Home Blockchain News The fate of a crypto micronation relies on a border dispute – WIRED UK

The fate of a crypto micronation relies on a border dispute – WIRED UK

by Michael Stark

Liberland: A New Nation’s Bold Challenge

In a small agricultural town in Serbia, Jedlička welcomed his guests to a celebratory dinner. The town, Apatin, is a bumpy drive from Belgrade Airport, and few locals are even aware of Liberland’s existence. Yet, for those who are aware, it’s more of a spectacle than anything else.

New Beginnings in Apatin

One local, Aleksandra Vrančić, a manager at a nearby petrol station, expressed that it’s something new, and, regardless of the odds, a positive venture. However, the sensitive history between Croatians and Serbs has left many locals apprehensive. Savo Vojinovic, a resident of Apatin, shared how he was roughed up by Croatians and chased away from the Croatian half of the river by police. Despite this, he still hopes for the success of a nation founded on freedom and open borders.

A Diverse Crowd

The dinner was attended by an international crowd, mostly white, male, and middle-aged. Though, by Štern-Vukotić’s own admission, these events are often male-dominated. There was a strong Scandinavian presence, as well as supporters from Italy, Spain, Germany, Libya, and Tunisia.

Striking Conversations

During the dinner, Jedlička engaged in conversations with Liberland delegates, members of his cabinet, and other enthusiasts who had come to celebrate the anniversary. They shared stories of previous attempts to gain access to Liberland by sneaking across in small boats when the police weren’t looking. “It’s a cat and mouse game with the Croatian border force,” noted Frode Borge, Liberland delegate for Norway. An Italian named Davide recounted an incident of capsizing a kayak while attempting to cross the river at night.

A Make-or-Break Moment

Informed observers see the present as a crucial juncture in Liberland’s history. The accession of neighboring Croatia into the Schengen Area, a zone of open borders and free travel spanning most of Europe, has altered the legal framework. Before this, entering Liberland from Serbia or Hungary meant illegally crossing the Croatian border. However, with Croatia joining the Schengen Area, the situation has become more complex, creating potentially shakier legal ground for the arrest of settlers using this route.

Hope and Optimism

Jedlička, displaying unwavering optimism, sees Croatia’s entrance into Schengen as an opportunity. Settlers have managed to occupy Liberland territory for more than a month for the first time, even building a small house. “We are using this opportunity to prepare for permanent settlement. I don’t think there is any way we could fail,” said Jedlička. He is determined to make it a success, using the recent developments to forge a path forward for Liberland.

As the evening ended, Jedlička and his supporters set out along the river representing the Liberland spirit. Although they were escorted by police, their determination and hope seemed unbridled. For them, it’s a journey filled with challenges and possibilities.

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