By Daniel Nolan, The Guardian
Accessible only by car via miles of winding, dusty Croatian roads, Gornja Siga – current population zero – is an unlikely testing ground for a plan to shape the world’s political future. It is a secluded area where verdant forest meets white sand on a western bank of the river Danube. The only signs of life are a single dilapidated building with a curious flag flying outside, pheasants, deer, the occasional wild boar, and eagles and falcons overhead.
Yet last Monday the Eurosceptic Czech politician Vit Jedlicka and two other libertarians declared this 7 sq km (2.7 sq miles) of Serbo-Croat no-man’s-land the world’s newest sovereign state, naming it Liberland. Despite abstaining in Liberland’s first presidential election, Jedlicka emerged victorious, thanks to votes from his fellow founding father and Liberland’s founding mother (also his girlfriend, and now the nation’s first lady). Then things began to get weird.
In the week since Liberland announced its creation and invited prospective residents to join the project, they have received about 200,000 citizenship applications – one every three seconds – from almost every country in the world.