Make room, Croatia and Serbia! There’s a new micronation in Europe, and it doesn’t care much for Serbia’s probable ownership of the seven square kilometers, or the Czech police guarding it.
Liberland, the self-proclaimed sovereign state, has big plans. “We need more countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Monaco, especially in Europe,” Vit Jedlicka, the country’s president and co-founder, told Bloomberg. Jedlicka didn’t run in Liberland’s first presidential election, but he was elected by the two other founders, one of whom is his girlfriend.
In Liberland, all taxes are optional. To make up the difference, the country plans to crowdfund and allow private enterprise to provide public services like water and energy. So far, Jedlicka claims the country has raised $45,000 on a crowdfunding page, which has foot the bill for offices in Prague and Serbia, Jedlicka’s personal assistant, and his trips to the G-7 and Freedom Fest.
The funding hasn’t gone toward any development of Liberland itself, which lies in a crook of the Danube between Serbia and Croatia, because it so far has zero residents. Despite the Liberland Settler’s Association’s attempt to settle the claimed land, Czech border police have been stopping them regularly.
That hasn’t dissuaded Liberland’s supporters though: so far, the country has received almost 400,000 citizenship applications. With tensions over the European Union and Greece’s debt crisis roiling Europe, it seems like Liberland might have struck a nerve. “With [the possibility of] Great Britain leaving the EU and Greece going bankrupt, this is a little bigger than just this piece of land. We are setting a model for other countries to find a new way to structure societies,” Jedlicka told the Guardian.