15 June 2006

A Bitter Power Struggle For The Throne and New Challenges For The Principality of Seborga

In the past months and particularly in these recent weeks, the autonomy of the Principality of Seborga has been the attention of the Italian media, due to a series of press releases from a self-declared royal who calls herself Princess Yasmine von Hohenstaufen Anjou Plantagenet and who claims to be the rightful heir to the throne of Seborga. Her name started to appear on the Seborga scene once HRH Prince Giorgio I announced early this year his intention to abdicate in the near future. Before then no one in Seborga knew or had heard about her or her family claims.
Given the widespread coverage of the story, the news that Seborga was looking for a new prince must have reached Yasmine’s house. She immediately mobilized her PR machine by setting up pages on the net claiming to be a descendant of the Hohenstaufens, the German royal family that ruled over the Holy Roman Empire in the 13th century.
She activated supporters, issued press releases to the media and proclamations to the Seborga people announcing her new arrival and presence among them and promising a new and reviving future for Seborga and its people.
At the same time she wasted no time in dismissing Prince Giorgio I and anyone who dared to dispute her rights with unflattering announcements.
All this commotion was done by phone, by faxes and emails, without putting a foot on Seborga soil. In fact, no one in Seborga has seen her yet.
Despite many attempts to get her claims recognised, be accepted by the Seborga people and get the support of the Mayor, the Seborgans responded at first with great surprise and curiosity and then with indifference and annoyance.
HRH Prince Giorgio dismissed her claim, voicing doubts over her lineage and asking why the only public trace of her existence was on the jumbled website of an unknown 'foundation'. "Pah! No one's ever even seen her as far as I know. I call her the 'internet princess'," he said.
Earlier this week, the princess’s office issued a press release to the Italian media announcing that the International Court of Justice (IJC) had recognised Seborga as not part of Italy and in view of that recognition she had decided in the end to cede the Principality of Seborga to the Italian Republic.
"She’s not a princess and she cannot give away something she does not own," was the response of Prince Giorgio to this latest news adding that although the recognition by the International Court was made three years ago and not recently, she has also failed to provide up to now the evidence of the existence of such a document.
These recent events have brought back the attention of the media to the issue of the independence of the Principality and have prompted Prince Giorgio to reveal some of his thoughts on this issue.In an interview to the ANSA (the Italian press Agency), Prince Giorgio said that he and his ministers are talking to big insurance groups with a view to creating a health insurance and pension system for the community. "Then we really will be independent," he said. "We have nothing against Italy, it's just that we're not part of it and our administration should reflect that". (SeborgaPress)