¡Viva la Republica!
With its expulsion from Spain, Alqueria needed an executive structure. A show of hands would determine the form of government and its officials. The high powered inertia of the Alquerian people meant that only one in eight of the population bothered to turn out. The debate over the form of government saw a contest between a monarchy, suggested by Rodriquez and a republic. Rodriguez’s model involved him being absolute dictator with his family as rightful heirs and therefore successors. Rodriquez’s family were well qualified in the Monarchic stakes as they were already thoroughly interbred. This form of government, he argued would alleviate the necessity for time wasting elections in the future.
The people of the village may not be the most astute of folk, but they saw through this one and properly went for the alternative. The Republic of Alqueria duly came into existence. Rodriquez and Antonio Poyato became joint presidents. This was necessary to avoid civil unrest between the barrios. Cartera Tomás became the Minister of Finance. Within an hour of him taking up his post his Greek counterpart phoned requesting a loan. Tomás agreed and insisted the Parthenon was used as security. He sent a cheque for 2bn Raros, the new currency of Alqueria to Athens. This was approximately equal to 2.50 Euros. The Parthenon was dismantled and duly shipped. It is piled to the east of the Río Verde, one gigantic construction kit. The Greek Government has since built a papier-mâché replica on the Acropolis. No one seems to have noticed the difference.
The sympathy vote went once again to the town’s resident Englishman Blythe Gruntmore who was made the Minister of Sport. His first task was to write to the International Athletics Association to arrange for Olympic status for the Alquerian over 80s pole vaulting team. Unfortunately he filled in the wrong forms and inadvertently joined NATO. They requested an aircraft carrier, two frigates and a squadron of stealth bombers for peace keeping duties. Blythe went into hiding.
Manuela became the Minister of Culture. Her cultural activities were imaginative as much as they were exhausting. The cultural exchanges between Alqueria and certain Scandinavian countries proved extremely popular. Nation after nation queued to recognise the fledgling Republic. Some were however under the mistaken belief that Alqueria was an oil rich North African state. A misconception that the Alquerian establishment were slow to correct. There were many red faces in foreign ministries across the world when the truth was known. Not a potentially lucrative ally but a village of eight hundred misfits and malcontents whose only exports were Remitroot Liquor and an inferior olive oil.
As newspapers across the western world carried the details of Alqueria’s story its people began their isolation. Forced back upon their own resources they stood defiantly behind the barricades.