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News 16 Apr 15

Liberland: The Balkans’ Newest Sovereign State

A Czech national has declared independence for the newly-formed state of Liberland situated on disputed territory on the Croatia-Serbia border.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
Location of Liberland, between Croatia and Serbia. Photo: www.liberland.org

Equipped with a website, national flag and coat of arms, Vit Jedlicka announced on Monday the creation of the new Balkan state of Liberland.

The six square kilometres of land that makes up Liberland lies along the Danube in what is technically a no-man’s land that is sometimes referred to as Gornjua Siga. It neighbours the north-eastern Croatian municipality of Zmajevac and Serbia’s Backi Monostor.

Since the territory is disputed between the two countries, Jedlicka, a member of the Czech marginal right-wing libertarian Free Citizens' Party, declared it the independent and sovereign state of Liberland.

Jedlicka claims that such actions are allowed under international law, thus creating the third smallest state in Europe after the Vatican and Monaco.

On its website the state is characterized as a constitutional republic with elements of direct democracy. Jedlicka has been declared its president.

Liberland’s motto is “to live and let live” and its founders say they are intent on limiting the power of politicians to interfere with the personal and economic freedoms of its citizens – thereby stressing the state’s libertarian orientation.

The country will, its founders claim, focus on ensuring the prosperity of people by freeing them of unnecessary restrictions and taxes imposed by government. One of the reasons given for founding Liberland is the non-functioning of existing states and poor living conditions.

With Monaco, Lichtenstein and Hong Kong as role model states, Jedlicka said he hopes Croatia and Serbia will recognize this new-born nation, after which international recognition could potentially follow.

Liberland will open its doors to new citizens on condition they “have respect for other people and respect the opinions of others”; respect private ownership; do not have Nazi, communist or other extremist past and do not have criminal records.

While Liberland already has its own flag and coat of arms, its constitution and laws are to be published on its website soon.

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