With the advent of modern communication and a much faster form of travel brought about by the airplane, it would have been unlikely if there was any area of the world left unclaimed by one nation or another. But such land does, or rather did exist within Europe. One man has just staked his claim to it and created a brand new European nation.
The man in question is former Czech, Vit Jedlicka. Although now he goes by the much grander title of president of the Free Republic of Liberland. The new European nation is a 7km2 stretch of land on the west bank of the Dunube River between Serbia and Croatia. Technically speaking the area is actually disputed land by the Serbian and Croatian governments, neither currently own it, and therefore it was classed as no man’s land.
Liberland already has the basics covered with the new nation having a website, a flag, a coat of arms, and a motto: “To live and let live.” Strikingly the new nation is also proving very popular. Jedlicka and his team of volunteers put out the call for 5,000 people to become citizens of the new nation, but registrations for those limited citizenships have surpassed 160,000. Now a team of just seven volunteers are slowly sifting through those registrations attempting to select the best candidates for citizenship.
The idea for the new nation came into existence originally as a political stunt, but also as an act of protest because Jedlicka was a member of the Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic. At some point, however, it became a real goal and support grew to the point where it made sense to go ahead and form the nation. As to the reason for its popularity? It’s probably down to Jedlicka stating that anyone living there won’t be oppressed by the government. That might have something to do with the fact that the government currently is around 10 people, barely enough to oppress a rowdy bar really. However the idea sounds like a great tax haven already, doesn’t it?
Liberland, although young, isn’t without its problems. Apparently the land was already claimed by another new nation called Paraduin. It’s unclear how this deeply important and dramatic political standoff will be resolved, but two of the smallest nations in the world may actually be at war soon, over a few kilometers of land nobody had really heard about until last week.