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New European Nation Declared

Thousands want to live in Liberland
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2015 3:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – There is a staggering amount of bloodshed associated with nationhood movements in the Balkans, but a Czech politician says the new country he has declared is a peaceful—and real—project. On Monday, Vit Jedlicka appointed himself president of Liberland, which sits on 2.7 square miles of what he says is unclaimed territory between Serbia and Croatia on the west bank of the Danube, reports the BBC. The population currently stands at seven, but application for citizenship can be made through Liberland's website; Jedlicka says more than 20,000 people have already applied. People with respect for others and for private property are welcome, the website says, and people with Communist or Nazi pasts are not.

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Jedlicka, a member of the Czech Republic's libertarian Party of Free Citizens, tells Time that Liberland started out as a protest, but it is "turning out to be a real project with real support." Wisely, he says the new country—which has the national motto "To Live and Let Live"—will have no military and will offer only "passive defense" if it meets opposition from its neighbors. In the incredibly unlikely event that Liberland becomes an actual country, it would be the third-smallest in the world behind Vatican City and Monaco, notes Slate, which wishes its "brave citizens" luck whether the project turns out to be a "publicity stunt, impossible dream, or future libertarian utopia." (An Israeli man has been ruler of his 3.5-acre "country" for more than 40 years.)

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