The president of Liberland, the world’s newest micronation, is as much of a mystery as his country.
Vít Jedlička is a politician frustrated with the politics of his native Czech Republic. He is long on ideas, but short on how to implement them.
Jedlička ran several times for office in his native Czech Republic, mainly on a platform of tax reform, he told Business Insider during a recent interview. He won election to a minor regional seat but set out on his own when he realised he would be unable to make any meaningful changes.
“Pressure from high taxes and regulations [was] increasing every year,” he said. “It’s almost impossible to do anything about it.”
Jedlička, a member of the Conservative Party of Free Citizens, claims he was motivated to found Liberland by the many people who asked why he didn’t start his own country in the mould of Hong Kong.
The only logical solution, he added, was to take over a small spit of land on the Danube River between Croatia and Serbia and create the world’s foremost tax haven.
The Libertarian-leaning president has also held jobs in IT, as a financial analyst and as a professor. He ascended to the top of the Liberland heap when he was voted into office by the only two people who live in the country – his girlfriend and another friend, according to the Guardian.
Jedlička is against most forms of taxation and government assistance. He said taxes in his country would be voluntary. He insists there will be enough money even if no one pays.
“We don’t really care that much, because the government will have very little expenditure,” he boasted. “We will have so much money that we will not know how to spend spend it.”
Government will exist only to provide law and order and to defend the country’s borders, Jedlička explained.
The staunch conservative does not believe in a single currency but talked of a stock market already being in the planning stages. Trading on the market, should it ever be fully realised, would likely have to take place in one currency.
He admitted not fully figuring out how utilities and infrastructure would be administered but expressed hope that roads, footpaths, electricity and more would be handled by private industry.
“It is possible to be done that way,” he insisted.
Jedlička speaks with the energy and conviction of a younger Barack Obama but appears to be as organised as Rick Perry was during that infamous 2011 presidential debate.
Liberland sits on only 2.7-square-miles but he could not provide a firm answer when asked how many people he thinks could live within the country.
“I don’t think there is any reasonable limit – it depends on how much money there is,” said Jedlička.
Manhattan, the most densely populated area in the United States, has nearly 67,000 people per square mile, according to census data.
With only about two square miles of land, the rest is in the Danube River, that caps the population at around 120,000 – if Liberland is jammed with skyscrapers.
There currently is only one building — it resembles a barn.
These issues aside, Jedlička admitted that neither Serbia nor Croatia have responded to letters sent declaring the country’s independence.
“Right now, we send them notes and we are waiting for their reply.”
He also admitted that either could eventually lay claim to the land should Liberland somehow become successful.
Jedlička is not short on ideas or people wanting to be citizens — more than 260,000 to date, he claims — but he has a long road ahead of him before Liberland becomes the next Hong Kong.
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