Earlier this month, Vít Jedlička, a Czech citizen, declared a tiny new libertarian nation in eastern Europe. It’s called Liberland and here’s its flag:
Liberland takes up just seven square kilometers of unclaimed territory on the border between Serbia and Croatia. Here’s a map from Liberland’s website (it didn’t come up when BuzzFeed News searched on Google Maps).
Jedlička is a member of a Czech political party and he started this whole thing as a political stunt, Time reported. But the idea got so much support that he started pursuing it seriously.
He’s had around 250,000 requests for citizenship in four days, he told AFP earlier this week. He wants Liberland to have optional taxes and make many decisions by referendum.
However, before you rush to apply, it's not yet clear if Liberland is actually 100% official.
The 1933 Montevideo Convention – a document often cited for its definition of what is a country and what isn't – says a place needs four things to be classed as a country: a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and the ability to interact with other governments.
Jedlička says Liberland fulfills all of those conditions. But in practice a new country also needs to be recognized by other countries, according to this handy 2008 guide from Foreign Policy magazine.
Neither Croatia nor Serbia have responded yet to Jedlička's letters declaring Liberland's independence, Business Insider reported on Wednesday. Croatia still in effect controls the stub of territory, even though it doesn't claim it as part of its country, the website Verge reported. Its border patrol has reportedly even turned away one group of journalists who tried to get into Liberland, the Washington Post reported.
Shyamantha Asokan is a foreign news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Shyamantha Asokan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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