On April 13, 2015, Vit Jedlicka, pierced a flag into a sod of uninhabited earth in between Croatia and Serbia and announced it Liberland – or to use its proper title, the Free Republic of Liberland.
The ‘president’ claimed that the land was unwanted. An overgrown wasteland if anything. Neither Croatia or Serbia wanted to claim it as their own – making it essentially a no mans land.
When Vit Jedlicka decided that the wasteland was to become Liberland, most media outlets and governments laughed at him, but now, one year on, Jedlicka claims that there will soon be a potentially hostile revolt to take over the land.
According to an exclusive article in The Independent, Jedlicka has received the backing of many political parties and movements, and boasts 400,000 would-be inhabitants, however Croatian police have prevented the potential inhabitants from living there.
But speaking with The Independent, the self-proclaimed ‘President’ states that plans are almost in place for a group of Liberlanders to break through the police blockade in such numbers that there will be ‘nothing they can do to stop it’.
However Vit claims that it was a good thing that Croatian police shut off the border to Liberland, stating:
We needed one more year to discover everything we have to do in order to take proper care of our own borders, to sign an agreement with a private security agency and also to visualise what we want to do.
We kind of appreciate what Croatia is doing at this stage, which is simply protecting our border from others who would like this territory as well.
In summer there is set to be a huge ‘celebration’ on a field next to Liberland, and Jedlicka claims that it could be here that the takeover takes hold.
That could be the time when we actually take over control of this territory. We are not pushing for it yet, but there is no way you can stop 5,000 people taking over control of Liberland.
We are confident, we will make it across the border. Take a look at how refugees are crossing borders so easily now. There is nothing that will stop 5,000 people from crossing the border.
Liberland will reportedly have just five laws, whereas tax would be paid on a ‘voluntary’ basis, with people able to smoke marijuana, drive as fast as they want, and own guns – so long as nobody is hurt in the process.
Though it sounds like the ramblings of a disillusioned idealist, could Liberland truly work? I guess only time will tell.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.