Monday, May 18, 2015

Reason interviews Liberland founder

Interview with the Founder of Liberland, a Possible Libertarian Paradise - - Jack Davies:

May 12, 2015 - "Like a lot of people in Europe, Czech activist Vit Jedlicka was dissatisfied with the state of affairs in his country.

"'You know, it was rising taxes every single year, rising number of regulations every single year,' he said. 'So I felt like I had to do something about it'....

"'Everybody told me, "You should start your own country to prove that your ideas of liberty work,"' he said in a phone interview. 'So I did.'

"There’s something charmingly maniacal about Liberland’s self-proclaimed president. Despite giving more than 200 interviews in the last fortnight, he’s chatty and his voice trills with a ha ha ha when something pleases him. But underneath this quaint exterior lies a Napoleonic self-assurance that he will build a second Dubai on a seven square kilometer patch of land on the west bank of the River Danube as it runs between Croatia and Serbia....

"On April 13, Jedlicka and his compatriots planted a yellow and black flag in the Serbo-Croatian no-man’s land and gave birth to Liberland. A little over two weeks later they have already received more than 300,000 applications for citizenship. Impressive, considering the only permanent residents for the last thirty years have been wild pigs; doubly so, given that the Croatian border police are refusing to let anybody into Liberland.

"Publicly, the Croatian government is dismissing Liberland as a bad joke — a 'virtual quip' unworthy of comment, is the foreign ministry’s official line. In private, however, Jedlicka insisted Zagreb is taking the issue very seriously indeed. Jedlicka claimed to have insider knowledge regarding an extraordinary meeting held last Sunday in the Croation government to discuss options for dealing with the country’s tiny new neighbor. His insider source? Wannabe citizens present at the meeting, he said.

"Whether the meetings are real or not, Croatia has been remarkably reluctant to claim Liberland for itself. Jedlicka claimed his presidential assistant is thrashing the issue out with an assistant to the Croatian president. Despite Zagreb’s frostiness, Liberland’s president is confident that 'we will be able to set up good relations no matter what they do.'

The Serbian foreign ministry was less equivocal. Its stance is that Liberland's formation was 'a frivolous act which needs no further comment.'

"But that is apparently not a position shared across the Serbian government. When I spoke with Jedlicka, he had just come out of a meeting with the Deputy Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly, Vladimir Marinkovic. In this meeting, Jedlicka claimed, Marinkovic endorsed Liberland’s sovereignty."

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