The world's latest contender for statehood, Liberland, is a tiny new, self-proclaimed country sandwiched between Croatia and Serbia that lives up to its "live and let live" motto by offering optional taxes, its president said Monday.
"The key idea is voluntary taxes, creating a state so small that there's almost no state," Vit Jedlicka, a 31-year-old Czech politician from the liberal right-wing Free Citizens Party, told AFP.
To make his dream come true, Jedlicka used seven square kilometres (three square miles) of no-man's land by the Danube river between Serbia and Croatia to create Liberland on April 13.
While Croatia is an EU member, Serbia is not.
"Croatia claims that the territory is Serbian but Serbia doesn't want it and this situation has lasted for 24 years," Jedlicka said about the new country, located some 160 kilometres (100 miles) northwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade.
"The land is now ours," he said.
All Jedlicka had to do to claim possession of the land was make a declaration, which has now become part of a package Liberland is sending out to foreign ministries worldwide.
The politicians of this "constitutional republic with direct democracy features" will now have to negotiate free movement of goods and people across the border and other economic issues, Jedlicka said.
He claims someone has already offered to invest in Liberland's telecommunications infrastructure.
Solar panels will ensure energy self-sufficiency, though "it would be nice to have cross-border electrical wires", Jedlicka added.
Interest in the novel project is huge with its website (http://liberland.org/en/main/) registering 1.3 million visits in the past three days.
"This goes hand in hand with a huge interest in citizenship. We've received about 250,000 applications for citizenship in the past four days," Jedlicka said, adding that even diplomats worldwide are curious.
"I think we'll have a million (applications) by the end of the week."
Liberland's website sets high standards for citizenship.
Anyone wanting to acquire it must respect other people and their views, respect private property, have no criminal record and have no record as Communists, Nazis or other extremists.