New Country Called Liberland Coming Soon….
It’s a rainy Tuesday night in Manhattan. At a noisy bar, a few steps away from Grand Central Station, four friends are sitting down over beers and having a very special discussion… The representatives of Liberland gathered for their monthly meeting to do a little nation building…(00:29)
KONTOURIS. We have a set of goals that we want to achieve, we have to build the team again because some people are leaving FADE OUT we need to hash out some details of how we’re gonna move for the next month
That’s Xenofon Kontouris. The 23-year-old Greek entrepreneur is the head of the Liberland office in NY. He has big plans for his future adopted country:
KONTOURIS 2. We are working on helping them out through our presence here in NY, the capital of the world, and near the United Nations
But starting a country from scratch is not easy, and the four representatives know there is a long way to go before the Liberland can find a place at the UN. For now, Liberland is just a theory, a tiny teardrop shaped island in the Danube River, between Serbia and Croatia:
JEDLICKA 1. It is a very beautiful piece of nature at this stage. It is a long 600 meters sandy beach.
That’s Vit Jedlicka, a Czech Libertarian politician. Almost a year ago, on April 13, he proclaimed himself President of the Free republic of Liberland. It is still a no-man’s land but he can already visualize his future government:
JDELICKA 2. There is one house which will be the seat of government, which is a very small house, but we like it because our government will also be very small
Though it lies between Croatia and Serbia, it isn’t clear which country owns it. Jedlicka saw this ongoing border dispute between the two countries as an opportunity to build a new model of governance:
JEDLICKA 3. It is a paradise! A fiscal paradise but also a social paradise.
As a confirmed libertarian, Jedlicka imagines a political system where freedom would be the only rule:
JEDLICKA 4. We believe that state should be limited, that the idea of voluntary taxes is a good one, that the state would only regulate very necessary things like proliferation of nuclear weapons or drug trafficking but nothing apart of that.
That’s the idea anyway. But a state is more than just a state of mind. Michael Doyle is a professor in international law at Columbia University. He says it’s not a recipe you need four key ingredients to build a state: (00:09)
DOYLE 1. It’s not a recipe or a formula; it’s a set of principle that what constitutes a state. You need a territory, you need a population, you need a government and you need recognition from other states.
One year after its self-establishment, no other country has officially recognized the Liberland. And the people who’ve tried to move to Liberland have been removed by Croatia. But still: more than four hundred thousand people have already registered for the citizenship online. For now, the president can rely on his supporters in NY to build a credibility for his “future country”…
These are the first measures of the future national anthem of Liberland. Alexander Liebermann, one of the representatives in NY has offered to write the anthem.
LIEBERMANN. The president gave me like total freedom he said let your inspiration go!
Libermann won’t be finished in time for the anniversary, but he’s promised to release what he has so far on social media next week. And as for Jedlicka, he’ll be commemorating the founding of Liberland … just across the river from his would-be homeland… at a hotel… in Croatia. Adele Humbert, Columbia Radio News.