Czech Man Forms New Country, Claims To Be President
Vit Jedlicka of the Party of Free Citizens has proclaimed himself the president of a newly established country.
Liberland, an area covering a 7-sq-km (2.7-sq-miles) sandwiched between Serbia and Croatia, is placed in a no man’s land, a terra nullius. This area, Jedlicka says, is not part of the governance of either of the two neighboring countries.
According to the Parlamentni Listy website, Jedlicka says that his endeavor to create a new country was supported “across the entire political spectrum” in his native land.
A statement declaring the formation of the new country says, “The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes.”
According to TIME, Jedlicka said that the move was initially aimed to gather media attention. “It started a little bit like a protest,” he said. “But now it’s really turning out to be a real project with real support.”
However, the idea of Liberland as a publicity stunt has not been challenged. Czech TN news website notes, “It’s not entirely clear to what extent the activists are being serious, but they have turned up at the location of their ‘state’, where they have raised the flag.”
The motto of Liberland is, “To live and let live,” and it has an official website that includes all the information about applying for citizenship. Hundreds of applications have been received, and Jedlicka says 3,000 to 5,000 people will be granted citizenship in the coming weeks.
At present, the population of Liberland is seven.
Although he still wants to be part of Czech politics, Jedlicka says he “would probably resign and let somebody else run Liberland for me if there was a chance to do political change in the Czech Republic.”
The country does not have an army and will only deploy “passive defense” should Croatia or Serbia attack or try to encroach on its territory.
“We will move, but we will keep our claim to the country,” Jedlick said. At present, he is waiting for a diplomatic response from the country’s neighbors.
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