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          Here's What Happens In The Original, Terrible 'Game Of Thrones' Pilot That Never Aired      Cache   Translate Page      

“One of the most painful experiences of my life.”

That’s how David Benioff once described seeing friends test-screen his and co-showrunner Dan Weiss’ original “Game of Thrones” pilot in 2010. After that viewing, more than 90 percent of the episode was supposedly reshot before it aired on HBO in April 2011, eventually leading to the phenomenon that the series is today.

But that first terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pilot ― called a “piece of shit” by the showrunners’ screenwriter friend Craig Mazin ― never saw the light of day. It became legend, something that could live only in Old Nan’s stories. Or so we thought.

It’s an oft-forgotten fact that George R.R. Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels serve as inspiration for “Game of Thrones,” has been depositing old copies of his writing to Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library in College Station for more than two decades. He is said to have fallen in love with Cushing’s sci-fi collection and its archival system during visits to AggieCon as far back as the 1970s and decided to make the quiet spot in Texas a home for his massive catalog of original manuscripts.

The resulting collection at the library takes up multiple walls, the first of which is properly called the Wall. It’s a collection so vast, it’d make Samwell Tarly’s head spin, staffed by a team of dedicated librarians and professors who serve as a kind of Night’s Watch. Among the archive’s many files are manuscripts for the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and ― as I learned during a trip to Texas over the summer ― a box containing a production draft of that painful “Game of Thrones” pilot. 

An early version of the pilot script supposedly surfaced online years ago, but the script’s authenticity was never officially verified. No one seemed to know how similar it was to the rejected pilot that HBO shot or how much it differed; scripts often go through various rewrites, so the mysterious version floating around online could have been from any phase of revisions. 

I had three days to spend in Texas, but it took only five minutes to realize the script online and the one at Cushing are different. There are reasons to believe that the version in Texas is similar to the pilot script that HBO shot: The production draft at Cushing is dated Oct. 22, 2009, right around the time the unaired pilot started filming. The Cushing script credits the unaired pilot’s original director, Tom McCarthy, who was later replaced in reshoots by Tim Van Patten. Plus, in terms of content, the Cushing script contains storylines that have been rumored to be in the unaired pilot script (as we’ll get into below) ― key story departures, dialogue alterations and location changes that cast the Seven Kingdoms in a different light.

“Game of Thrones” isn’t returning until April 2019, but fans are already bracing for a final season full of callbacks to early moments in the show, which will complete its eight-year “massive jigsaw puzzle,” as it was described by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister.

In advance of the season premiere, we exhaustively rummage through the secrets hidden in the pilot script from Martin’s collection, involving everything from an unreleased Cersei Lannister moment to a really drunk Jon Snow making a scene. Here’s what Westeros might have looked like if that “piece of shit” pilot had aired:

 

The Cersei scene that might ruffle some feathers

Let’s begin with a defining scene between King Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark in the Winterfell crypts. 

The scene that aired on HBO is slightly different from the scene in the Cushing script, but the gist is the same. Robert asks Ned to be his new Hand of the King, a position left open after Jon Arryn’s death. That’s when Robert places something small but highly symbolic on a statue of his onetime betrothed, Lyanna Stark: a feather. 

And that pretty much sums up the sequence you saw in Season 1:

But in the script found in the Cushing library, Queen Cersei plays a pivotal role in this exchange’s aftermath ― so much so that her involvement would have changed a Season 5 episode, the recent Season 8 teaser and possibly more. 

The following scene is written into the pilot script found at Cushing and involves Cersei visiting the crypts right before the feast at Winterfell:

Cersei exits the crypts, crosses the courtyard and walks into the antechamber between the kitchen and the Winterfell great hall. The celebration for the king’s arrival is underway, and servants are rushing past her with food. The queen’s handmaidens make adjustments to her outfit and remove her heavy fur.

Then Cersei reveals something she has inside her sleeve:

Why does it matter?

The episode that aired on HBO gave no indication that Cersei was aware of the feather Robert placed on Lyanna’s statue, let alone that she removed it to be burned.

Without this intervention, the feather goes on to play an important role in HBO’s recent Season 8 “Game of Thrones” teaser, falling to the ground as Jon Snow walks by and freezing when a wave of cold air rolls over it.

Even before that, the feather was featured in Season 5, Episode 4, “Sons of the Harpy,” when Sansa Stark visits the Winterfell crypts and comes across the token Robert placed on the statue years ago.

The series’ creators, Benioff and Weiss, acknowledged the feather’s station in the crypts to Making of Game of Thrones, explaining that, after all this time, the feather would surely still be there because there “hasn’t been a janitorial crew going down and vacuuming.”

“We thought it would be kind of a great thing,” they added, “to have Sansa wondering about it.” 

Why Sansa? And why a feather?

If you’ve been living under a Casterly Rock your entire life, you might’ve missed the curious role that birds play in “Game of Thrones.” There’s Varys’ spy network of “little birds,” there’s the High Sparrow, there’s the Three-Eyed Raven, and then there’s Sansa, who is often referred to as a “little bird” or “little dove.” These characters have a few things in common: They’re misunderstood, underestimated and often hold powerful information.

The feather could hint at how Lyanna, too, was a misunderstood character, another little bird. It could also serve as a symbol for her secret, her child, Jon Snow.

Now remember, in the Season 5 episode in which the feather reappears, viewers still think Lyanna had been kidnapped and raped by Prince Rhaegar. It hadn’t been revealed that she and Rhaegar were actually in love, married and had a baby — a secret that, with her dying breath, she made her brother Ned promise to keep.

The connection to Jon is reiterated in that Season 8 teaser when he looks back at the feather. Could Cersei’s burning the feather in the scrapped pilot script have been a hint at something else on the way? Will she do the same to Jon?

With Dany’s dragons flying around and Cersei having blown up part of King’s Landing with wildfire, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine a fiery run-in between Cersei and Jon in the future.

The cut feather scene is perhaps the first small hint of Cersei’s penchant for burning her enemies’ “cities to the ground,” as she likes to say. Considering HBO’s “Dragonstone” teaser from late in 2018, which shows a fire engulfing the signature Lannister lion, more flames are likely in the Lannisters’ future. And, just possibly, Jon Snow’s.

 

The much more consensual sex scene between Dany and Khal Drogo

One of the more substantial differences between the script at Cushing and the episode that aired on HBO can be observed in the writing of Daenerys Targaryen’s marriage consummation scene.

In the Cushing script, Dany has a lot more control. She smiles when she realizes Drogo can say only the word “no” in her language, she helps him take rings out of his hair and, most important, she ultimately consents to sex: 

This is far from the scene that aired on HBO, in which she cries as he undresses her, then has sex with her from behind. The more consensual framing of the scene is straight out of Martin’s books, which explains why it was included in an earlier version of the script; the pilot script at Cushing tends to hew closer to Martin’s words.

The version of the scene that aired, however, is traumatic. Daenerys is raped. Her relationship with Drogo eventually grows into love, but that doesn’t erase the fact that he raped her — and does so time and time again.

She addresses these rapes in her first conversation with Jon in Season 7, telling him, “I’ve been shamed and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith, not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself, in Daenerys Targaryen.”

Why does it matter?

Though a consensual scene would have been less traumatic to watch, Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke spoke about her character’s rape to Glamour in 2016, explaining some possible reasoning behind the scene:

At the heart of it, we’re telling a story; you need that part of the story to feel empathy for Daenerys. You see her attacked by her brother, raped by her husband, and then going, “F―k all of you, I’m gonna rule the world.” That’s where we are now.

A rape scene is hardly necessary to build empathy for Dany’s plight, but as Clarke said, it underscores the terrors Dany overcame and her transformation from a scared, abused child into the khaleesi.

Somewhere between her rape and her decision to sleep with Jon, aka King of the Squats, in Season 7, a completely different Mother of Dragons has emerged.

 

The much more confusing sex scene between Jaime and Cersei

After watching the “Game of Thrones” premiere on HBO, fans are well aware that Jaime and Cersei are related. It’s a pretty pivotal plot point. Interestingly, one of the most prominent critiques lodged against the unaired pilot was that this info wasn’t clear enough. Early viewers didn’t know Jaime and Cersei Lannister are brother and sister.

Perhaps that’s why a scene featuring the incestuous siblings talking at King’s Landing was added to the episode that aired. In it, the two basically chat about how very, very related they are and how if anyone discovered their secret affair, their heads would be on spikes.

“As your brother, I feel it’s my duty to warn you, you worry too much,” Jaime explicitly states. This scene is not in the Cushing pilot script or the script previously available online, as io9 points out.

Keeping in mind that many viewers of the original pilot didn’t understand the Lannister twins’ relationship, a scene in the script at Cushing would have made it even more complicated. (Get out of here, Bran. You don’t want to see this.)

In all versions of the pilot, Bran Stark climbs the exterior of a tower at Winterfell and happens upon a window, through which he peeps a naked man and woman (Jaime and Cersei). In the script at Cushing, however, the encounter reads slightly differently, with Cersei telling Jaime to stop:

Why does it matter? 

In the episode that aired, Cersei objects to Jaime only after she spots Bran inadvertently being a little creep in the window.

In contrast, in Martin’s book and the script at Cushing, she protests much sooner. It’s confusing to Bran and possibly would’ve been confusing to TV viewers too.

Consider how this scene would have affected Jaime’s triumphant moment in Season 7, when he chooses to walk away from a power-hungry Cersei. Until that point, audiences are meant to believe he has always been under Cersei’s control; only then is he able to break free from her influence. The Cushing version of Jaime and Cersei’s sex scene could have made this harder to swallow.

In a show riddled with constant backstabbing, endless subplots and so many characters you remember as What’s His Name and Who’s Her Face, the less confusing a scene, the better.

 

The White Walkers who wouldn’t shut up

The Cushing pilot script opens a lot like the episode that aired: Three men from the Night’s Watch are tracking down wildlings when they are ambushed by White Walkers. Things don’t go well.

In the early pilot script, one of those men, Will, realizes the bodies of the dead wildlings have vanished and proceeds to climb a tree to get a better view. He does this right before the Walkers arrive, and his decision is a lifesaving one. In contrast to the aired episode, which shows a Walker sparing a member of the Watch from death for some unknown reason, it’s Will’s position in the tree that prevents him from being killed along with the others.

The White Walkers descend on the other two men, all the while speaking a language of ice:

Will stays in the tree. He’s going to let this one just play out.

Why does it matter?

At this point, White Walker dialogue is well documented. It just has never shown up on TV. However, it’s in the books, it’s referred to by Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson after she reviewed a number of “Game of Thrones” scripts, it shows up in the pilot script floating around online and it’s also in the one from Martin’s collection at Cushing.

I asked “Game of Thrones” language creator David Peterson about the White Walker dialogue, which he named Skroth, in a previously unpublished portion of a 2017 interview.

Reflecting on early plans for the White Walkers to speak, he told me he originally put something together for the opening scene of the show.

“I came up with basically some dialogue. I recorded it, and then I suggested to them, ‘Here’s how you might modify it digitally to give it a unique sound,’” he said. Peterson wanted the language to sound like it was described in Martin’s books, like “the cracking of ice on a winter lake.” Though, we imagine that could’ve possibly looked like a White Walker whose mouth is filled with pop rocks.

“It didn’t get used for the pilot, and then there was discussion they were thinking about using it in Season 2,” he said. “They said they tried it, and it just wasn’t working out, so they abandoned the idea.”

Peterson sent me a pre-effects example of the White Walker dialogue, which he previously played at conventions and gave us permission to include. Here’s an early version of what a White Walker would’ve sounded like:

At the time, he said, “Game of Thrones” sound designer Paula Fairfield was still hopeful they could use it one day, but that obviously hasn’t happened.

It’s not the only language casualty. Peterson said he created a full language for the Children of the Forest in Season 6, but for a variety of reasons (a desire to avoid the need for subtitles during action sequences, stunt people having difficulty with their lines), they “were either cut or shortened, and all of them were turned into English.”

“It was an idea. They tried it. It just didn’t work,” he said.

 

The time Jon Snow got wasted

In the “Game of Thrones” pilot that aired, Jon does not make an appearance in the memorable great hall scene. Instead, he stays outside, heeding Catelyn Stark’s wishes that Jon — who she and almost everyone else believes is Ned’s bastard son — not be present.

But in the pilot script at Cushing, he sits inside. He’s not at the highborn table, but he manages to have a drunken conversation with Benjen Stark in the great hall anyway.

Our guy is left alone to drink more wine and eventually causes a scene:

The scene in the Cushing pilot script is almost exactly the same as the scene in Martin’s novel A Game of Thrones. From the book:

He must have drunk more wine than he had realized. His feet got tangled under him as he tried to leave, and he lurched sideways into a serving girl and sent a flagon of spiced wine crashing to the floor. Laughter boomed all around him. 

Beyond the exclusion of Snow’s drunken escapade, the Cushing version of the sequence was drastically rearranged to form the scenes that aired on HBO. For example, in the episode that aired, the confrontation between Ned and Jaime in the great hall ends after Ned says, “I don’t fight in tournaments because when I fight a man for real, I don’t want him to know what I can do.”

Jaime replies, “Well said.”

But in the Cushing pilot script, as well as the one that has been online, the moment continues long enough for Jaime to remind Ned of how his brother and father were killed:

It continues:

A flashback of Ned’s brother Brandon being killed also purportedly existed in an early version of the filmed pilot (a screenshot exists online), but this is not included in the script at Cushing (though it could have fit in around this conversation). 

The Cushing version of the scene goes even further, with Ned leaving and Tyrion, who overheard everything, telling Jaime, “If it came down to it, Brother, I’d bet on you ― but I wouldn’t bet much.” Tyrion then downs another tankard of wine, realizes he drank too much, staggers out of the hall and eventually talks to Jon outside.

Why does it matter?

While it would’ve been fun to see the future King in the North get shitfaced (you know nothing about holding your alcohol, Jon Snow), it’s so much extra character interaction to digest that you could be left feeling as dizzy as Tyrion. 

There are a few moments that are really important from the Winterfell feast scenes, and Jon’s conversations with Tyrion and Benjen are at the forefront. The conversation with Tyrion is referred to in Season 7, when Tyrion writes Jon a letter that includes “All dwarves are bastards in their father’s eyes.” It’s a line Tyrion says in their first chat, and it seemingly convinces Jon he’ll be safe when he travels to see Daenerys.

Of course, with Benjen he talks about going to serve in the Night’s Watch at the Wall, which he clearly does and then lives happily ever after. 

The other character interactions, while entertaining, could have distracted from the truly important moments, so let’s all pour one out for Jon’s long-lost wasted scene.

 

The weird Catelyn who wanted Sansa to be queen

Catelyn and Daenerys were originally played by different actors — Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant, respectively. Before Michelle Fairley took on the role of Catelyn, the character’s personality was a lot different too.

For example, in a bedroom scene in the pilot script, Catelyn urges Ned to accept Robert’s offer of betrothal between Joffrey and Sansa and to head south with the king.

Maester Luwin then enters with the note from her sister Lysa, saying that the Lannisters murdered her husband, Jon Arryn. Ned has no choice but to take up his old friend Robert’s request to be the new Hand of the King and go to King’s Landing to figure out what’s going on.

In the episode that aired, however, Catelyn urges Ned to stay in the North, claiming that she’ll confront Robert and tell him, “Listen, fat man. You are not taking my husband anywhere. He belongs to me now.”

You tell ’em, Cat.

Why does it matter?

In terms of the differences between the pilot script at Cushing and the episode that aired, Catelyn is my pick for most improved character. Benioff and Weiss were smart to realize that fans have pages and pages to get to know the Catelyn in the books but only a few scenes to get to know her on the show. The Cushing script might have made Catelyn seem a bit title obsessed, like Season 1 Sansa, who was, objectively, the worst.

Just ask Season 1 Arya Stark.

Instead, the showrunners chose to lean into the image of the Stark matriarch as a protective mother and wife who would later fend off an assassin in an effort to save her injured Bran.

It’s also worth noting that after reading Lysa’s letter in the Cushing script, Catelyn says to Ned:

In the episode that aired, Catelyn stops after saying Jon Arryn was murdered by the Lannisters. She doesn’t say, “By the queen.”

John Standing, the actor who plays the dearly departed Jon Arryn, once said the original pilot included a “lunatic” scene in which Cersei watches his character die. Though this scene isn’t included in the script at Cushing, a line about Jon Arryn being killed by the queen paves the way for the bit to have been added later.

 

The time Joffrey Baratheon, First of his Name, was a jerk from the start

When “Game of Thrones” begins, you don’t realize Joffrey is quite as turdish as he is until Episode 2, when Tyrion slaps him silly for not going to the Starks to offer sympathies after Bran’s fall. But in the pilot script at Cushing, you get the impression that Joffrey is a walking, talking pile of human excrement right away.

At a training session between the Lannisters and Starks, Bran has just finished pummeling Tommen Baratheon with a wooden sword, and Ser Rodrik, Winterfell’s master-at-arms, asks Robb Stark and Joffrey if they’d like to go another round. Robb’s in, but Joffrey complains that he’s “tired of swatting at Starks with a play sword.” He suggests “live steel,” and Rodrik is just not cool with that.

While the pilot script gives Robb this early interaction with Joffrey, it omits many other scenes that made their way to air — the Winterfell scene where Bran is learning archery with his family, the scene in which Sansa and Arya are practicing their stitching, the scene in which Sansa begs Catelyn to let her go to King’s Landing and the infamous shaving scene in which the Stark boys stand around shirtless and flexing.

Why does it matter?

The Joffrey moment could have added tension later in the series — for instance, during the War of the Five Kings skit at Joffrey’s wedding, which features someone riding around with a wolf’s head to represent the decapitated Robb. But it seems likely that some minor scenes like this were cut in order to make room for more vital moments, such as getting to know the Starks. And, frankly, more Starks and less Joffrey sounds like a winning formula, bare-chested flexing and all.

The final takeaways

In addition to the cut scenes, there were quite a few subtle differences between the script available online and the one from Martin’s official collection in Texas. In the version online, Tyrion pets the Stark direwolf Ghost, his brothel scene takes place at King’s Landing (not in the North), and there’s a long scene meant to describe a now-discarded title sequence.

But none of this happens in the script at the Cushing library. (In fact, as far as the credits go, the script there describes an opening sequence with just the words “TITLE CARD: GAME OF THRONES.”)

There are some less significant but amusing details sandwiched into the script at Cushing too. Ned, who’s about the grimmest dude around, makes a joke in the crypts:

The line was taken out and given to Jaime in Season 1, Episode 3: 

Various shooting locations changed as well. For instance, Dany’s wedding was originally filmed in Morocco and featured a cameo from Martin himself as a Pentoshi (something that could have easily fit into the Cushing script, since it mentions “Merchants of Pentos” gathered for the ceremony). However, when Clarke was brought in as the replacement Daenerys, the subplot was altered and reshot in Malta.

The Cushing script alone doesn’t reveal exactly why the original pilot was such a “massive problem,” as Mazin put it. Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, touched on that version’s “mistakes,” telling The Guardian, “It didn’t look right, didn’t feel right.” The devil is likely in the scene execution details, which we might never see, although he said the showrunners would threaten to release the pilot on YouTube when he pissed them off. Perhaps the early drunk scenes weren’t the King in the North’s finest hour.

Still, reading the script at Cushing, I got a sense of how even small changes would have led to a vastly different show. One of the most interesting aspects for me ― a moment that would’ve changed the way some future “Game of Thrones” scenes unfold and added some foreshadowing ― was Cersei’s cut scene. As the adage goes, where there’s smoke, there’s ... Cersei trying to light something on fire.

The scenes illustrated by Lena Vargas Afanasieva are not meant to be exact depictions of the scripted sequences.

Additional reporting by Leigh Blickley and Sara Boboltz.


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I'm a 32 year old white lad that is looking to meet up with black top guys - this would be easier if you are UK based. Also interested in finding out about the gay scene in Africa as I intend to visit - looking at Nigeria at the moment but Morocco is easy. If anyone knows of a good place to go then let me know
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United Real Estate Co., a unit of Kuwait Projects Co, and Marriott International said in a joint statement on Saturday that they had agreed to open a resort near Marrakech.

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          Marriott teams up with Kuwait Projects on St. Regis resort in Morocco      Cache   Translate Page      

United Real Estate Co., a unit of Kuwait Projects Co, and Marriott International said in a joint statement on Saturday that they had agreed to open a resort near Marrakech.

The post <a href=http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/M-3yq5MKYPw/marriott-teams-up-with-kuwait-projects-on-st-regis-resort-in-morocco-idUSKCN1PY0CX target=_blank >Marriott teams up with Kuwait Projects on St. Regis resort in Morocco</a> appeared first on Wide World of Work.


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NOTE VERBALE FROM THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE: NIR
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Set of 2 Black Morocco Aluminum Swivel Rocker Outdoor Patio Chairs w/ Sunbrella Cushions - 32733390

From the Morocco Collection

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3-Piece Black Morocco Swivel Rocker Outdoor Patio Chat Set w/ Sunbrella Cushions - 32733383

From the Morocco Collection

Beautifully crafted, this patio set is the perfect addition to your patio decor
Patio dining set features an elegantly designed ornate pattern on each of the pieces

This patio dining set is super sturdy and built to last, even in strong winds you won't have..

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The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is pleased to launch the Call for Applications for the 2019 edition of the Young Peacebuilders in Middle East and North Africa programme.  Application Deadline: 23rd February 2019 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (New York). Eligible Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi […]
          Vatican releases program for Apostolic Journey to Morocco      Cache   Translate Page      
Vatican News has this piece here.
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United Real Estate Co., a unit of Kuwait Projects Co, and Marriott International said in a joint statement on Saturday that they had agreed to open a resort near Marrakech. Δείτε περισσότερα: Reuters.com


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KTFA

JJonesMX » February 9th, 2019


I found it curious (even IRAQ in a transitional stage) ....that Christine Lagarde; had no mention of IRAQ as an emerging country Amongst the other/s neighboring countries.... Time will tell

Laying the Foundations of Good Fiscal Management in the Arab World

By Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Fourth Arab Fiscal Forum, Dubai
February 9, 2019

As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning--Sabah Al-Khair! I am delighted to be back in Dubai, this city of tomorrow, where you—its economic leaders—are dedicated to realizing the vision of a better tomorrow.

This vision is predicated on prosperity that is shared by all, benefiting the poor and the middle class, citizens and immigrants alike; and opportunities that are open to all, including women. It is a vision of fairness over cronyism and partiality, and of trust that government policy is oriented toward the common good.

​This is a big vision. But as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum once said “The bigger your vision, the bigger your achievement will be…we cannot let fear keep us small. We have to be brave to be big."

As you know so well, fiscal policy plays a vital role in creating and nurturing this vision of sustainable and inclusive growth—especially as encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. This is because we need fiscal space for spending on health, education, social protection, and public investment—all key priorities in this region.

This is why I wanted to come back to the Arab Fiscal Forum—my fourth time now. In past years, I talked in detail about fiscal policy—the spending and revenue measures needed to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. This year, I want to go one level deeper—into the foundations of fiscal policy and good fiscal management.

Because without a stable foundation, even the best policies can flounder. Without a stable foundation, fiscal policy will lack credibility.

In this vein, I will address two key pillars of good fiscal management: (i) strong fiscal frameworks; and (ii) good governance and transparency.

Prelude: Global and regional context

Before I do this, let me say a few words about the broader economic context bearing on fiscal policy in the region.

Unfortunately, the region has yet to fully recover from the global financial crisis and other big economic dislocations over the past decade.

Among oil importers, growth has picked up, but it is still below pre-crisis levels. Fiscal deficits remain high, and public debt has risen rapidly—from 64 percent of GDP in 2008 to 85 percent of GDP a decade later. Public debt now exceeds 90 percent of GDP in nearly half of these countries.

The oil exporters have not fully recovered from the dramatic oil price shock of 2014. Modest growth continues, but the outlook is highly uncertain—reflecting in part the need for countries to shift rapidly toward renewable energy over the new few decades, in line with the Paris Agreement.

With revenues down, fiscal deficits are only slowly declining—despite significant reforms on both the spending and revenue sides, including the introduction of VAT and excise taxes. This has led to a sharp increase in public debt—from 13 percent of GDP in 2013 to 33 percent in 2018.

At this juncture, the global expansion is weakening, and risks are rising. Just a few weeks ago, we released our revised forecasts. We now think that the global economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year, 0.2 percentage points below what we expected in October. And risks are up, given escalating trade tensions and tightening financial conditions.

Unsurprisingly, a weaker global environment has knock-on effects on the region through a variety of channels—trade, remittances, capital flows, commodity prices, and financing conditions.

The bottom line: the economic path ahead for the region is challenging. This makes the task of fiscal policy that much harder, which in turn makes it even more important to build strong foundations to anchor fiscal policy.

1. Fiscal Frameworks

The first building block of this foundation is a good fiscal framework. By this I mean the set of laws, institutional arrangements, and procedures needed to achieve a country’s fiscal policy objectives. Such a framework allows governments to map out budgets over the medium term in a way that reflects clear, consistent, and credible goals.

There is scope to improve fiscal frameworks in this region. Some of the weaknesses are short-termism and insufficient credibility.

On short-termism: given that inclusive and sustainable growth is an inherently medium-term goal, fiscal policy needs a medium-term orientation.

Focusing on the immediate horizon makes it harder to implement critical but longer-term reforms in such areas as tackling high public wage bills, designing effective social protection systems, and getting rid of harmful fuel subsidies. Short-termism implies that fiscal policy amplifies rather than tames the waves of booms and busts—making it more difficult to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.

Turning to fiscal credibility: I am referring to such factors as large amounts of spending kept off-budget and poor risk management. Across the region, it is common for sovereign wealth funds to directly finance projects, bypassing the normal budget process.

And state-owned enterprises in some countries have high levels of borrowing—again, outside of the budget. Addressing these fiscal risks would not only enhance budget credibility and transparency but would help keep a lid on corruption. Budgetary credibility also calls for better risk management, with a more comprehensive budget based on realistic forecasts.

The good news is that numerous countries are already strengthening their fiscal frameworks—many with IMF assistance. Just to give some examples:

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Sudan, Qatar, and Lebanon have all set up macro-fiscal units—a useful first step in strengthening the fiscal framework.

Algeria has recently adopted a new budget law with a strong medium-term orientation, and Bahrain has introduced a fiscal program designed to achieve balance over the medium term.

Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon are making great progress with medium-term public investment planning and execution.

Egypt now publishes a fiscal risk statement with its budget and produces an internal in-year budget risk assessment. The UAE too is rolling out a fiscal risk management project—with the IMF’s help—and will produce its first fiscal stress test this year.

There is scope for further improvement. Perhaps the oil exporters could follow the example of other resource-rich countries such as Chile and Norway in using fiscal rules to protect key priorities such as social spending from commodity price volatility.

Strong fiscal frameworks have other important benefits. They form the basis for sound debt management. They also allow for better coordination between fiscal and monetary policies, so that the two arms of macroeconomic management work together, not at cross purposes.

2. Good Governance and Transparency

Let me now turn to the second pillar of good fiscal management—good governance and transparency. In this context, governance refers to the institutional frameworks and practices of the public sector. Strong institutions are crucial for legitimacy, for fostering a clearer understanding of policy objectives among citizens, enhancing their voice, and generating buy-in for fiscal policy.

On the other hand, as many of you have said, weak institutions imply a weak policy foundation that could crack and crumble—because there is inadequate legitimacy and public accountability. Even worse, these cracks could also let corruption creep in. And you know so well, this is social poison—it feeds discord, disengagement, and disillusionment, especially among the young. The word corruption, after all, comes from Latin root for rotting, breaking apart—disintegration. And the word in Arabic, fasad, also connotes this idea of rotting or coming undone.

Corruption is the great disruptor of fiscal policy. Without trust in the fairness of the tax system, it becomes harder to raise the revenue needed for critical spending on health, education, and social protection. And governments might be tempted to favor white elephant projects instead of investments in people and productive potential. Add this up, and we have a recipe for unsustainable fiscal policy combined with social discord.

This a global issue—relevant for large and small countries, advanced and low-income economies, and the public and private sectors. Given this, it is no surprise that IMF research found that weak governance and corruption are associated with significantly lower growth, investment, FDI, and tax revenues—and higher inequality and exclusion.

Specifically, we found that improving on an index of corruption and governance by moving from the bottom quarter to the mean is associated with an increase in the investment-to-GDP ratio of 1.5–2 percentage points and a bump up in annual GDP per capita growth by half a percentage point or more. [1] We will have more analysis in the upcoming Fiscal Monitor, which will be devoted to the topic of the fiscal costs of corruption and the role of fiscal institutions.

What is the solution to weak governance and corruption? In the fiscal domain, it calls for heightened fiscal transparency—shining a light on all aspects of the budget and the public accounts. This would provide a more accurate picture of the fiscal position and prospects, the long-term costs and benefits of any policy changes, and the potential fiscal risks that might throw them off course. This region has some room for improvement here.

We know that these kinds of reforms pay off. Take the case of Georgia, for example. Until 2003, it was seen as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. But after that, it reformed its institutions and cracked down on corruption. This, along with tax reform, led to immediate improvements. Tax revenues increased from 12 percent of GDP in 2003 to 25 percent of GDP in 2008, as taxpayers had greater faith in the fairness of the system.

I should note that the IMF has been stepping up its engagement in the area of governance and corruption. Last year, we put in place a new framework predicated on a more systematic, evenhanded, effective, and candid engagement on these issues with member countries. We will be reaching out to leaders in this region to discuss how we can work together to implement this framework.

With better governance, we can replace the “disintegration” of corruption with the “integration” of all into the productive economy. We can replace fasad with islah—reforms to set things right, to reconcile people with one another.

Conclusion

Let me wrap up. I have argued this morning that good fiscal policy requires good institutional foundations. And solid foundations in areas such as fiscal frameworks and governance give citizens confidence that fiscal policy serves the good of all, not just the wealthy or the well-connected.

Let me end with some wise words attributed to the great Ibn Khaldun, “He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found again by others; and he who walks far ahead of his contemporaries is a leader.”

You are the pathfinders, the leaders, the visionaries. We hope that we can give useful guidance, but we look to you to find the right path to make this vision a reality.
Thank you--shukran!

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2019/02/08/sp0209-md-laying-the-foundations-of-good-fiscal-management-in-the-arab-world?cid=em-COM-123-38361

Samson » February 9th, 2019

International Monetary Fund warns of the gap between the rate of growth of Arab countries and their foreign debts


9th February, 2019

An official warned the International Monetary Fund of the gap between the growth rate of the economies of Arab countries and the level of external debt.

The Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said at the Public Finance Forum held in Dubai on Saturday that there was a significant discrepancy between the level of growth of Arab economies and the size of external debt, according to the UAE Ministry of Economy. Jihad Azour called for the need for further reforms and measures to improve the fiscal policies of Arab countries.

Azour said financial policymakers in the Middle East should take into account the value of the likely increase in debt service costs, improve spending quality and take additional measures to increase investments in physical capital. He also called on the Arab countries to work to support financial institutions by raising the efficiency of the human element. Azour made the remarks at a session entitled "Laying the foundations of the management of fiscal policy in the Arab countries" on the sidelines of the Fourth Forum of Public Finance in the Arab States, which is part of the World Summit of Governments 2019 in Dubai.

The session discussed the financial performance indicators of the countries of the region and their growth levels compared to other countries in the world, in addition to the impact of the decline in oil prices on the financial policies of countries and the accompanying economic slowdown requires the work seriously to improve financial policies and adoption of technological systems to enhance transparency and confidence in governments.

Azour noted that most MENA countries over the last three years have adopted measures to reduce spending and boost revenues, leading to a reduction in the deficit in those countries, but these reforms have not always been conducive to growth.

He added that this does not mean abandoning the reform programs because what is going through the global economy helps the countries of the region to take precautionary steps to avoid the shocks that may result from economic fluctuations.

Azour pointed to the need for some countries to increase tax revenues and work to reduce corporate exemptions, support small and medium enterprises; and expand the tax base so that governments can more equitable distribution of the tax burden.

The meetings of the Forum on Public Finance of Arab States in the Emirate of Dubai, today, on the sidelines of the World Summit of Governments held in the UAE. International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde said on the sidelines of the Arab Finance Forum that oil exporters did not fully recover from the crude price shock of 2014. LINK

Source: Dinar Recaps
          Networked Systems 6th International Conference, NETYS 2018      Cache   Translate Page      

Networked Systems 6th International Conference, NETYS 2018

Andreas Podelski, Francois Taiani, "Networked Systems: 6th International Conference, NETYS 2018, Essaouira, Morocco, May 9-11, 2018, Revised Selected Papers"
2019 | ISBN-10: 3030055280 | 412 pages | PDF, EPUB | 42 MB


          Palace 'Pushing' Prince Harry, Meghan Markle; William, Kate Look ‘Ineffective,’ Netizens Say      Cache   Translate Page      
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s huge workload reportedly makes Prince William and Kate Middleton look ineffective. Kensington Palace just announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting Morocco from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25 at the request of Her Majesty’s government. Following the announcement, one netizen asked why the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge don’t have a scheduled tour and felt that the palace is pushing Prince Harry and Markle at the expense of Prince William and Middleton.
          Letter showing true tragedy of Meghan Markle's rift with her father - Daily Mail      Cache   Translate Page      
  1. Letter showing true tragedy of Meghan Markle's rift with her father  Daily Mail
  2. Meghan Markle on the one part of her pregnancy she is keeping a 'surprise'  Her.ie
  3. Seven month pregnant Meghan and Harry sent on Brexit trade boosting mission to Africa  Express
  4. Meghan Markle's sister Samantha will rake in £100,000 from royal baby  Mirror Online
  5. Princess Diana-style PR will backfire on Meghan Markle and it’s not worth the gamble  The Sun
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          Tangier      Cache   Translate Page      
Tangier is a city located in the extreme north of Morocco, in the Strait of Gibraltar. It is the capital of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.

Regards


          Pope to visit Moroccan imam school to boost moderate Islam      Cache   Translate Page      
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will meet with migrants in Morocco and visit a training institute for imams that seeks to be a bulwark...
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          Olympic Safi - FUS Rabat      Cache   Translate Page      
Football. Morocco. Botola
          TAMASHA LA SAUTI ZA BUSARA NI LA WAZANZIBAR WOTE      Cache   Translate Page      
Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Busara Promotions, Simai Mohammed Said akizungumza katika mkutano huo wa waandishi wa habari (hawapo pichani). Kulia kwake ni Balozi wa wa Uswis nchini Bi. Tinguely Mattli na kushoto kwake ni Mwakilishi wa Balozi wa Norway nchini na Mkuu wa Idara ya Ushirikiano, Trygve Bendiksby.
Mwakilishi wa Balozi wa Norway nchini na Mkuu wa Idara ya Ushirikiano, Trygve Bendiksby akizungumza katika tukio na waandishi wa habari leo kwa waandishi wa habari mjini Unguja, Zanzibar. Kulia kwake ni Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Busara Promotions, Simai Mohammed Said, akifuatiwa na Balozi wa Uswisi nchini Tanzania, Bi. Tinguely Mattli mwishoni kulia ni Mkurugenzi wa Busara Promotions, Mahmoud Yusuf, kushoto ni Meneja wa tamasha hilo, Ramadhani Journey.
Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Busara Promotions, Simai Mohammed Said akizungumza katika mkutano huo wa waandishi wa habari (hawapo pichani). Kulia kwake ni Balozi wa wa Uswis nchini Bi. Tinguely Mattli na kushoto kwake ni Mwakilishi wa Balozi wa Norway nchini na Mkuu wa Idara ya Ushirikiano, Trygve Bendiksby.
Mkurugenzi wa Busara Promotions, Mahmoud Yusuf, akisisitiza jambo kwa waandishi wa habari (hawapo pichani) wakati wa mkutano huo, Mjini Unguja
Kikundi cha Mwiduka kutoka Mkoani Mbeya kikitoa burudani katika tukio hilo la mkutano wa utambulisho kwa vyombo vya Habari, Zanzibar.mwiaho.
Vijana wa bendi ya Mwiduka wakipewa pongezi na meza kuu ikiwemo viongozi wa Busara Promotions pamojana Mabalozi wadhamini wa tamasha la Sauti za Busara 2019, ambalo linaanza leo 7 Februari -10, 2019.

NA ANDREW CHALE, ZANZIBAR

WAFANYABIASHARA na wananchi wote wa Zanzibar, wametakiwa kuwa kifua mbele kila msimu wa uwepo wa tamasha kubwa la Kimataifa la muziki la Sauti za Busara kwa kuwa tamasha hilo linabeba taswira chanya ya maendeleo ya Wanzibar wote.

Ambapo pia amewataka kuchangamkia fursa ya uwepo wake kila mwaka kwani limekuwa likileta wageni wengi wanaokuja nchini kuhudhuria tukio hilo kubwa lenye kuvutia watu mbalimbali Duniani kote.

Akizungumza katika mkutano na Waandishi wa Habari mjini hapa, Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Busara Promotions, Simai Mohammed Said, amesema tamasha hilo la siku nne ni kichocheo cha uchumi kwani watu wanafika mbali na kulishuhudia lakini pia wanafanya manunuzi na matumizi ndani ya Visiwa hivyo na kuongeza pato la Serikali.

“Kuanzia leo tutashudia burudani ya muziki kutoka kwa wasanii mbalimbali wa ndani na nje, wanamuziki hao wataonesha nyimbo za tamaduni za Nchi zao huku pamoja na kutoa burudani na mafunzo kwa watu wote.
Muziki ni biashara, muziki ni kazi na ni kazi kubwa hivyo ili kuwaunga mkono wasanii hawa ni kujitokeza kushuhudia tamasha hili ambapo pia tumetoa ofa ya punguzo kubwa kwa wenyeji.” Alisema Simai.

Aidha, Simai alisema viongozi wa Busara Promotions ambao ni waasisi na waandaaji wa tamasha hilo, wamekuwa wakifanya kila aina ya mbinu kuhakikisha linaandaliwa na kufanyika kwa ubora uliokusudiwa hivyo ni juu ya wananchi haswa wazanzibar kulikubali na kulithamini ili kuinua hadhi ya Zanzibar kimataifa.

“Ili tamasha ni la kwenu Wazanzibar. Tuliinue tulipendemilango ipo wazi kwa wafanyabiashara kujitokeza kwa wingi kulidhamini kwa aina yoyote ile ya udhamini utapokelewa. Tunahitaji liweze kuwa thamani zaidi na tulienzi kwa kiwango cha juu” alisema Simai ambapo amesisitiza kuwa uwepo wa tamasha hilo si kwa ajili ya kuvutia watalii pekee bali kwa watu wote kwenye nyanja za Utamaduni, mila na desturi za mwafrika kupitia njia ya muziki.

Simai pia amesisitiza kwa vyombo vya habari na wataalamu wa teknolojia ya habari Nchini kuendelea kuwaunga mkono katika kutangaza taarifa za habari za tamasha hilo ikiwemo mandhari ya mji wa Zanzibar ili lionekane duniani kote na kuwatia hamu wale ambao hawajawahi kufika Zanzibar kuamua kwenda kushuhudia.

Kwa upande wao Mabalozi wa Uswis na Norway wanaoziwakilisha nchini zao hapa Tanzania, wamewapongeza Busara Promotions kwa namna wanavyoendesha tamasha hilo ikiwemo kukuza tamaduni za Mwafrika kupitia njia za Sanaa.

Balozi wa Uswisi nchini Tanzania, Bi. Tinguely Mattli amesema wanaamini tamasha hilo ni moja ya njia ya kufikisha ujumbe kwa wananchi kupitia wasanii ambao wamekuwa ni kioo cha jamii.

Nae Mwakilishi wa Balozi wa Norway nchini na Mkuu wa Idara ya Ushirikiano, Trygve Bendiksby alisema kupitia kauli mbiu ya mapambano dhdi ya rushwa ujumbe utafika kwa wakati na haraka kupitia wasanii ambao jamii imekuwa ikiwafuatilia kwa ukaribu hivyo wataendelea kudhamini tamasha hilo kwa kipindi kingine.

“Tunaungana na Busara Promotions kwenye tamasha ili kubwa na tutaendelea kulidhamini tamasha kwa kipindi kipindi cha miaka mitatu mingine” alisema Bendiksby.

Ubalozi huo wa Norway na Busara Promotions wanatarajia kutiliana saini ya udhamini wa miaka mitatu mingine hapo baadae.

Tayari Norway imeweza kulidhamini tamasha hilo kwa muda wa miaka tisa (9) kwa kipindi tofautitofauti.

Naye Mkurugenzi wa Busara Promotions, Mahmoud Yusuf amesema kuwa, wamekuwa wakipokea maombi mengi ya wasanii ndani na nje ambapo walio na sifa ndio wenye kuchaguliwa kila mwaka ambapo kwa mwaka huu karibu wote waliochaguliwa ni wa kiwango cha juu.

“Watu ni wengi na karibu hoteli zote zenye hadhi ya nyota nne na tano hususan maeneo ya Mji Mkongwe zimejaa na maeneo mengine watu wamejiandaa kwa ajili ya tamasha ili kubwa visiwani hapa” alisema Yusuf.

Yusuf amesema kuwa, wenyeji wamepewa nafasi ya kipekee ya kushuhudia tamasha hilo kwa bei ya ofa maalum kwa siku tsh. 10,000 huku kwa siku zote nne akitakiwa kulipa tsh. 20,000 huku akitaka pia wawe mfano wa kuigwa kwa kuonesha ukarimu na upendo kwa wageni kuanzia vyombo vya usafiri maeneo ya mitaa na manunuzi ili wajisikie wapo na wenyeji wenye moyo wa kupokea wageni.

Naye Meneja waTamasha hilo, Ramadhan Journey alisema kuwa, kwa mwaka huu ni la 16 vikundi 44, vinatarajia kuonesha burudani kwa siku nne kwenye majukwaa matatu tofauti ya katika ukumbi wa kihistoria wa ‘Old Fort’ mjini Stone Town, Zanzibar.

Aidha, Journey ametaja baadhi ya orodha ya Wasanii kwa mwaka huu ni akiwemo: Fid Q kutoka Tanzania Bara, Wasanii wengine na Nchi zao kwenye mabano ni pamoja na: Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Afrigo Band (Uganda), Fadhilee Itulya (Kenya), Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria), Rajab Suleiman & Kithara ( Zanzibar), Tune Recreation Committee, (Afrika Kusini), Ithrene (Algeria). Hoba Hoba Spirit (Morocco).

Pia wamo: M'Toro Chamou (Mayotte/Reunion), Trio Kazanchis +2 (Ethiopia/Switzerland), Faith Mussa (Malawi), Shamsi Music (Kenya), Sofaz (Reunion), Dago Roots( Reunion), Lydol (Cameroun), Jackie Akello (Uganda), S Kide & Wakupeti Band (Tanzania), Tausi Women's Taarab (Zanzibar), Mkubwa na Wanawe Crew (Tanzania), Damian Soul (Tanzania) na Wamwiduka Band (Tanzania) na wengineo.

          2/9/2019: STAR SPORT: LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS      Cache   Translate Page      
ACROSS: 1. Brahim Diaz; 5. Stoica; 9. Neighbour; 10. Defoe; 11. Stapleton; 13. Alaba; 14. McFadzean; 18. Charles; 19. Nolan; 21. Iwobi; 22. Morocco; 25. Law; 26.Young; 27. Elrich; 29. Ramsay; 33. See 32 Down; 34. Elm; 35. Joe Cole; 36 and 20 Down...
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          SU-100, Czechoslovakian Style      Cache   Translate Page      
Domestic tank and SPG designs took a downturn in post-war Czechoslovakia. The cause of this was more technical than political. Czechoslovakian engineers could not keep up with the changing requirements of the Czechoslovakian military. As a result, Czechoslovakia began licensed production of T-34-85 tanks in September of 1951. A similar situation took place with medium SPGs. Just under 800 SD-100 SPGs, licensed clones of the SU-100, were built.

A necessary step

By the end of WWII, the Czechoslovakian army possessed a number of Challenger tank destroyers. These vehicles, as well as 188 Cromwells, were a leftover from the 1st Czechoslovakian Armoured Brigade. The 1st Czechoslovakian Army Corps also had two SU-85s as of May 9th, 1945, but by July they disappeared.

By June 1946, Czechoslovakian tank brigades consisted of a mix of Soviet, American, and British vehicles, as well as 25 LT-38 and 19 ST-I (the index given to the Jagdpanzer 38). The presence of a large variety of foreign vehicles was not idea, but there was no other choice. The vast majority of domestic designs were based on pre-war projects. For instance, Skoda's medium SPGs were based on the T-22 chassis, a further development of the pre-war Skoda S-II-c, otherwise known as the T-21.

SU-100 on a parade in Kiev, May 1st 1949. Despite a wealth of choices, Czechoslovakia only managed to mass produce this SPG.

The development of the TVP (Tank všeobecného použití, main battle tank) was launched in the fall of 1945. This program was initially done by the VTU (Vojenský technický ústav, Military Technical Institute). Later, it was given to Skoda, which developed the T-40 project. Development continued as a joint project between Skoda and CKD. SPGs were developed as a part of this project starting in late 1948. According to the concept developed by the Czechoslovakian military, these would be mobile, thinly armoured SPGs with open turrets. There were two of them: the 152 mm ShKH 43,5/675 TVP and 100 mm ShPTK 14,75/950-TVP, a self propelled howitzer and tank destroyer respectively.

Two more vehicles were designed that did not have turrets, but had better protection: 152 mm ShKH 43,5/675 TVP and 100 mm ShPTK 14,75/900-TVP.

Work was taking a long time, which had to have bothered the Czechoslovakian army somewhat. Repair and refurbishment of captured vehicles was chosen as a temporary measure. The Czechoslovakian army gained the  ShPTK vz.40/75N (after 1949, SD 75/40N), built from the German StuG 40 Ausf.G. 124 of these vehicles were built. In addition, the Czechoslovakian army received 12 German Nashorn tank destroyers in 1949 under the index ShPTK vz.43N, as well as 20 ISU-152s under the index TSD 152/37S.

5 years passed since the end of the war, and not a single Czechoslovakian tank or SPG had been built even as a prototype.
100 mm R 11 AA gun that served as the basis for the A 20 anti-tank gun.

This serious issue was only corrected by a foreign purchase. In July of 1949, Czechoslovakia bought a license to produce the Soviet T-34-85 medium tank. The plan was to replace it with the TVP tank, but work on that died in the spring of 1950. The T-34-85 was obsolete by then, but it was better to have a bird in the hand than two in the bush. The CKD Sokolovo locomotive factory in Prague was to build these tanks. Preparations began in January of 1950. Organization went quickly, and the first T-34-85 produced in Czechoslovakia was delivered in September of 1951.

The death of the TVP meant that all SPGs on its chassis went with it. The solution was buying a license for building the SU-100. The lifespan of this vehicle was longer than that of the T-34-85. After the Ural Heavy Machinebuilding Factory (UZTM) finished building these vehicles, production started in 1947 at factory #174 in Omsk, and continued until 1948.

This is what the SD-100 with an A 20 gun could have looked like.

The SU-100 was also obsolete by the early 1950s, but the same chassis as the T-34-85 that was already in production made it easier an easier pill to swallow. The armament of the SU-100, the 100 mm D-10S gun, was still a viable weapon. However, at a meeting held on December 13-14th, 1950, it was decided to use a Czechoslovakian gun on the licensed SU-100. This could have been the A 20 anti-tank gun that was being designed by Skoda. This was a variant of the R 11 AA gun, which was also adapted for the TVP as the AK 1. At 1 kilometer the A 20 penetrated 140 mm of armour sloped at 30 degrees. This was better performance than the D-10S.

The issue was that out of this trinity only the R 11 was ever built even as a prototype. There was no point in performing the conversion in these conditions. In addition, Czechoslovakia began receiving Soviet production SU-100s. 452 vehicles were transferred in total, indexed SD-100. The license-built version received the same name.

An SPG rooted in Omsk

The final decision to purchase a license to produce the SU-100 was made in 1951. Production would take place at the same CKD Sokolovo. Hulls would be produced at the Stalin factory (Závod J.V.Stalina, or just ZJVS) in Martin, Slovakia. The SMZ locomotive factory in Slovakia (one of Skoda's factories at Dubnica nad Váhom) produced a licensed version of the D-10S under the index 100 mm SHK vz.44 S.

An SD-100 during exercises in the mid-50s. The vehicle has "Sverdlovsk style" tow hooks, but an "Omsk style" cupola.

Organization of the SPG's production was delayed. It was first necessary to fill the tank forces with tanks, as the situation with SPGs was not as poor thanks to German and Soviet vehicles. Since production of the T-34-85 was a higher priority, the first SD-100 was only delivered in 1953. Mass production was also slow. Only 129 SD-100 were built in Prague in 1953-54, while 951 T-34-85s were built. Production of the T-34-85 started two years earlier, but this is a significant difference.

Production of tanks was moved to Martin in 1954. Final assembly and engine production was done in Czechia, but production of hulls and armament took place in Slovakia. Moving the production to Martin was a more logical solution that sped up production.

A captured SD-100 in Israel, 1957. The headlight has a distinctive guard.

The Czechoslovakian SPG had a number of distinctive features. As mentioned above, the last factory to build the SU-100 in the USSR was factory #174. It was on their documentation that blueprints of the SD-100 were based. However, documentation on the T-34-85 came from factory #183 in Nizniy Tagil. Czechoslovakian designers put in their own contributions. The result was a mix of solutions, same as with the Czechoslovakian T-34-85. Even though the tank came from Nizhniy Tagil, the Czechoslovakian vehicles had a number of features that had to have originated in Omsk.

The vehicles received Notek lights during service.

Factory #174 developed their own tow hooks without a protrusion for affixing the eye of the tow cable. The Czechoslovakian version had a regular hook with the protrusion. At the same time, the upper rear plate of the SD-100 and Czechoslovakian T-34-85 had an Omsk design. The exhaust covers had the characteristic wave shape, and the hinges of the upper rear plate were unified with the round transmission access hatch hinge. Another purely Omsk solution is seen in the road wheels. The factory #174 hub caps had a characteristic shape, which can be seen on both the SD-100 and Czechoslovakian T-34-85. The track links of both vehicles also traced their roots to Omsk, as they had the perpendicular ribs.

The quality of the armour casting was higher, and the edges of the armour plates had a better finish.

There were also purely Czechoslovakian features. First of all, it was the very careful finish. Soviet vehicles had very rough edges of the armour, especially the front plate. This is not surprising when you consider the conditions that Soviet tank builders worked in, and that the aesthetics had no effect on combat capability. However, hulls assembled in Martin were very built very carefully. The same went for the casting: there was no pitting or rough surfaces on Czechoslovakian production vehicles.

The cast side of the commander's cupola has a rectangular welded part, an Omsk feature. The same commander's cupola was also designed at factory #174. One part that gives away the Czechoslovakian origins is the telephone port for communicating with the crew located on the rear left of the hull. This port is also sometimes seen on Soviet vehicles that served in the Czechoslovakian army. The headlight also has a characteristic guard. These features are enough to distinguish between the Soviet SU-100 and Czechoslovakian SD-100.

A characteristic rear section, the same as on the Czechoslovakian T-34-85. The telephone port, typical for Czechoslovakian tanks, is seen on the left.

As in Prague, Martin's top priority was production of the T-34-85. Nevertheless, the difference was not as great as at CKD Sokolovo. 641 SD-100 and 1765 T-34-85 were built in Martin.

The availability of the SD-100 and its more powerful gun gave designers the idea to re-arm the T-34-85. However, this idea did not move past paper. Even with the more powerful gun, the T-34-85 was obsolete. Production of the T-54 that had the same 100 mm gun began in 1957, and the T-34-85 was taken out of production in 1956. The licensed copy of the SU-100 was the only SPG on a tank chassis that was mass produced in Czechoslovakia after the war. For a number of reasons, not a single SPG that was designed was ever produced, including others on the T-34-85 chassis.

A medium SPAAG

Skoda turned to development of AA guns, including autocannons, almost immediately after the war. Skoda designed a 50 mm AA gun meant for German use during WWII, and this design was developed further. The result was a 50 mm AA autocannon with German roots. The gun was finished in 1948, and was proposed for installation into the 50 mm ShPLK 2,12/1020-LP, a SPAAG on the reworked Skoda T-17 chassis. Neither the gun nor the chassis ever made it off paper.

An experimental SPAAG on the T-34 chassis, 1953.

The 57 mm R 8 AA gun entered trials in 1949. This was a reworked version of the same 50 mm AA gun. Like the previous design, it was based on German work. The gun was fed with 3 round clips. The ammunition of the R 8 was different from Soviet 57 mm ammunition.

The R 10 AA gun with a mount similar to the 40 mm Bofors appeared later. Development took a long time, and the gun was only accepted in 1956. The weapon was comparable to the Soviet S-60, superior in some ways and inferior in others. 220 R 10 guns were built, and the army bought S-60 guns as well. This was the only success of Czechoslovakian designers in the field of medium AA guns. Larger AA guns developed by Skoda were never put into production.

The turret on the model was made of plywood.

The issue of building a SPAAG was raised once more during development of the R 10. Due to the death of the Skoda T-17 and T 50 projects, the T-34-85 remained the only available chassis. VTU received an order to develop a SPAAG using the T-34-85 chassis and R 10 AA gun on September 19th, 1952. In addition to airborne targets, the weapon was also meant to combat lightly armoured vehicles. Having studied foreign experience, the VTU decided to build a tank similar to the British Crusader AA, Swedish Landsverk Anti, or the Hungarian derivative Nimrod. This made the task simpler, since this meant there was no need to install a large platform or seriously change the chassis of the T-34-85.

The turret was too small for a crew of 4.

The mass of the SPAAG had to stay under the weight of the T-34-8. The difficulty was in that the military needed the front of the turret to protect from low caliber artillery. The gun crew also consisted of 4 men (two gunners, the commander, and a loader). As a result, it was not possible to meet all requirements. The mass of the T-34-85 turret with the gun, ammunition, and crew was 7820 kg. The AA turret weighed 8400 kg. The turret was open from the rear and the top. The front armour was 40 mm thick, and the sides were 20 mm thick. However, the prototype was assembled from plywood.

The SPAAG failed trials.

The results of the trials, which lasted from March to July of 1953, were poor. The turret was too cramped, and the very idea of using the R 10 as the armament of the SPAAG with minimal changes was a mistake. The turret was also too tall. Work on this topic ended on August 29th, 1953.

LP-157 SPAAG, 1955

The Brno design bureau designed its own SPAAG in 1955, produced only as a full size model. The improved R 12 was used instead of the R 10. The turret of the LP-157 was unmanned. The ammunition was held in a bin to the left of the gun, and the crew (two gunners and the commander) were below it. This reduced the size and mass. A two-barrel variant named LP-257 was also developed. A scale model of this vehicle was also built.

However, the R 12 still needed to be built, and the time of the T-34-85 was coming to an end. Work on a SPAAG on the T-34-85 chassis ended. The ZSU-57-2 was never adopted by the Czechoslovakian army. The four wheeled Praga PLDvK vz. 53/59 built on the V3S truck chassis was simpler and cheaper.


Self propelled LV-157 rangefinder for aiming the LP-157.

The last Czechoslovakian vehicle on the T-34-85 chassis was a mobile AA gun ranging device. This vehicle was also developed in Brno for coordinating LV-157 fire. Essentially, this was a self propelled rangefinder that was armed with a quad DShK mount. Work did not progress past a full size model on the same chassis as the LP-157. Since the LP-157 and LP-257 were cancelled, there was no need for a rangefinder for them.

International warrior

The appearance of the SD-100 and SU-100 was a means of dealing with the T-34-85's weak armament. SPGs began arriving in tank regiments in 1953. The 85 mm S-53 could no longer combat all types of enemy tanks, and the SPGs were used to reinforce them. The number of SD-100s was a much as a third of a tank regiment. Tanks that were replaced with the SD-100 were sent into storage.

SD-100 on exercises, mid-1970s.

Czechoslovakian tank regiments remained mixed until 1960. The T-34-85 and SD-100 were gradually replaced with the T-54, which had a 100 mm gun in a turret, plus more serious protection. The SD-100 were now sent into storage. In addition, they were actively marketed to foreign buyers.

After the SD-100 were taken out of tank regiments, they served as training tanks until the mid-70s. Many of these vehicles were preserved in Czechia and Slovakia. The SD-100 plays the role of a T-34-85 in many public and private collections. The story is similar to the one with the G-13, but while the G-13 was at least built from Jagdpanzer 38 hulls, the SD-100 was built in Czechoslovakia from scratch, and in the mid-50s to boot. It is not the best idea to market this SPG as a SU-100. However, some museums and collectors buy these are Soviet wartime production vehicles. These kinds of frauds are not rare: museums in Munster, Sinsheim, La Wantzenau, and many others have an SD-100 on display and not a SU-100.

An SD-100 on parade in Cairo, 1957. The signs of a Czechoslovakian production vehicle are clearly seen.

In total, the Czechoslovakian army received 460 SD-100s out of 770 built. The others were built for export. On March 21st, 1953, the deceased Klement Gottwald was replaced by Antonín Zápotocký. Under him, Czechoslovakia once more became an active seller on the arms market. Sales began in 1953, and tanks were among the items on offer. One of the first buyers was Egypt, which started receiving SD-100s in 1955. It was Czechoslovakian SPGs that were used in battle against Israel, Britain, and France during the Suez conflict in 1956. The SD-100 in Bovington, Duxford, and Saumur are trophies from this war. In total, Egypt received 148 SD-100s.

Israeli trophies of the Six Day War, 1967.

Syria bought 38 SD-100s. These SPGs fought in the Six Day War alongside Egyptian ones. The IDF ended up seriously boosting its collection of trophies: 100% of SU-100s in Israeli museums are actually captured SD-100s.

The Yom Kippur War was the last to see widespread use of the SD-100.

The shipments from Czechoslovakia became mixed some time later. A significant percentage of the vehicles was composed of Soviet stock. Sometimes Czechoslovakia merely acted as an intermediary between the USSR and other nations. For instance, Cuba received 50 SU-100s from Czechoslovakia, but these were actually Soviet vehicles. The 50 SU-100s in Yemen were in the same boat. The vehicles sent there were clearly Soviet production. Bulgaria, Romania, Ethiopia, and Morocco also received SD-100s.

One can confidently say that the Czechoslovakian military made the right choice with the SD-100. Even though they did not manage to design their own tank, it was possible to arm the army using a licensed design. Thanks to exports, Czechoslovakia managed to make a mint. The country was back on the arms market, even if it was with a foreign product.


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Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri becomes the first Leganes player to hit a La Liga hat-trick as his three goals earn his side a 3-0 win over Real Betis.
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Pope Francis will meet with migrants in Morocco and visit a training institute for imams that seeks to be a bulwark against extremism during his March 30-31 visit. The Vatican yesterday released the schedule for the pope’s trip to Rabat, the capital...
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Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri scored all the goals as Leganes beat Real Betis 3-0 in the Spanish league on Sunday
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri scored all the goals as Leganes beat Real Betis 3-0 in the Spanish league on Sunday. En-Nesyri struck first for midtable Leganes when he was left all alone after a corner in the 22nd minute. He tapped in a second goal in the 36th and reached his […]
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