Vít Jedlička wasn’t happy with his home country, the Czech Republic, so he decided to start his own. He searched the world high and low for the perfect spot, and found it in a small piece of terra-nullius (no-man’s land) between Croatia and Serbia. He called his scant, 2.7-square mile (7 sq. km) kingdom Liberland. On April 13th of this year, Jedlička arrived in Liberland with his girlfriend and a childhood friend, put down a flag and claimed the territory.
The euro-skeptic, who still presides over the libertarian-leaning Free Citizens Party in the Czech Republic, spoke exclusively with ATI on the six-month anniversary of Liberland’s founding. A demilitarized zone with “outsourced prisons” where everybody can carry a gun and marry whomever they want, but where the microstate will not offer any type of public education or health, Liberland has just launched its new coin – called the merit – and the leadership professes admiration for the United States’ Tea Party movement.
How did all this get started?
From a very early age I was trying to push for more freedom around me. I spent a lot of time fighting for that in my country, the Czech Republic, but that was not fruitful. The old system was very complicated and it seemed too hard to change anything, so I thought it would be much easier to create a new country than to reform an old one.
You founded Liberland on April 13th, the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the United States. Are you planning to keep this date as the national day of Liberland?
Yes, definitely. It will be our national day, and we are planning a festival as well.
Which other things from the American system would you like to implement in Liberland?
The general ideas of the American Revolution and the Tea Party are quite similar to what we are doing now in Liberland. We are very much inspired from the old American system, as it was working, and we would like to learn from what has been done in the US.
You have received around 400,000 citizenship applications. Are you going to accept every petition, or will only the best candidates who fulfill the requirements get it?
We are planning to use the British system, where the country sells citizenship for one million pounds. We will accept any form of energy, where people can help us with their time or connections and get points for that, or otherwise they can just donate to Liberland and receive our money for it.
Is there a minimum amount of donation established for citizenship?
10,000 merits. It equals 10,000 dollars. The minimum donation for citizenship will rise with every single acceptance by one merit. After a thousand people get the citizenship, the price will jump to 100,000 merits for citizenship.
Have you started accepting any applications already?
Yes, the system is four days old so we just very recently started the merit system.
Note: This conversation happened on the 12th of October, 2015.
In order to get citizenship, is it mandatory to move to Liberland?
Not really, but if you want to receive the citizenship you need to at least make a visit to the state.
How many citizens do you plan to have in, for example, the first five years of existence?