Man Forms His Own Country In Europe And 160K People Want To Live There
In-between the European nations of Serbia and Croatia lies a nearly 3-square-mile territory that technically is not owned by either country.
The Czech Republic's Vit Jedlicka saw the space as an opportunity to make his political dreams come true.
He is an active member of the conservative Party of Free Citizens in the Czech Republic but has lately accepted the possibility that his aspirations for the Czech government may never be fulfilled, according to TIME.
So the 31-year-old decided to start his own country instead.
In the previously unclaimed territory now lies Liberland, where taxes are optional and there is no standing army.
A statement regarding the creation of the new country says,
The objective of the founders of the new state is to build a country where honest people can prosper without being oppressed by governments making their lives unpleasant through the burden of unnecessary restrictions and taxes.
Jedlicka, who serves as Liberland's current president, told TIME the country's formation was initially just an act of political protest before he realized how many people shared his vision.
The country's motto is undeniably universal, as well: "To live and let live."
Liberland's seven-person immigration office is now sifting through roughly 160,000 applications, Geek.com reports.
The nation must be extremely mindful in its infancy, however, so citizenship will be granted to about 3,000 to 5,000 people within the next few weeks.
One needs to simply visit Liberland's website to apply for citizenship, which begins with an introductory email.
Jedlicka expects Liberland to eventually count approximately 35,000 people as citizens, though not all of them will actually live in Liberland.
Neither Croatia nor Serbia have issued an official response to Liberland, but if they threaten with force, Jedlicka says, the nation would resort only to "passive defense."
We will move, but we will keep our claim to the country.
Jedlicka plans to continue his work with the Party of Free Citizens and believes if there is a real chance to make a difference in the Czech Republic, he may possibly resign as president in Liberland.