International: By 1955 Montelin’s economy and international status has declined significantly, making their hold on the occupied area on the Letaran peninsula tenuous. They still maintain their military bases and ports there, and are still a significant enough threat that it could only be taken back by force - and Letara is itself in no condition for an open conflict. So the status quo regarding the occupied territory is maintained. However, the counter-espionage efforts of Letara over the past decade have paid off, and the threat of Montelin’s infiltration has eased, and the internal security of Letara is not at peril for now. Letara’s relationship with Somunds remains warm, backed up by a continued free-trade agreement. Somunds was also instrumental in providing aid to Letara during its time of hardship. However, as its own economy is also in a downswing, Somunds’ aid is dwindling in this era, leaving Letara to recover on their own as best as they can…
Domestic: The austerity-focused government elected in 1953 quickly went to work to “balance the budget”, which meant an overhaul of spending and taxes in Letara. This was meant to bring the economy back on track. The government aimed to only spend where it was critically needed, and any expansion of services or industries was scrutinized to the n-th degree. Taxes were also readjusted in an effort to “make users pay”. Some of these measures backfired spectacularly, leading to more unemployment and a wildly unpredictable and overall decreasing economy in the five years of this government’s rule. Aided by two more natural disasters in '56 and '57, the economy of Letara hit rock bottom quickly. Interestingly, among the most secure jobs seemed to be working for international automotive corporations that have set up shop in Letara. This resulted in a favourable view of these corporations, and an overall increased car culture in Letara - for those that could afford a car that is. National unrest rose in this time, and people took to the streets to demand change. The austerity-focused government only lasted one term and was replaced in the '58 election with a government that promised significant investment into Letara, even it it comes at a cost of borrowing and deficits. In the short term this strategy seemed to work, and the economy started to turn back up, albeit slowly. As such, in the next election in '63, the same government was re-elected.
RP effects: The government will have a moderate to small spending budget (spending tokens) - these will be added to the pool of tokens the car companies collectively spend during Rd. 3 Preface. The gov’t spending priorities may or may not augment company spending, and will focus on job creation rather than large-scale infrastructure projects.
The economy of Letara was in decline from '47 to '53, but with the new government went into true and full recession. Rock bottom was hit in '57 following two more natural disasters, leaving the country in tatters in more ways than one. Unemployment skyrocketed to new heights and people started to become desperate. This was Letara’s great depression. People walked the streets with signs advertising their desperation and need for work - any kind of work. These “street walkers” later became “street inhabitants”, and the more there were, the more they started to walk in unison. By the time the elections in '58 came about, there were large “street marches” demanding change. Recovering from such a deep depression is going to be hard, but it seems that the new government elected in '58 is turning the tide, even if slowly. At least large demonstrations are easing in the early '60s and people are becoming more hopeful as more and more people are able to find work again.
RP effects: This is a truly drab time for Letara. Many are desperate and struggling to find hope as they struggle to find work. The middle-class has truly and fully collapsed, leaving a large portion of the population in “survival mode”. The rich… well, they are the rich, unperturbed by the hardship suffered by the majority of people. The upper echelons still enjoying their opulent lifestyle - although they do have to be more careful no to flaunt it as openly as before. Instead of previous admiration and envy, people look at the rich more with disdain and anger, and might just egg their house or new car.
Thanks to generous investment by private corporations, the forestry industry decimated in previous disasters was saved - but barely. The newly planted forests were initially growing well, and some old forests were even set aside as a new National Park to be enjoyed by nature-loving tourists! Of course this had its own problems, with firmly urban families without any outdoors experience entering nature for the first time expecting it to be have all the amenities of the city, and forgetting that they are not surrounded by caged zoo animals… Although the natural environment was a lot quieter in this period, it did start with a bit of a bang (literally) in '56 when Mt. Modred erupted again. Although this was a large eruption, leaving large areas covered in ash, the lava and pyroclastic flows mostly stuck to already devastated areas and caused little additional damage. Except to the aging and already strained old buildings of Mont Montelin that is. During the eruption the National Park and the town of Mont Modred did have to be evacuated on short notice. Large fires in '57 devastated some areas of the National Park and some remaining old-growth forest around Chanceille, making the survival of the forestry industry once again a little tenuous. Apparently city-dwellers do not know how to put out their campfires!
RP effects: The forestry economy continues to struggle, and will need continued support to survive - again. The National Park is a success, although it will need some generous public education as the urban population simply doesn’t know yet how to use this new resource respectfully and sustainably. Currently it still requires a lot of government resources to keep the park going. Mont Montelin’s old rustic buildings are definitely historic, but have suffered much damage in the past decade, and will need to be replaced. Either the resort town will wither and die, or it could be rebuilt into a more modern vacation destination…