problems, like the fact that he's in the Islamic area, the fights with Greece concerning the isle of Cyprus, the too many differences in the structure of economy and administration of justice, even now he can't join it.

The countries inside EU think : "Turkey is not good", but they can't quite blurt it out.
Moreover, if he were to be involved in a fight with Greece inside the EU, it would be troublesome

■Eastern Europe■

And now, the disastrous Eastern Europe.
The honourable student Hungary was thought of having got better by entering the EU but now she gives a feeling of stagnation. She would like to introduce Euro but she can't.

Hungary and Austria are still on a good direction, but the others Eastern European countries have a GDP that's less than one third of Greece's one. Expecially Moldova has a GDP that's 1/43 of Greece's one.

Moreover, the hand of that same Russia that caused the period of eclipse of Hungary still extends on her. It is said that there are discussions between the EU and Russia concerning Hungary's resources.

The EU has suggested Hungary : "Don't go out with Russia" but Hungary said:

"In the past I've suffered cruel things, but if I can rise my gains, it's really a lucky find! Well, let's try at least to listen to what he have to say!"

Because of this attitude, she's getting the EU worried. Hungary is going-my-way.

It's a digression but Japan's popularity in Hungary is very high: "We can trust Japan". The people who gave this answer were over 85%.

■Collection of digressions■
Talks about mafia

■South Italy's mafia■

South Italy's mafia has an history of 200 years, it's a criminal organization that has his base, for example, in Sicily. They said that even now the South of Italy is controlled by this organization and that even the government is seized in the back by mafia.

By the way, during WW2, Mafia once reached a situation of destruction because of Mussolini's influence. Mafia reached this kind of situation only in this moment, never before, never after.

It's an inconsequential story but it's said that also in Poland there had been something like that, but that it disappeared within a few years.

■The "Kidnapping" industry of the mafia that haunt South Italy■

Among the main industry of South Italy there's "Kidnapping". Literally, the kidnapping of famous people in the streets and the request of receiving a ransom. The mafia organizations existed already 50 years ago for the sake of kidnapping and even now they act and aim at famous people who wander around defenceless.

The cases in which mafia has its breath even on policemen are many and to save the kidnapped is important how to gave the ransom quickly.
They said that confinement methods of mafia's prisoners are not halfhearted, that they are dealt with similarly to animals, that they're treated rudely and that they're not given food sufficiently.

Besides, this mafia's industry it's said to choke 7% of Italy's economy.

South Italy has a high unemployment rate and, in addiction to low salaries, houses and fortunes are taken by Mafia and by the others criminal organizations of equal violence. However, since police is useless, the average people who live in the South of Italy, when they save even just some money, they try to escape towards the big cities of North Italy.
That those beautiful sceneries would become uninhabited ruins because of mafia is a sad thing.

■French people say : "In the end, we want to do elegantly our work too"■

Before, France has made a system that say : "By shortening the working hours of a single man, let's allow more people to get employed" but...

"Eh? It even get shortened of two hours? Then, I'll have to work to make up for those two hours...I hate being busy. Surely, tea time will desappear. Life should be more slow."

Because of this typical French reason, since ferocious oppositions stirred up, in the end they ended up not doing it.

On the other hand UK, that hate to work, once again differently from France, to make this system prevail stopped the subway and acted violently in the streets. And somehow, he's said to have made this system prevail.
On top of that, he even rose up salaries.

Translator's Notes:
Obviously, the economical situations described in this strip refer to the years before the on-going economical crisis. Then, the third character together with Austria and Hungary MAY BE Moldova, since he's the only other country mentioned in the Eastern Europe's part but...I seriously don't know.

Beside this, the last three digressions (which are really just text, there are no images) need some clarifications...

[Talks about mafia]:
First of all, let's say that in the South of Italy there are four different criminal societies: Mafia/Cosa Nostra(Sicily), 'Ndrangheta(Calabria), Camorra(Campania), Sacra Corona Unita(Apulia). They act in different zones, have different structures and different way of acting. That being said, while Mafia,'Ndrangheta and Camorra have indeed a history of over 200 years, Sacra Corona Unita was created around 1981. Also, the one that was more heavily weakened during WW2 was Mafia, however not because of Mussolini's influence, but rather because of the iron-fisted campaigns done by Cesare Mori.
As for kidnapping, Mafia hardly do it. It draw too much attention, and if sometimes someone really disappear is the so called "Lupara bianca": They kidnap, they kill and make the corpse disappear. No ransom. The one that used to do kidnapping of famous persons and ask for a ransom was 'Ndrangheta. However, since in the end kidnapping really draw too much attention, it stopped doing it.

As for the bit about Poland's mafia, it seems like it developed mostly during the time of the fall of communism and it's still active...(Anyone who knows something more, please, tell!)

[French people say: "In the end we want to do elegantly our work too"]
This digression left me a bit perplexed. Since it talks about shortening working hours, I thought that it was about the 35-hour working week France adopted in 2000, which proved to be highly controversial and was changed through the years thanks to laws that extended the possibilities of overtime hours. However, I found no evidence about UK ever having a 35-hour working week.
So I thought he was talking about the EU's Working Time Directive, since it seems like UK adopted it while France did not. However, since before this Directive France had a 39-hours working week and the EU said you should have a 48-hours one, this digression should have talked about lenghtening the time, not shortening!
If someone living at Arthur's or Francis's place know something more about this, please, feel free to tell!

Axis Powers Hetalia and its characters belong to Himaruya Hidekaz and Gentosha comics.