“We hope that our city can contribute a lot to Liberland”. With these words the mayor of Manizales, Carlos Marínannounced that the city had sealed a “historic” agreement with a supposed European country that very few, if not no one, had heard of.
The news of entry sought to cheer up the people of Manizale, because according to the mayor, 5,000 places would be opened to study English virtually and free of charge, with native teachers from Liberland.
“We want to help Colombians, more than anything in Manizales, people who want to improve their lives in total. It’s true, like a 30% increase in salary if you have English. In our nation in Liberland we are happy to help here in Manizales, 5,000 people,” said Randy Thompson, an alleged citizen of that country.
However, the announcement generated all kinds of ridicule and reactions on social networks, since it is an apparent micronation of only 7 square kilometers located between Croatia and Serbia, on the western bank of the Danube River.
Its motto is ‘live and let live’, and as its first president, the Czech Vit Jedlicka, mentioned to the ‘BBC’, it seeks to become a land without compulsory taxes, without arms control and with Bitcoins as the official currency.
“It takes pride in the personal and economic freedom of its people, this includes the limited power granted to the government to ensure less interference with the freedom of individuals and the nation as a whole,” says its website.
a no man’s land
The purported nation’s website explains that “this area is not claimed by Croatia, Serbia, or any other nation or private entity. Furthermore, it has remained unclaimed since the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991.”
It was discovered by Jedflick, his girlfriend, and some friends on April 13, 2015, who planted a flag there. and since then they have summoned approximately 500 thousand people online, having a cabinet, constitution and ambassadors around the world.
According to a 2019 interview by Jedlicka to the Turkish Anadolu agency, Liberland even has citizens of different nationalities who pay for a membership with a cryptocurrency called Merit. The more Merits, the more opportunity they have to create businesses in the country.
The idea on which it is speculated that Liberland may become is a tax haven where companies can settle paying a minimum of taxes with a minimum State that only deals with essential issues and supports private property. pic.twitter.com/9Rqdfukykm
— Radwulf➰ (@Raulccf122) November 29, 2021
“It is now the third smallest sovereign state, after the Vatican and Monaco,” says its website, where it also it is claimed that Liberland meets all the requirements to be a recognized nation: a permanent population, a defined territory, government and ability to establish relations with other states.
An uninhabited country?
The big problem, the Turkish Anadolu agency reported a few years ago, is that not even the president of Liberland can live in its territory for now.
Jedlicka said that the only access he has is through the Danube river, because “if you arrive from Croatia you can be arrested for illegally crossing the border.” The president of the ‘micronation’ said that Croatia “neither claims” the space “nor does it want” them to occupy it.
“Serbia is not interested in the creation of Liberland, because for them it was not created within their territory, despite the fact that Croatia assures that Liberland is Serbian territory. The problems we have are with Croatia, because they do not claim it, nor do they want it to be let’s occupy it. That’s why I can’t go to Croatia for two years together with other people associated with Liberland. Currently, they act as Liberland’s border security force, as they protect anyone from entering,” he said.
Despite this, Jedlicka intends to “accommodate some 120,000 people” in Liberland, so that he can finally see the project he has worked for almost a decade come to fruition.
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